Usenet – What is it?

Nowadays everyone talks about peer-to-peer networks or about torrents. It is often forgotten that there is a much older service for fast and secure exchange and download of legal files, namely Usenet. Although Usenet is so old (it predates the WWW and was founded in the USA in 1979), it is still quite unknown today. Therefore, it is worth taking a look at this infrastructure.

Usenet provider

Usenet providerYou should use usenet servers with long retention times, check out different comparions on the internet to find them. Usenet is accessed via special providers who offer paid access to the Usenet. Usenet. nl is one of the best-known providers, also UseNeXT. Both providers offer interested parties a 14-day free trial account to actively try out the Usenet. After the trial period, during which the account can be easily terminated at any time, users can choose from a variety of possible packages with different contract periods and data volumes. Another convincing feature of both providers is the good customer service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via telephone, contact form or email. So nothing stands in the way of an exciting tour of discovery on the Usenet!

The 8 main areas of Usenet

The introductory article on Wikipedia describes Usenet very clearly. First of all, it explains that Usenet is a separate and independent branch of the WWW. The Usenet consists of discussion groups in text form, also called newsgroups. In these newsgroups, Usenet users discuss and exchange information about current and various topics. The topics are divided into eight main areas, the so-called big eight. These are in detail:

  • comp: newsgroup in which people exchange information about PCs and computers
  • sci: Topics related to science and technology
  • soc: social and political topics
  • talk: casual chat topics for unconstrained exchange among users
  • rec: topics about recreation and vacations
  • news: Here the Usenet itself is the topic. Discussions are about the content, suggestions for improvement or general tips.
  • misc: “Miscellaneous” – everything that does not fit into the other discussion forums
  • humanities: discussion group about humanities and cultural topics

In order to participate in the discussion forums, interested people have to download a newsreader which allows them to post content to the Usenet. Accordingly, a newsreader is a program for reading and writing messages in the newsgroups. What also makes Usenet attractive is the uncomplicated attachment of binary data, which can be both uploaded and downloaded with the newsreader. As soon as data abuse occurs, i.e. when copyright-protected files appear on the Usenet, they are immediately reported by the community and removed from the Usenet. One of the best-known newsreaders is Tangysoft, which is particularly suitable for newcomers to Usenet due to its good usability. The program is multilingual and available free of charge in 10 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Romanian, Portuguese, Turkish and Chinese). It also offers file preview for images and videos and is a multimedia player to play all contents. If a desired file is corrupted, the newsreader will try to repair the file.