Usenet Uncovered: A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide​

Are you just starting with Usenet? Then you’re in the right place! Usenet can be confusing for beginners that are used to the World Wide Web, but it only takes a little effort to become a Usenet master. And we’re here to help you on that journey.

What is Usenet and How Did We Get Here?

Usenet is a global communication platform based on the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP). It was invented in 1979 and went live in 1980 in North Carolina, but quickly became one of the most popular and information-rich networks online. Through the 1980s and well into the 1990s, Usenet was among the biggest draws for the Internet because it gave users access to millions of people online and discussions about an almost unlimited range of topics. It was the first social network and helped build momentum for the Internet as a whole. Today, Usenet remains a favorite network for countless users around the globe. The Usenet feed is larger than it’s ever been and users have access to more information than ever before.

Accessing Usenet​

Starting with Usenet requires a few key steps for a good setup and more than just picking a service provider and a newsreader. Here’s a straightforward guide to get you set up quickly.

Choosing a Usenet Provider

First you need to pick a Usenet provider. Since Usenet isn’t free, you’ll need to choose a paid service that fits what you need and your budget. If you’re not sure what to look for, our reviews and rankings can help. For a quick choice, we have a list of the top Usenet providers.

Setting Up Your Newsreader​

A newsreader is how you access Usenet, similar to using a Web browser for the Internet. Some providers, like Newshosting, Eweka, and Tweaknews, give you a newsreader that’s ready to go with your account. This makes it easy for beginners. If you need to find a newsreader or want to upgrade, we’ve reviewed the best ones to help you choose.

Searching on Usenet​

Searching Usenet is different from searching the Web because you can’t use regular search engines like Google. You need special tools called Indexers. Some of these cost money, but there are free ones too. Some of the best newsreaders also have search built in, making it easier to find what you’re looking for. Easynews, for example, lets you search Usenet directly from any web browser.