What content can I find on the Usenet?
While newsgroups within the “Big Eight” hierarchies consist of text-messages only, binary newsgroups consist of both, text-documents and file attachments, so-called Binaries. Any type of file can be posted and downloaded from within these newsgroups. Usually these files are fragmented and hence only available in compressed format (e. g. Rar-Files).
How can I download from the Usenet?
In many cases conventional usenet search engines do not allow users to search for binaries or make downloading almost impossible. Hence, many commercial usenet providers emerged within recent years, offering Usenet Software that simplifies the process of downloading Binary-Files. Given the growing amount of providers it has been become increasingly difficult to pick the proper provider.
What should you consider when picking your Usenet provider?
One of the important points is whether the provider offers a Download Client of his/its own. It can be quite tiresome to look for free download clients and figure out how they work. Hence, some providers offer a user-friendly download client which may prove beneficial for users who are not that tech-savvy.
Another important issue is the binary retention time offered by providers. Since each newsgroup is allocated a limited amount of storage every time new posts are made old ones get deleted in order to provide enough room for fresh content. The offered retention time varies heavily among usenet providers (between 200 days and 700 days).
The Download plans and prices also vary a lot. Users should look for a provider that suits best their download habits. Offers range from 1GB over 50GB to Unlimited GB per month with prices varying accordingly. Also watch out to what extent download speed is being limited by providers. In some cases you would be better off with a limited download volume with high download speed instead of a unlimited package with very slow connections.
What to do, when you experience any problems with your client? Browsing through the FAQs is an option, but what if you can´t find any solutution to your problem. Therefore, you should also take into consideration which support options are being offered by the provider.
Where can I find out more information about the Usenet and Usenet providers?
You can find further information on many websites, as for example usenet-deluxe.com which was launched recently. The site tries to provide people with information about the Usenet in general and also takes a closer look on commercial Usenet providers. Currently, there is a comparison of three commercial Usenet providers. The comparison of Usenet providers will be expanded on a continuing basis.