Usenet is a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system. It was founded in 1980 to enable users to read and post public messages to various newsgroups. As such, it predates forums, blogs, instant messaging and P2P networks.
The importance of Usenet as an environment for discussion has diminished over recent years given the increasing popularity of internet forums and blogs. However, the newsgroup community remains very active and vocal. It continues to be a great resource of information, and to obtain support from like-minded individuals. Moreover, Usenet is a popular means of downloading files including Linux distributions.
Unlike web forums, Usenet does not have a central server or a dedicated administrator. Instead, Usenet is distributed among a conglomeration of servers that store and pass messages to each other. There are several different types of newsreaders. Some newsreaders are intended primarily for discussions, others are better suited for downloading files. Newsreaders that help users to adhere to the netiquette are evaluated by the Good Netkeeping Seal of Approval (GNKSA). There are also tools which are dedicated for downloading files only.
The ratings chart below summarizes our verdict. Only free and open source software is eligible for inclusion.
Click the links in the table below to learn more about each tool.
|Web-based binary newsgrabber with NZB support
|Movie collection manager for Usenet and BitTorrent
|Meta search for newznab indexers and torznab trackers
|Implements the Torznab and TorrentPotato APIs
|Based on GTK2 and looks like Forte Agent
|Command-line binary usenet poster
|Mail/news client with RSS and integrated spam filter support
|Simple and automated downloader
Besides Thunderbird, there are other email clients, such as Claws Mail and Sylpheed, that offer basic Usenet functionality.
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