What is Usenet and Why You Need To Start Using It?


TechsPlace | Are you from the generation that uses BitTorrent and Reddit? Long before these two hauled the internet, there was another original online social network called “Usenet.” The network came to life in the early 1980s, which was cross between emails and web forums meant for exchanging text files between users.

Later in 1990s Usenet started sharing and uploading binary files that include images, music, and videos. But a big hole was left in Usenet when forums like Reddit and BitTorrent were introduced. However, many still consider this as a better option for sharing and downloading files. All this time, why haven’t the name surfaced on any forums or the web?

Usenet was somewhat a private network and was kept that way to avoid drawing any attention; otherwise, it would have suffered the same as services like ThePirateBay, Napster, and Limewire. Now, the industry is aware of it, but no one talks about it as other more prominent names are surfacing on the web.

What is Usenet?

Usenet came to be as a globally distributed discussion system, but that was previously; now, file sharing has the upper hand than sending messages. The service includes two types of files:

  • Text
  • Binary

If you are interested, then you’d be more focused to learn about the latter. Binary files included movies, software, games, music, and mostly large files. These files follow (.NZB format) for indexing that enables users to download pieces of the movie from different servers. Most of the users subscribe to Usenet provider for file hosting for a month or yearly fee where the subscriber can search the NZB file name similar to a torrent file.

The user then can download the content to his/her personal computer through a “newsreader” app. Sounds cumbersome but this was the way back in the days.

Going Down Memory Lane – History of Usenet

Usenet harbored a community of brightest minds. Before the proliferation of internets commercialization to businesses, multiple large scale advancements on the internet were first posted on Usenet. Usenet of today is the birthplace to various online ailments that include trojans and spam. At a later date, the network became a hub for the distribution of pirated ranging from famous movies to TV shows.

Usenet today is close to not being heard and recognized compared to its appearance in 1980. However, it’s a famous technology than it was previously for downloading digital media and videos from other users. Hence, it still comes second to BitTorrent.

Usenet vs Torrents – The Big Comparison

It’s an everyday ordeal when a torrent is available why users will opt for torrent Usenet? There are multiple solid reasons for it. Usenet downloads are faster than torrent because of being based on centralized servers rather than on peoples computers.

Instead of peers, Usenet connects to multiple servers at a time that means the download speed can be as fast as the ISP can handle. Usenet is a private connection that takes place the user and the provider’s servers through SSL encrypted connections.  

Further, downloading a Usenet file doesn’t depict you need to have seed for other users. By law, this makes you a lesser target because you are not distributing the copyrighted content, and it uses less bandwidth. Usenet users make files available for a certain number of days, which solely depends on the provider itself.

The standard is of holding the file more than six years after it has been posted for the first time. Until that time period is up, users will have full autonomous access to that file. Torrents, on the other hand, can stay online and available as long as people are seeding the file.

Legal risks Attached

If talking to a Usenet user, its guaranteed no one would remember an incident about getting arrested because of downloading from Usenet. This is somewhat true, but there can always be minor incidents going unnoticed. However, it’s recommended using a VPN whenever downloading.

If the network doesn’t have any record for arrests, it means the sector did not fall under scrutiny. Multiple providers (search engines) have been shut down through filing lawsuits previously and because users never faced a judge, doesn’t mean they targeted.

Best Usenet Providers 2019

With careful understanding, we have gathered a list of best Usenet providers considering its security, speed, and privacy.

  • Easynews
  • NewsHosting
  • UsenetServer
  • Giganews