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Thread: Can anyone explain Usenet/Newsgroups to an idiot like me?

  1. #1
    Rart's Avatar Hold The Line
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    Hi,

    I have recently seen a lot of discussion about usenets, and how they have good speeds, you don't have to saturate your internet connection trying to seed back, ect. ect. Unfortunately I'm a complete idiot when it comes to usenet and wikipedia is not quite as helpful as I would like. Any help would be appreciated.

    How is usenet different from FTP? FTP's are highly illegal and get shut down, yet usenet seems to stay alive. I don't see any indication of any sort of peer to peer structure, so exactly to file transfers work, without allowing feds to crush it like FTP's where the host is responsible for illegal files?

    I guess this kinda ties in to how downloading files actually works, but how are the speeds? I don't quite understand how this protocol works but would it be able to easily match the speeds of higher torrents sites such as SCT or SCC or other 0day sites?

    I've been seeing a lot about "retention", and I'm guessing thats how long files stay alive. So does that mean that all files only last around a year? How is usenet used/how good is it for older content then? Would it be easily manageable to find tv shows/games that were released years ago?

    What sort of programs do I need to be able to run it? I see things such as news downloaders, par fixers, ect. ect and was wondering how many programs/what programs you would need to use usenet efficiently. Is there a good guide on what kinds of programs to use?

    And lastly I guess, do you think its worth it for the price? When BT is free? What advantages does it have over BT? What kind of features should I look for when looking for a usenet providers and whats important to keep in mind?

    Thanks alot

  2. Newsgroups   -   #2
    You pay for a subscription to a usenet provider, Astraweb, Giganews, many others. They host the files, the easiest way to access them is downloading an nzb someone else has prepared, here or any nzb indexer site, NzbsRus or whatever. You load that file into a newreader client, AltBinz or Sabnzbd+ maybe, which is configured to connect to your usenet provider's server.

    It will download at full speed, whatever your connection offers, I guarantee that.

    Files are sometimes deleted at the request of copyrights holders, but I've never had a problem, so whatever. Nobody knows you're downloading through SSL and it's all private.

    It's worth it. It probably is less than the electricity in seeding 24/7.

  3. Newsgroups   -   #3
    I used to be a newsgroup user, but that was back when ISPs provided them along with your internet service. Now, they are still being offered, but they do not include binaries newsgroups (software, porn, videos, music, etc) They were removed and they are now mostly text.

    for the most part a newsgroup server will be news.yourisp.com or newsgroup.yourisp.com, you will need to enter your isp username and password.
    There are many paid newsgroups servers. The One I heard the most was giganews.com. best pricing, retention, speed, etc.

    I have a mac, so the program I used in older systems was thoth. and then, with macosX I used Unison.

    Speeds were as high as your ISP speed allows. If you for some reason reached your download quota, you could simply sign in with a diff. username. quotas were assigned to users in the account and not to IP addresses.

    I am not sure if binaries are still being uploaded now that most users need to pay for access. I would not like to register only to find out you can't do anything.

  4. Newsgroups   -   #4
    MultiForce's Avatar Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rart View Post
    Hi,

    I have recently seen a lot of discussion about usenets, and how they have good speeds, you don't have to saturate your internet connection trying to seed back, ect. ect. Unfortunately I'm a complete idiot when it comes to usenet and wikipedia is not quite as helpful as I would like. Any help would be appreciated.

    How is usenet different from FTP? FTP's are highly illegal and get shut down, yet usenet seems to stay alive. I don't see any indication of any sort of peer to peer structure, so exactly to file transfers work, without allowing feds to crush it like FTP's where the host is responsible for illegal files?

    I guess this kinda ties in to how downloading files actually works, but how are the speeds? I don't quite understand how this protocol works but would it be able to easily match the speeds of higher torrents sites such as SCT or SCC or other 0day sites?

    I've been seeing a lot about "retention", and I'm guessing thats how long files stay alive. So does that mean that all files only last around a year? How is usenet used/how good is it for older content then? Would it be easily manageable to find tv shows/games that were released years ago?

    What sort of programs do I need to be able to run it? I see things such as news downloaders, par fixers, ect. ect and was wondering how many programs/what programs you would need to use usenet efficiently. Is there a good guide on what kinds of programs to use?

    And lastly I guess, do you think its worth it for the price? When BT is free? What advantages does it have over BT? What kind of features should I look for when looking for a usenet providers and whats important to keep in mind?

    Thanks alot
    Older games, movies, series and stuff will be reposted a long time before the retention kicks it's butt as long as someone wants it. Most popular stuff will be posted many times over within a year.
    It's also possible to request stuff, but just search the forum for that
    Take a look at the different groups and see for yourself what they offer:
    http://binsearch.info/groups.php


    I'm using the Alt.Binz client and Newsbin Pro. I paid for both. Alt.Binz cannot download headers (think of it as the "topics") from the news servers but takes NZB files. It will check the files when they are downloaded and unpack them.
    You can download headers from different groups to see what ppl have uploaded, or just read the messages ppl post. A lot of the stuff is picked up by search/index sites like binsearch.info etc. and my guess is that most stuff will be posted somewhere like here on FST or any other site that have nzb files but you really should download headers sometime to see if it is something you want to check now and then or if you are satisfied with NZBs.
    If you take Alt.Binz or Newsbin Pro (and I'm sure other programs got it too) you don't need to get QuickPAR to check files etc. as the programs take care of it by themselves.

    I'm using Giganews and it's not cheap at all so you might want to check out Astraweb as many here use them and are satisfied.
    I wouldn't guarantee the bandwidth like Doppelganger does because you really don't know for sure what speed you can get from each provider.
    I max my connection from Astraweb and Giganews, but from Newsdemon and a few others I just get around 60-70%.
    Most providers will give you a trial account anyway and be sure to use it before you pay for a month or more.

    Forget the legal stuff for now if you don't upload anyway. Leech your ass off while usenet lasts as I'm sure RIAA, FBI, CIA, Obama and whatever is going to sue them some time in the future.

  5. Newsgroups   -   #5
    Rart's Avatar Hold The Line
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    I've been reading a couple guides now and I'm a (little) more familiar with usenet.

    What are headers Sorry a lot of stuff to take in at the moment.

    How do NZB's relate to usenet? Is it some new format to download from usenet/is it easier to use?

    What indexing sites do you recommend and do you think its worth it to pay for one? Is it worth it to pay for a usenet downloader such as alt.binz or do most people use cracked copies?

    How is security? Mostly I don't check for any suspicious files on torrent sites cause they're uploaded from official uploaders and I can trust (mostly) that they're safe. How can I check to make sure that what I'm DLing from usenet is virus free?

  6. Newsgroups   -   #6
    Here's a pretty good starter guide that will explain most of the basics about usenet to you: http://www.slyck.com/Newsgroups_Guide

  7. Newsgroups   -   #7
    Rart's Avatar Hold The Line
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    Yea I have seen that guide and it was very helpful in explaining to a complete noob in usenet what it was.

    My only concern right now is the safety of the files. As I mentioned earlier, I can be pretty confident that the latest release from TL or other 0day trackers are safe because only accepted uploaders can upload torrents. I was wondering how the safety is on usenet, if say I try to download something like an app, or anything else really, and to make sure I'm not going to get viruses. Is there a reliable way to tell which releases are reliable?

  8. Newsgroups   -   #8
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    A few basics most of the explanations miss, plus a couple 'opinions':

    Usenet is essentially an 'electronic bucket brigade'. Messages posted on one server get 'echoed' to others, and so forth. The linchpin in all of it is A) how good of an interconnection that server has to the others, and B) how good their retention is. Any message you d/l from usenet, for whichever server, has a 'header' that is fairly 'human' readable, listing where it originated from, the nodes it went through to get to the server you're pulling it off from, and finally (of course) that last server you did pull it off from.

    Explanation: ALL material on usenet are MESSAGES. The fact that 99.99+% of the traffic is now files, doesn't change this fact. Your newsreader will tell you how many 'lines' the message has, and the total size of that message. Most/all files have multiple messages (made up of multiple lines). NZB's were 'invented' by Newzbin several years ago to make things easier. If you have qualms about blithly starting up an nzb download, you should use the nzb the 'original poster' uploaded or generate your own (if your newsreader supports it).

    Several newsreaders have the capability to hunt out and generate nzb's on their own, or have for pay dedicated servers that can do it for you. There are tons of sites that do this for free as well, as you've probably figured out, plus quite a few that do it as a business ('for pay') like Newzbin itself.

    Now, think back what it was like several years ago without nzb's, and even before that when newsreaders couldn't 'tag and download' all the little parts of things. Major headache. But doable fairly easily if the s/w was up to the task.

    For those coming from the P2P world, the speed, flexibility, and extremely high completion percentage will be striking. This is what commercialism will do for you. The legal underpinnings of Usenet were well established in the 1980's, and there has been no challenge to any commercial operation that hasn't been laughed out of court.

    Some indexing operations (Newzbin is an example), outside the US, that have been scared into jumping through some hoops, along with a least one commercial server operation. But any country (the US) that allows extreme commercial speech (up to and including the buying of votes by commercial firms of legislators) in deference to the 'free speech' tenets Constitution (as the Supreme Court ruled long ago that money=speech), isn't about to lower the boom (in actual court) of anyone's speech over usenet. All the saber rattling you've probably heard about is exactly that: saber rattling. But it's like trying to stomp out fire ants: 'Good Luck'.

    That this has all been going on for well over 20 years now, is testament to that. I've been there for all of it.

  9. Newsgroups   -   #9
    OK, I I registered into one of these commercial news servers for a trial. (It's been like 5 years since I last used newsgroups)
    I 've checked out a lot of binaries newsgroups and there are a lot of fake files. Mamy of these have appeared in torrents sites and are immediately deleted by moderators. Like the G.I Joe DVR-RIP. 'Cmon, are there any GI Joe DVDs out there?

    Unlike torrent sites, these fake files stay on and are continuously downloaded fooling many users.

  10. Newsgroups   -   #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by playerone View Post
    Unlike torrent sites, these fake files stay on and are continuously downloaded fooling many users.
    Only by idiots. I d/l somewhere over 2TB/month. I don't believe I've ever hit a 'bad' file for well over 10 years. When I tried P2P (the last time some 7 years ago) over half the material simply wasn't what it purported to be. I gave up; too slow anyway.

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