Usenet has been around for a long time now (since the 70’s in fact).

It’s popularity may somewhat have waned in recent years but there is a dedicated core that continue to take advantage of the features it has.

Usenet is often the first to get many features you may find later on torrent websites.

The advantage Usenet has over torrenting is that there is no need to rely on seeders, so no matter how new a file is, it will download to the max your connection can handle.

The downside is that Usenet will cost you money if you want to do anything interesting with it.

For the money, though, you get a really fast service that can easily replace torrents.

What is a Usenet Newsreader?

A Newsreader another word for “client” similar to something like uTorrent or Deluge if you are familiar with torrenting.

A Newsreader helps organise and download files you find on Usenet.

Finding a good Usenet Newsreader is the key to having a stress-free Usenet experience.

There are multiple Newsreaders available on a wide array of devices, so you are sure to find something that works for you, no matter if you are on a PC, Mac, or a Smart Device.

What is a Usenet Provider?

A Usenet provider is a vital part of being able to take advantage of what Usenet has to offer.

If you want a seamless and great experience you will have to pay for a Usenet Provider.

When looking for a provider you need to figure out how much you think you will be downloading and what you will be downloading.

Retention is an important part of finding a Usenet Provider. Retention is how long a Usenet Provider gives access for.

Really, you don’t want to be looking below 300 days. Giganews is probably the best choice for Retention as they have over five years’ worth of binary retention and 12 years for text retention. They are increasing that all the time as well.  

You are looking at around $15-$30 a month for a provider that offers the best speeds and multiple connections as well as decent data retention.

The money you have to pay is what usually puts people off, as torrenting is completely free and doesn’t have such a high barrier of entry.

It is recommended that you try a free trial at a Usenet Provider to see if Usenet is for you.

Many offer two-week free trials with unlimited data so you can really get a feel for what Usenet has to offer.

What is a Usenet Indexer?

A Usenet Indexer is website that collates files from different Newsgroups so that you can download them in as simple a way as possible.

There are some great free options out there such as Binsearch but for the best quality you are going to have to pay.

You are looking at between $10-$30 for a lifetime subscription at a paid Usenet Indexer, which isn’t too bad but it is a hard pill to swallow after also forking out for a Usenet provider.

SABnzbd – Windows, Mac, Linux

SABnzbd is probably the most popular Usenet Newsreader out there.

It is available on any desktop operating system. It is web based, so you run it from a centralized location and you can then access it from any device with a web browser.

It supports multiple connections, which is vital for getting the fastest download speeds when using Usenet.

It also has Chrome and Firefox extensions, so you can keep tabs on your downloads with a fancy interface without having to load a webpage each time you want to view your downloads.

If you want the tried and tested Newsreader, SABnzbd is the way to go.

Powernzbd – Android

If you wanting to do your Usenet downloading via your Android device your best bet is Powernzbd.

Your download speeds won’t be as fast if you use Android but you get that great portability.

Powernzbd isn’t available on the Google Play Store as it was removed but you can get it from here.

You can even use a SABnzbd server you are running on a desktop PC and monitor your downloads through it.

The app is really feature packed for what it is, it can get a little messy in terms of design but you have access to all the info you could possibly want.

HelloNZB – Windows, Linux

HelloNZB is a java based Newsreader that has a ton of features.

Even though it is feature rich, the user interface itself is very minimalist, a change of pace from many of the other Newsreaders that can look very busy.

HelloNZB supports SSL and multiple servers, so you get the best security and speed.

A very nice alternative to SABnzbd.

Unison – Mac

Unison has stopped receiving updates as of two years ago but it’s still a great Newsreader for Mac.

It has that great design that you have come to expect from your Mac applications, so if that is important to you, Unison is a great choice.

Usenet isn’t for everyone, the barrier for entry is a lot higher than your simple torrent but with Usenet you avoid that issue with lack of seeders, or slow download speeds.

If you are only using public trackers for your torrents, then you may find Usenet is a fantastic resource. For people that are on private trackers, you may find the money isn’t all that worth it.

If you want your files fast and before anywhere else on the web, Usenet is the way to go.

If you enjoyed this guide, please feel free to share it with others, not many have heard of Usenet or know where to start.

If you have any recommendations or useful tips, please leave them in the comments.

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