If you’re into torrenting, the deep web and really anything below the surface of the Internet, chances are you’ve heard of Usenet. In this post, we’re going to explain a little bit about Usenet.
Usenet has been around since 1980, were people was able to share pretty much any content from really dark content to records form their DVRs, so basically is a server that is storing a bunch of data but they are not open to public, you have to pay to gain access to a legit usenet provider and besides that you need a good NZB indexer which is also premium.
Almost nobody talks about usenet becuase you can find pretty much anything and most of it viruses that will infect your computer, and sometimes files are “obscured” meaning that a tittle “Lion king” will be “31dr3ru38dud1313.mp4” and that helps for copyright because you are not supposed to share that content.
Usenet is a decentralized computer network which can store files uploaded by users, Usenet team makes sure that these files are “clean” and ready for another user to download it, the way they prepare the files is by splitting 1GB in to small blocks of data and also they use “retention” that means that “X” file will be stored in that server for up to 100 days or whatever retention that usetnet provider offers.
Besides mods making sure that uploaders are sharing good contento commnity is involded by adding comments or alerting others that description or quality is not the right one, or maybe the file is “corrupted” that can be because one of those blocks is missing and the is when you use a block account.
Usenet is largely used for file-sharing these days, although there are discussion groups that are still active. Access to Usenet is fairly cheap, typically from $5 to $10 a month, and there are a variety of newsreaders and other tools to let you access text posts or download binary files.
In the early days of the Internet, most ISPs provided customers with access to Usenet servers. In addition to text posts and news, users could upload binary files like movies, pictures and other media. Piracy became an increasingly large problem for ISPs and Usenet providers, and virtually every ISP stopped providing access to Usenet servers.
When a file is uploaded to Usenet, it is split into multiple parts, or messages. Each one has a different “message-ID” and an NZB file contains the information needed to download and reassemble each message. This format was created by the popular Newzbin website which was closed in 2012 after several legal battles. Newzbin was the first major site that indexed Usenet content and made it easy to download files, thanks to their creation of NZB.
Most files on Usenet will be compressed in RAR format, requiring a tool like WinRar to unpack them. Modern Usenet applications like SABnzbd or NZBget automatically perform this operation when a file is downloaded, requiring no intervention or extra steps for users. If you decide to try out Usenet, you’ll quickly see that automation like this is common practice amongst users. No one wants to deal with searching, downloading and unpacking files manually, and Usenet software is built accordingly.
Another feature of Usenet are “PAR” files, or parity files. It’s not uncommon for a post to be corrupted or missing a few blocks, especially when dealing with large binary files. Parity files contain the necessary information to rebuild corrupted files so that a user doesn’t have to re-download the entire post — as long as there aren’t too many missing pieces, the parity files are used to reconstruct the file. This was a huge benefit for Usenet when it first appeared and saves bandwidth and time for both users and providers.
There are too many providers to list here, but check out this map for a good overview of Usenet providers. A “backbone” is the main provider of Usenet servers, meaning they own and operate the servers and hard disk arrays that make up the infrastructure of Usenet. When a file is uploaded to Usenet, it is stored on a backbone which then propagates the file.
Thats why the file gets defragmented into small pieces and sometimes when the server does cleaning it may remove a couple of blocks making that file incomplete but thats why we were talking about blocks accounts because that file may exist on another backbone server and “parity kicks in” downloading specifically those blocks from the block account.
When choosing a Usenet provider, you should refer to the map to see which backbone a service uses. Pick an unlimited account from a well-known provider, and then buy a cheap block account from two or more providers on different backbones. Diversity is key to accessing all of Usenet without worrying about missing files or posts.
For example I recommend newsdemon as main provider and usenetexpress as a block account both are not sharing the same backbone and both are really good providers, the block account will only kick in whenever a file is incomplete in newsdemon, to give an example my block account from usenetexpress is 500G and I have spent 220GB in 4 months.
An “indexer” is a site that allows you to search Usenet and download files. If you’re only interested in using Usenet to read posts or join discussion groups, you won’t need an indexer. However, most people looking to start using Usenet are interested in the file-sharing aspect and a good indexer is an important part of a Usenet setup.
Indexing software acts like a search engine it will translate whatever you are looking and search in that huge data base with obscure file names for whatever file you are looking for.
There are free indexers you can use, but I recommend using at least one paid indexer. For the majority of users, one or two indexers will suffice. The content isn’t all that different, typically, but some indexers have custom features that give them a slight advantage over others.
There is an excellent list of indexers available on reddit, and it’s commonly cited in discussions of indexers. Pick a few indexers and try their free tier before you settle on one. They’re fairly cheap, on average $10-$20 a year.
Keep on mind some of these indexers are invite only, so basically they will send you an invite for you to buy their service, some of them are open registration and the premiums are lifetime so far the indexer I use is NzbGeek
Usenet & NZB Software
If you want to read and post in newsgroups, there are plenty of choices for every operating system, including graphical interfaces or old-fashioned command line readers. All you need is a provider and a reader to get started with newsgroups.
There is some variation among setups, as some users prefer one app over another, but that’s the core setup. Installing and configuring the software is beyond the scope of this article, but there are already hundreds of guides out there to help you get started.
Once you get it setup it’s smooth sailing, thanks to the built-in automation features.
You can also read my post about NZBget with PI and that goes alongside with Sonarr, Radarr, Jackett and Hydra.
Benefits of Usenet
When you use torrent software, you’re sharing your IP address with all the other users, unless you’re using a VPN service that allows P2P sharing. The bittorrent protocol relies on each user uploading the file to other users.
Usenet doesn’t require you to upload or share data, at all. Providers operate under what is called “safe harbor” laws, meaning they are not held responsible for what is stored on their servers as long as they comply with DMCA takedown requests. As long as they remove all or part of a copyrighted file, they don’t have to worry about legal repercussions.
Virtually every Usenet service provider offers SSL encryption so that when you download something, your ISP cannot see what it is. Your connections to the Usenet server are encrypted, and you’ll usually max out your download speed. Usenet servers are often much faster than torrents, especially for home users with limited bandwidth.
Since you are only downloading a file, and not sharing it with anyone, you don’t have to worry about DMCA notices or letters from your ISP. We don’t condone illegal file-sharing, but it’s important to understand the differences between torrents and Usenet: in short, Usenet is faster and more secure than torrenting.