The Ultimate Guide to Newsbin Pro

From getting started to performance hacks.
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What is Newsbin?

Newsbin, as one of the longest running and most successful newsreaders, has been around since 1995. In that period it’s been in constant production, improving features and adding even more.  In the last 23 years, it has become one of the foremost tools for searching through Usenet's vast repository of newsgroups.  In those 23 years, Newsbin Pro has been repeatedly awarded top honors by Usenet software review websites.

For those that are new to Usenet, a newsreader is distinct from an NZB indexer or an NZB downloader.  Its basic function is to browse through individual newsgroups. The best ones let you search for content too, and this can be done either globally or locally.  That means you can search a vast database of newsgroups simultaneously, or through an individual newsgroup that you've opened.

In this way, Newsbin gives users a unique vantage into what Usenet has to offer.  NZB indexers, on the other hand, don't really provide any vantage into Usenet at all.  NZB's are analogous to torrent files.  They don't host files, rather they provide a file that points to files that are located somewhere in the newsgroups.  This is a great service to have, but it doesn't provide you with the same level of access that a newsreader would.

If you do not have Usenet Storm's newsgroup access, Newsbin will require the purchase of a registration key that will either cost $20 or $30 depending on which features you choose.  There is, however, a 15-day free trial key that affords you full access to all of the available features.  This way, you can see what you like and what you're interested in paying for.

The purpose of this guide is to familiarize you with both the basics of Newsbin's setup and configuration and to give experienced users a deeper look inside some of the coolest features that it offers.

Why Bother With a Newsreader?

NZB indexers and downloaders are all very cool, but they only scratch the surface of the amount of content that is actually on Usenet.  In order to get the total package, you'll need a newsreader that can actually navigate all the groups themselves.  While Newsbin Pro can't provide the same services that an NZB indexer can, neither can an NZB indexer provide the same depth of features that a newsreader can.

Newsreaders are designed to navigate the individual newsgroups that are available on Usenet.  So for users that are interested in the full Usenet experience, a newsreader is an absolute must.

The Basics

This section will cover everything a new user needs to know in order to begin searching through the newsgroups.  This includes installation and setup and finishes with setting yourself up to download from the newsgroups.

Installation

The installation of the software is fast and easy.  In addition, you'll be given a free trial key that will allow you to access all of Newsbin's awesome features for 15 days without having to pay for them.

If you have an account with Usenet Storm, the full retail version of Newsbin is included with your account.  It will automatically license itself when you are installing.

How to Install Newsbin Pro

Download Newsbin Pro and Launch Setup Wizard

The first step is to download the right version.  If you have an account with Usenet Storm, then you can use the fully licensed version and download Newsbin here.

If you are getting your Usenet access from a different provider, download the latest version from Newsbin's official website.  Once the download has completed, simply run the installation program.  This will launch the setup wizard, which will guide you through the process.

There are a number of options to choose from, but for new users, the default options are the best options.  You won't really need to think about anything until you set up your connection with your news server.

For this, we're assuming that you've already paid for a news server.  News servers generally specify your login information in an email that includes the addresses of the servers you can access with your account.  You're going to want use SSL, which will offer you a secured connection.  This is especially true if you plan on uploading anything to the newsgroups!

Next, you'll verify your login credentials.  Again, these should be in your verification email.  You can simply copy and paste them into the text boxes.  If you receive an error, try typing this information in by hand as copying and pasting can sometimes carry over an extra space without being noticed.

Registering Newsbin Pro

Note: This section only applies if you do not have an account with Usenet Storm.  If you do, then your installation is already registered and fully licensed.

After you first download, you can select a temporary registration key that will give you full access to the program.  However, this key must be typed as-is into the right place.  Where is the right place?

How to Register Newsbin Pro

Under the Help menu item, all the way to the right of the drop-down menu, the fourth option from the top, you'll notice the very option that you're looking for: Register/Update Key.  You should have gotten a registration confirmation email by now.  This email will provide you with the name that you gave them, and your registration key.  Both should be copied exactly into their related fields.  Notice that once your trial registration runs out, from here you can purchase a new registration key that will last a year.  The cost is between $20 and $30 depending on which options you select.

Installation is now complete and we're ready to get started adding newsgroups and downloading!

Adding Newsgroups

The first thing you'll want to do is add some newsgroups.  These groups will be displayed in a list that you can easily access and search through later.  See What is a Newsgroup Exactly and How Do I Access One for a more full explanation.

Under Options on the drop-down menu, the fourth choice from the top is Add Groups.  Simply select that option and you'll see the following window appear on your screen:

Adding Groups to Newsbin Pro

If it's empty or only has a few uninteresting options, then that is because you're likely running Newsbin for the very first time.  No worries! You simply need to download the groups list from your server.

Once that's complete, you'll likely have an overwhelming list of more than 100,000 options from which to choose.  Luckily, there are a number of ways of whittling down that list to a manageable number.

First, you’ll want to hide the groups that you've subscribed to.  You don't want groups that you've already added showing up in this list.

To select a group, simply double-click on it.  The group should be immediately removed from the Add Group Window and appear Groups List Tab.  Once you've selected a few groups that interest you, you're ready to begin downloading!