Setting up your Usenet account and client is a by no means difficult. Still, the average person downloading torrents these days isn’t familiar with the process.
Since I’m a nice guy, I thought I’d lay the steps out as clearly as I could and save you an hour or so of Googling Cheers!
For more info on why you would want to use Usenet, check out my recent article: Usenet: What is it? And Why Would I Want to use it?
Step 1. Download your Client
The only one worth considering here is SABnzbd. Bit of an odd name, but it’s a fantastic piece of software.
It’s free, quick to download, and easy to work with. So what are you waiting for? Download SABnzbd. Then simply open the package and install it as you would with any program.
Step 2. Choose your Usenet Server
Here is where most people bail. It does cost money to use Usenet. But it’s also dirt cheap, and unbelievably better than torrenting. Learn more about why you should even consider Usenet in my other recent article.
Out of the handful of Usenet servers out there the only one I recommend, and the one I use myself, is Easynews. Another major player is Astraweb, but I had a less-than-perfect experience with them in the past so I can’t personally recommend them. I use Easynews because they are extremely fast and reliable (they’ve never let me down in 3 years) and because they have fantastic support (I’m always a sucker for live chat support). They also have unique pricing models, which depending on your use might save you money.
Choose a plan that suits how much you expect to need to download. I personally never need more than the Classic Plan.
The nice thing about Easynews is that they will roll-over gigs you don’t use from one month to the next. Also, they don’t require a contract and are happy to cancel the service at any time (unlike some subscription services).
Whether you choose a free trial or a subscription, just follow the steps on the Easynews website and you’ll be ready to roll! No more spending money, I promise.
Step 3. Configure SABnzbd to your Server
Upon opening SABnzbd for the first time, you will be guided through a quick setup wizard. This makes configuration a snap. You can probably figure this out on your own, but I’ll briefly walk you through the steps I took.
- Pick your language.
- Set up your server. The server you chose in the last step will provide all the necessary info for these fields. If you chose Easynews, your config. details will be in the email you got when you signed up (Note: number of connections is unlimited, so pick any number for that – I use 50).
- Pick your access options. I chose for SAB to be only viewable on my PC, but didn’t bother to password protect it. These aren’t nuclear launch codes.
- Choose index options if you have an account with one of the Usenet indexes. If you want my opinion, you don’t need to do this.
- Restart SABnzbd, and you’re done!
Now all that’s left is to find nzb files for whatever you want to download!
Step 4. Searching for nzb’s and downloading them
In oder to download from your Usenet server, you need to find a .nzb file essentially acting as the address to the file. There are plenty of nzb indexes out there, varying greatly in usefulness.
My current favourite is NZB7.
Whichever index you use, just go there and search for what you like, or browse the nzb’s by category to your heart’s content.
Download the nzb file associated with the item you wish to grab and save it to your computer.
If you set up file association in step 3, just click on the nzb file to open it in SABnzbd and it will begin downloading.
If not, you can open it from the SABnzbd interface. Just click Add NZB and click Choose File, then select the nzb file from your computer and hit Add!
You can cue up as many downloads as you want, SAB will download one at a time until they’re all complete.