Top 5 Usenet Newsreaders

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What is a Newsreader?

You’ve chosen a Usenet provider, and now you need a way to download files. A newsreader is a program that allows you to view newsgroups and articles, and to download those articles onto your hard drive. You can think of a newsreader as Usenet’s version of a web browser, but the capabilities of different newsreaders vary greatly.

Some newsreaders specialize in downloading only certain types of files. Some include built-in search functionality. Others require a paid subscription.

In this article we’ll explain the different types of newsreaders, and our top choices depending on your needs.

What Makes a Good Newsreader?

With so many options on the market, how do you choose which newsreader to use? We based this review on the following top criteria:

User Friendliness

A good newsreader must be easy to use. Users need to understand how to use it without having to think, but for advanced users, there should be thorough documentation and support. All of our top picks for newsreaders are easy to use and straightforward, and they all offer plenty of support documentation online.

Versatile

Whether you are a total beginner or an advanced Usenet user, a good newsreader should be accessible to all customers. Customers should be able to tailor their newsreader to their exact needs, whether he is searching for specific files or automating the entire process. Only some of our top picks include built-in search, but all of them are versatile and customizable.

Our Top 5 Usenet Newsreaders

#1 - Newshosting

A Screenshot of the Newshosting Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
A Screenshot of the Newshosting Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
  • Cost: Free with Newshosting Subscription
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Access to Newsgroups?: Yes

Why we like Newshosting:

Newshosting has combined the ability to search newsgroups and the ability to download from Usenet indexers to create a robust, hybrid newsreader. With the Newshosting Usenet newsreader, you get the best of both worlds. The Newshosting client comes with complete access to newsgroups and the Usenet community. It is also compatible with NZB files. This means users don’t have to prioritize one type of Usenet experience. Rather, they can experience all Usenet has to offer in one place.

The Newshosting Usenet Browser is included with all Newshosting accounts, but it is not the only newsreader you can use. Newsbin Pro, NewsLeecher, SABnzbd, and Unison are also popular choices. Check out our full review of Newshosting as a Usenet provider here, or start a free 30GB free trial today here.

What we don’t like about Newshosting:

Newshosting is a great Usenet Newsreader for all Usenet experience levels. However, you must sign up for a Newshosting account in order to access it for the first time. Once you’re signed up, you can add as many backup Usenet provider credentials as you want. 

Newshosting does offer a free trial though, and you’ll get full access to their newsreader during your trial period.

#2 - SABnzbd

A Screenshot of the SABnzbd Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
A Screenshot of the SABnzbd Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
  • Cost: Free
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS, Unix/Linux, NAS Devices
  • Access to Newsgroups?: No

SABnzbd is a free and reliable newsreader that specializes in binary files. This newsreader has been around for a while and features a large community that contributes to its success.

Why we like SABnzbd:

One of SABnzbd’s strongest attributes is that it runs on Windows, macOS, Unix, and NAS devices. Users can access and manage their newsreader experience from any device with a web browser. Managing downloads is super easy and convenient with SABnzbd.

SABnzbd is also an open source Usenet newsreader, which makes it an attractive option for more advanced users who wish to customize it with their own code. Even without custom code, SABnzbd integrates seamlessly with all of the most popular automation tools.

What we don’t like about SABnzbd:

SABnzbd is a binary only service. If you’re looking for browse newsgroups with newsgroup access, then SABnzbd is not the Usenet newsreader for you. In terms of handling NZBs, however, it’s one of the best, most customizable options out there.

#3 - NZBGet

A Screenshot of the NZBGet Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
A Screenshot of the NZBGet Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
  • Cost: Free
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, BSD, Android
  • Access to Newsgroups?: No

NZBGet is another web-interface Usenet newsreader that bills itself as “the most efficient Usenet downloader.” As the name implies, NZBGet specializes in downloading Usenet articles from NZB files. That means you won’t be able to browse newsgroups through NZBGet, which is a downside for some users.

Why we like NZBGet:

NZBGet lives up to its reputation as “the most efficient Usenet downloader.”From their website: “NZBGet is written in C++ and designed with performance in mind to achieve maximum download speed by using very little system resources.”When we compared NZBGet to SABnzbd, which is written in Python, we noticed at least three performance benefits of the C++ language NZBGet:
  1. Faster downloads, especially with SSL connections
  2. Less CPU and memory usage
  3. The ability to run on lower-end hardware
When we tested NZBGet and SABnzbd, NZBGet performed faster in each test. CPU usage was significantly less with NZBGet than it was for SABnzbd. As both projects are open source, you can view the code on GitHub to inspect or to develop your own code (NZBGet on GitHub, SABnzbd on GitHub).

What we don’t like about NZBGet:

NZBGet is another binary only service. But for NZB files, it’s one of the best, most customizable options out there. And compared to SABnzbd, it’s more lightweight and can run on less powerful devices.

#4 - Newsbin

A Screenshot of the Newsbin Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
A Screenshot of the Newsbin Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
  • Cost: $30/year with Usenet Search, or $20/year without Usenet Search
  • Compatibility: Windows Only
  • Access to Newsgroups?: Yes

Newsbin Pro is one of the best all around Usenet newsreaders for the power Usenet user. With Newsbin Pro, users can pay to access the Usenet Search feature. This feature, similar to that of the Newshosting Usenet newsreader, allows users to search for articles in newsgroups. Newsbin Pro also allows for NZB file support, making it another versatile choice for your Usenet newsreader.

Why we like Newsbin:

While the Usenet Search feature makes Newsbin Pro attractive to new Usenet users, advanced users will still find plenty of customizable options that allow them to tailor the Newsbin Pro experience to their exact needs.

Filters, Watch Lists, integration with other services, and spam prevention features all make Newsbin Pro an excellent choice for power users.

Newsbin Pro has built up a large, loyal customer base since 1997. Many of these customers are very active on the Newsbin forum, where users can find the answers to many of the most common questions. Newsbin support is also very responsive and helpful, according to its many users.

What we don’t like about Newsbin:

Newsbin Pro is only available for Windows machines, so look elsewhere if you are a Linux or Mac user. Also, it’s one of the few paid newsreaders we suggest. If you don’t have a Newshosting account, Newsbin is a good alternative for a versatile newsreader.

#5 - Easynews

A Screenshot of the Easynews Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
A Screenshot of the Easynews Usenet Newsreader User Interface.
  • Cost: Annual or Monthly Plans (for Usenet access)
  • Compatibility: Any Web Browser
  • Access to Newsgroups?: Yes

Easynews is a Usenet provider with one of the most unique web interfaces available. While not technically a Usenet newsreader, Easynews offers a full-featured web browser that allows users to search newsgroups, preview articles, and download from anywhere. There is no additional download or setup required – you just log into your Easynews account and start browsing Newsgroups.

A Screenshot of the Search Feature of Easynews Usenet Provider.
A Screenshot of the Search Feature of Easynews Usenet Provider.

Why we like Easynews:

HTTP and NNTP Usenet

Easynews makes Usenet accessible for new users, and at the same time offers advanced users the traditional Usenet provider experience they have come to expect. Browsing the HTTP web interface is not the only way to use Easynews. Users are able to use other newsreaders, like the ones mentioned in this article, to download Usenet articles using Easynews as their provider.

Easynews offers a feature called the Zip Manager, which allows users to download multiple pre-assembled files at one time. This simplifies the process of downloading multiple files at once while browsing Easynews search.

Easynews offers Rollover Gigs for all plans – customers get to keep the download allowance for which they’ve paid. There is a cap on the max gigs available, but for the Big Gig plan, this cap is 3,750 GB (which equates to 25 months of 150 GB allotments).

What we don’t like about Easynews:

While the Usenet Search functionality is excellent, NZB file support is less than ideal with Easynews. Other Usenet newsreaders provide a much more streamlined and user-friendly experience for NZB support.

Check out our full review of Easynews for more info.

Bottom Line

With so many Usenet newsreaders to choose from, it can be hard to find the very best one for your specific needs. Decide what features matter most to you, and test out different newsreaders until you find one that delights you the most.

Then we recommend Newshosting, Easynews, and Newsbin Pro.

How to Get Started with a Usenet Newsreader

To get started with our top choice, Newshosting, we recommend signing up for their 30GB free trial. Read our full review of Newshosting as a Usenet provider here.

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