The Best Features
Security & Privacy
Is your internet provider watching you online? You Bet! Especially with new laws regarding logs for internet providers. We employ SSL Encryption with strict anti-logging privacy policies to keep prying eyes away.
Max out even the fastest broadband with 50 simultaneous connections. Download speeds have been tested at 1.8 Gbps with just 30 connections, which is blazingly fast!
Newsgroup access is always uncensored. We filter out nothing, and you decide what you do and don't want to see. Usenet is our business, babysitting you isn't.
We have every known newsgroup, uncensored, unfiltered. From picture newsgroups to massive binary archives, we carry your favorite newsgroups and many thousands more.
There are few things more irritating than spending hours downloading the perfect file you wanted, only to find that it is one part short of being complete. To keep this a rare event, we have greater than 99.9% newsgroup completion.
Enjoy access to over 4 years of newsgroup retention. We've got you covered, in case you've been away for a really, really long time.
Support For The Latest Mobile Technology
smartphone, tablet, or mobile device.
You can use any software that you like, but many users don't know where to start. Newsbin is the best there is, so we provide the full retail version of Newsbin for free, with Usenet Search. It can even be used with other Usenet providers, for as long as you have an account with us.
What is Usenet?
A Brief History
In 1980, Usenet was created as a bulletin board service (BBS) for text messages. What made it interesting for the time was that it could be accessed from the Internet instead of calling into it like any other BBS of the era. At that time, only text discussions could be posted and it was actually technically impossible to post or upload a file to Usenet.
The text messages were uploaded to newsgroups, because of the type of messages that were posted. The kinds of messages being posted radically changed over the years, but the term stuck and there are now more than 100,000 newsgroups available, covering everything imaginable. If you just think of them as subjects, topics, or categories, you will be fine.
Newsgroup Naming System
Newsgroups have names that can best be thought of as subjects or categories. Almost always, a single group name will specify a sub-category. For instance alt.binaries.pictures.aviation means that this group doesn't fit in the Big 8 (discussed below), it's for files, pictures actually, and that those pictures should be on the subject of aviation. If you read all newsgroup names using this logic, most will make sense pretty quickly.
A Review of the Big 8
Because the original newsgroups had very academic origins, the original Big 8 hierarchies can sound sufficiently boring. However, these were where most of the activity was in the early days of Usenet.
- comp.* - Technical discussions related to computers (comp.hardware)
- humanities.* - Discussion related to philosophy, literature, and the fine arts (humanities.philosophy)
- misc.* - Miscellaneous topics (misc.education.science, misc.health)
- news.* - For discussion about news relating to Usenet, not current events (news.software.newsreaders)
- rec.* - Entertainment and recreation (rec.games, rec.humor)
- sci.* - Science discussions (sci.astronomy, sci.chemistry)
- soc.* - Social issues and discussions (soc.culture.polish, soc.religion)
- talk.* - Discussions about topics that are usually controversial (talk.politics.theory, talk.religion.christian.science)
Another hierarchy was also created, as the demand grew for more new groups that didn't fit into one of the main categories. The solution was to create the alt.* hierarchy for alternative subjects. Now, the alt.binaries alone are responsible for Terabytes of data per day, far exceeding traffic of the Big 8.
About Service Providers
There is no one server, company, or newsgroup provider in charge. Instead, Usenet is a distributed network spanning thousands of server clusters around the world, each one mirroring all of the content of all of the other providers and being totally independent in every way.
An Upgrade That Changed The Networking of Every Provider
At some point, someone figured out how to convert files into text that could be posted, downloaded, and converted back into the original file. This was a major advancement at the time and Usenet quickly became the first file sharing network, significantly predating things like Torrents. File sharing became popular so quickly that alt.binaries.* were created by the thousands. Over time, files became the majority of the content posted and Usenet just exploded. Shortly after, Eugene Roshal developed the RAR archive format as a more reliable way of posting very large files to newsgroups. Today, 93% of all files posted to Usenet are RAR archives.
It appears that there has been the most growth over the last 5 years, but it has really been like that for more than 20 years. Jumping from 250 Gigabytes in 2002 to around 500 Gigabytes in 2003 was huge growth for the time, it just doesn't look like much now. Our perspective has just changed.
There is now over 27 Terabytes of new data posted to different groups every day, or over 64 million posts. They cover every subject imaginable, literally. From discussions about politics to high-resolution sex videos involving tickling....yes, there is a newsgroup for that. It is totally unregulated, with providers having no control over what is posted, and that is what people like and hate about it. There is a lot of spam and there are a lot of viruses if someone is not careful, but that freedom is also what keeps it growing...good, bad, and ugly.
Traditionally, you must have software to access Usenet, just like you need an e-mail client to send an e-mail and a web browser to see a web page. There are very few good ones out there and they all cost money. So if you want to access uncensored newsgroups then you need an account and then you need something to be able to connect to that account. As you can imagine, this is a little bit too much to ask of someone that is just learning about Usenet so some services started providing software with their accounts, as UsenetStorm does.
Newsbin is the best newsreader out there so we provide it to our users for free. If you buy it from the makers of Newsbin then the search feature costs an additional $2.50 per month, but we include this for free as well. The version we provide is also not restricted to only our servers (a good number of people use more than one Usenet provider) so they can use it with other services as well, just as long as they keep their account with us. As far as we know, we are the only provider to offer Newsbin or to provide unrestricted software. For users that know what they are doing, this is a major thing. We also do not make users use Newsbin. If they have other software they already like then they can use that and that is also important for experienced users.
The traditional problem with Usenet is that it requires software to access it. New users just get lost trying to get started. Newsbin is powerful but it needs to be a lot more user-friendly, so many users prefer to use an NZB downloader.
Special Support for the use of Web Search
There have traditionally been no good options for smartphones. iPhone/Android have nothing even 'ok' available, so right there 50% of all Internet traffic is excluded from accessing. This isn't right, so we provide a control panel for accessing Usenet from your web browser. It doesn't include every group, only the largest ones, but the idea is to let someone get started without using software (maybe they are at work or just think it's confusing) on a computer, smartphone, or tablet easily. You can browse the files in newsgroups, add them to your list so they are easy to come back to (like bookmarking), or search for something you would like to download. When they see a file they want, they can select to download it without having to stop browsing, and we let them know when it's ready to actually download.
A couple of other providers offer a web-based interface as well, but they either only offer this (no direct Usenet access) or charge extra for it in some way. We do not, and we want to emphasize that we are all-inclusive. We have everything our clients need and they will not be charged extra for anything, ever.
Essentially, anyone that knows what they are doing is going to be using software and will never even see the web-based interface. Totally new users need to be using software to get the best experience as so much more data is available by accessing directly and it is the best way to get started if they can get comfortable with it. But if they just don't want to use software, or can't use it (like on an iPhone/Android), then we have a comfortable interface for them to get started accessing Usenet.
How to Get Started with Usenet, A Beginners Guide in Three Simple Steps
Choosing the Best Usenet Provider
When possible, do not share your contact details
When accessing anything online, especially something that shows your personal interests, it is always best to share as little information as possible. Some Usenet providers do not require an address to purchase an account. UsenetStorm is one of these providers, and we also accept pre-paid debit cards for payment.
Configure Your Newsreader
You can use any news reader that you would like. We recommend using Newsbin and provide it for free to our clients, as it is a full newsreader but can also do easy searching and downloading.
When To Use The Option Of Secure Connections
SSL encryption protects your downloads from being seen by others. If you are on a WiFi connection then everything that you download can be seen by everyone within range of the signal. Many Internet providers also log all their customer's activity.
For the fastest speeds, do not use SSL encryption as it adds additional overhead to your transfers that will slow down your connection. Typically, this is only noticeable for users on very fast connections. On slower connections, this effect can be compensated by raising the number of connection that you use.
Using SSL is a trade-off between resource usage and privacy. Most Usenet users prefer using settings for maximum privacy, and that is the option that we recommend.
Connect to Your Server and Browse or Search
You are now ready to connect to your Usenet provider and download the list of available newsgroups. You can browse those groups directly or perform a global search across all of Usenet. Browsing is the classic way of accessing newsgroups and it gives direct access to the most files. Searching is, by far, the easiest way of finding what interests you and is a great way to get started with Usenet.