Usenet Search and Advanced Settings

Newsbin Logo

Newsbin has two distinct kinds of search features.  You can search within an individual newsgroup, or you can search all newsgroups simultaneously.  Searching everything is a paid service if you do not have a Usenet Storm account, but it is included as part of Newsbin's free 15-day trial.  Once that runs out, you'll have to pay for it or get access through Usenet Storm.  The extra Newsbin service is referred to as Usenet Search.

Newsgroup Search

The individual newsgroup search allows you find results in local headers.  Groups can have anywhere from thousands to millions or even billions of posts.  While the global search has its own separate tab, the newsgroup specific option can be found at the top of any open newsgroup.

Searching Through Newsgroup Headers

The headers need to have been already downloaded for you to search through them.  There are a couple of different ways to accomplish this.  You can either use keywords or a filter profile.

Local Stored or Keyword Search

You basically type a keyword into the newsgroup search field, which should be rather obvious, but there's a bit more to know.  Firstly, Newsbin will remember your searches, so if you open another tab with a different newsgroup, you can find that same phrase again and again.

In addition, the software can create an index of this data which will allow matches themselves to be searched more quickly.

Local Profile Search

A second way requires that you create a filter profile.  This can be done under the Options menu.  At the top of the window, there will be a bar of tools aligned with the search field.  The green button that looks like an on switch enables filters.  You can then load and apply a custom filter for searching through the newsgroup.  This can be used to store criteria that you use very often.

Usenet Search / Global Search

The global search is designed to scour all the newsgroups simultaneously.  This can include ones that you haven't even subscribed to.  It works by accessing a universal database that resides on Newsbin's own servers of all the most popular content on Usenet.  While it includes a great deal of content, it doesn't include everything.  For instance, groups that are based on images are not among those contained in the database.

You'll notice that there is a separate tab for searches.  You can open as many of these with as many different searches as you please.  Once you've completed the search, the behavior is identical to that of a list of posts in a newsgroup.

Searching Usenet is the easiest, fastest, and most rewarding way of getting started.  All you have to do is type, search, and download the files you like.

Step 1

In Newsbin, at the top left you will see a search box.  In that box, type a subject you want to find and press Enter.  The results will be shown in the box just below where you typed.

Newsbin Search Box

Step 2

To start downloading, just double click on any of the search results.  Notice that the size of each file is shown beside the subject.  If size is important to you, you can also sort the results by size.  The file you select will be put in the lower panel where it will show download progress.

Usenet Search Results

Step 3

The files you selected will be shown in the lower panel.  You can pause downloads, change the order for what should be retrieved first, delete files you changed your mind about, or just watch the progress of your downloads.

Pending Downloads

Step 4

When a download completes it will be moved to the "Files List" tab at the very bottom, and you can click there to see everything that has finished.

The column "Download Path" shows where the files are on your computer.

Completed Downloads

Filters

Filters allow you to apply common search strings to newsgroups.  You can also decide which kind of content should be displayed and what can be excluded.  This topic is covered in depth in the chapter The Basics of Navigating Newsbin Pro under the subheading of Main Menu: Filters.

Newsbin's Advanced Features

Posting to Newsgroups

For those that are interesting in either joining discussions or posting binary files themselves, that can be done with the software albeit in a far more limited way than utilities that are designed exclusively for posting.

Not every server allows users to upload.  For those that are interested, finding a server that allows users to painlessly upload and post material to Usenet will be a priority.  In addition, some servers that do allow users to upload, first require that the user enables that functionality before doing so.

How to Post to Usenet

Newsbin is equipped with the basic ability to post single binary files and actual messages.  This is accomplished by going to the Group Tab and then using the right-click menu to bring up a list of options.  One of them will be Post to Group.

This will bring up the following window:

Posting a Message

There are a couple of things to note here.  First, you can post to multiple groups at the same time.  You simply need to separate each group with a comma.

Secondly, you need to fill in an email address, but it shouldn't be your personal email address, or anyone else’s for that matter unless you seriously don’t like them. It is common for these addresses to be harvested for e-mail spam lists.

At the bottom left-hand corner of the window, you'll see an option to Add File.  You'll simply find the file on your disk and attach it to the post.

For those that want to reply to a specific post, that can be done using the right-click menu within a newsgroup tab.

While Newsbin allows users to post, there are other programs that are optimized for the purpose of frequent posting.  If you intend to become a frequent Usenet contributor, be sure to protect yourself, and find a decent Usenet uploader like Power-Post.

Accessing Newsbin Remotely via Your Android Phone or Tablet

The developers of the software have an app for using your Android Phone to access your Newsbin client remotely! The app is still in development, however, so there may be some hiccups along the way.  Nonetheless, many folks are enjoying this functionality and using it successfully.

#1.  Installing NBRemote

In order to install a third-party app, you will first have to enable that on your smartphone or tablet.  Simply load up settings on your Android phone, and select Lock Screen / Security.  Where it says: Unknown Sources you want to enable that option.

Using your Android device, you will need to download the NBRemote APK.  Once the APK has been downloaded, you can launch it, and NBRemote will be installed on your device.

#2.  Set Up NBRemote

After you launch NBRemote for the first time, you'll need to add your computer.  In the top menu, click Add Computer.  The information that needs to be added to NBRemote can be found in Newsbin.  Load it up, click Options from the main menu then select Settings.  Under settings, you will find an option for Remote Control.  This will give you the information you need to let your phone know which computer it should be trying to connect to.  After you fill in the required information click Connect on your phone.  NBRemote will then attempt to connect to your computer.

You can now access Newsbin from your Android device!

Tuning Newsbin to Improve Performance

Newsbin is a standalone executable and there are some inhibiting factors that can make it run more slowly.  Users with older computers or slower CPU's, slow hard-disks, or other issues can still get the most out of the software by knowing a few tweaks.

Spread Disk Traffic Across Multiple Drives

One huge limiting factor is disk access.  The software is responsible for writing dozens of files simultaneously, often repairing, unpacking, and piecing them back together at the same time.  For those that have multiple hard drives installed, spreading downloads and disk calls to different high-performance disks will greatly improve speed.

Antivirus Software

You'll want to set your antivirus software to disregard folders for pending and completed downloads if you're noticing performance lags.  You should always not just scan suspicious files, but every file you download from anywhere.  However, trying to do this during the download process can significantly slow down a computer that is already close to the edge.

Ethernet vs.  Wireless

If your download speeds aren't as fast you'd thought they be, try hardwiring your internet connection with an ethernet cord.  You should notice an immediate improvement.

Turn Off Thumbnails

Thumbnails are cool for modern super-fast CPUs, but they will slow down processing time significantly if you are downloading images.

GUI Overhead

You should notice speed improvements if you close the Downloads tab since it constantly needs to be updated when you're downloading.

Chunk Cache

You can try increasing the Chunk Cache size to help improve disk-based bottleneck.  This can be especially intensive during the unrar and repair process.