How to Use Usenet Like a Boss – Simple Guide

  • 0
  • May 22, 2011
Last updated: Novermber 14, 2013

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?

Disclaimer: I don’t advocate internet piracy. This article is intended for educational purposes and though you can probably download virtually every movie, show, album or software program ever in mere minutes – I assume you will use this information strictly for the better of mankind.

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.

Pro Tip: When you start the installation, you will have the option to check the “File Association” box. I highly recommend choosing this option!

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.

  1. Pick your language.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Oznzb.

I also keep a curated list of other good, current nzb indexes.

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.

That’s it! Sit back, relax and check back in a few minutes – or sit and watch the transfer speed rock out!

  • Pingback: Usenet – What is it? And Why Would I Want to use it? | Nick Pierno

  • Spc_z

    forget asking what the Usenet is, it’s been around for decades, what the hell is an “nzb” and why is it necessary? i remember the newsgroups used to be accessed through a providers email-box and  didn’t require this big run around. I use Vuze on a regular basis and it is much simpler to download torrents then this crap. 
    gotta get this program and that program and join this service and that service and then adjust this to that and add this to that and search here for all these and then transfer ……..Wtf is all this nonsense? how is this simpler than just a simple search on Vuze and clicking download?
    what happened to the Usenet?
     I just signed up for that easynews thing too and now I’m going to go through the hassle of cancelling because none of this makes any sense anymore..F^@k!!!! grrrr

    • http://nickpierno.com/ Nick Pierno

      Well, you are entitled to your opinion of course, but I’ll address each of your points.

      “forget asking what the Usenet is, it’s been around for decades”

      Still, most folks don’t know what it is. I’m just trying to be helpful :)

      “what the hell is an “nzb” and why is it necessary?” 

      An .nzb is just like a .torrent file. It’s just an address that makes the content easier to index and find things within.

      “i remember the newsgroups used to be accessed through a providers email-box and  didn’t require this big run around”

      Just a matter of opinion, but I found THAT method to be much more complicated and painful.

      “I use Vuze on a regular basis and it is much simpler to download torrents then this crap.”

      I don’t see how downloading Vuze and giving it a torrent address to download is any more cumbersome than using SABnzbd to download from an nzb address…

      “gotta get this program and that program and join this service and that service and then adjust this to that and add this to that and search here for all these and then transfer “

      Hmm, that does sound complicated. If you read my instructions though, it’s pretty simple… The ONLY extra step when compared with torrenting is getting a Usenet server.

      1. Download SABnzbd
      2. Sign up for a server
      3. Download nzb’s in SABnzbd

      “Wtf is all this nonsense? how is this simpler than just a simple search on Vuze and clicking download?”

      It’s much simpler in my opinion. You get to bypass all the spam, viruses, password-protected, 30 different versions of one thing in different languages, with good video and bad audio, or vice-versa, 1 seeder, no seeders, etc, etc…

      Torrenting is a perfectly viable means of downloading files, but don’t pretend that there aren’t drawbacks. There are. Furthermore, downloading from Usenet is almost always significantly faster (like 10 times), and WAY more reliable.

      “what happened to the Usenet?”

      Nothing! It’s still there, and as far as I know you can still do the email/newsreader thing from your ISP. I just found that to be a lot less elegant in my own experience.

      “I just signed up for that easynews thing too and now I’m going to go through the hassle of cancelling because none of this makes any sense anymore.”

      I’m sorry you didn’t get what you were looking for out of it. That’s cool. That’s one things I love about Easynews – there’s no contract and they’ll cancel your account with no funny business. They even have chat support! Just pop open a window, tell them you’d like to cancel, and you’re done!

      Nothing’s perfect, but I love Usenet :)

  • bitError

    Since you recommend nzbs.org, is there any way to get an invite?

    • http://nickpierno.com/ Nick Pierno

      Good question. It was brought to my attention recently that they switched to invite only. It looks like there’s no way to get/give invites at this moment.

      I’m hoping to test out some alternatives when I have a chance, and then adjust my recommendation. There are many indexes out there, but obviously I want to make sure I recommend a good one.

      I’ll post my update here asap. Sorry for the inconvenience :)

  • Satisfied. :)

    Thanks. :D

  • Kabes

    So I have everything set up and going but my downloads are extremely slow.
    I know its not my ISP since I get high speeds with torrents. Any idea why?

    • Kabes

      I’ve been stuck at 39 mb of 378 for quite some time

  • nzbid

    Please add also this free indexer http://nzbid.org/ – it works without limits for Nzb and Api.

    • http://nickpierno.com/ Nick Pierno

      This index looks sweet! Thanks :)

  • Pingback: Best Usenet Indexing Sites (AKA Newsgroup Search Engines) | Nick Pierno

  • Mark

    I don’t get the indexing. Can you explain how that works?

  • karl davidson

    i prefer nzbplanet.net