Extremely comfy textboard.





I subscribed to some service providing Usenet access. It has 7 days free trial, so I'm trying to figure out if it's worth it almost 4 euros per month.

Basically, newsgroups are used to share pirated content today, am I right?

It looks like a good alternative to torrents, it's flooded with various stuff. A bit inconvenient to navigate, tho. Or, maybe, I'm just not used to it.



I barely know anything about Usenet, but I have heard that it's a good alternative to torrenting.
I don't know how active it is these days, so I'm curious to hear about your experience.
Newsgroups expand beyond sharing content, such as conversation with you probably already know of, but I'd imagine that pirating would have taken that over by know.



I don't think it would be worth paying for in 2023 when you can access pirated (or otherwise) content with much faster speeds. However, if you somehow found a Usenet server that lets you download extremely fast then maybe it's worth it? Hard to say...I don't know how many people even upload new stuff to Usenet these days because it's such an ancient way of accessing stuff.



For now Usenet doesn't impress me.

I tried to download several e-books and several porn videos. Some books are in archive that is protected with unknown password. Some videos are broken.

So what we have?

- Downloading speed is fine (slower than BitTorrent, but doesn't depend on peers)
- Many vids have missing parts and are failing to download properly (good side is that binary search services warn about that)
- More stuff can be found on torrent trackers
- Some content is inaccessible due to password protection

Famous Usenet discussion? Most groups I have lurked are empty with couple spam messages.
comp.arch is quite active, but I can't say the conversations aspire. I would rather talk on textboards.

Will try to use it some more, maybe, I'll find gems, who knows.



Usenet. Day 2.

First of all, I threw away Thunderbird and installed a dedicated Usenet client: Pan. Feels much better, the stuff is tailored for newsgroups, also supports extended functionality like rendering pics and downloading binaries.

Lurked some more newsgroups and kinda liked that old internet vibe. TBH, it somewhat reminds textboards.

Many groups have posters and conversations that make sense for textboard audience. However, newsgroups are more often than not flooded with spam. Some of that spam is illegal (drugs, CP, etc.) and no one's bothered.

One more thing to add is that downloading experience is quite solid, if you like to find stuff more randomly than on torrent-trackers and never care about seeders (but rather about retention). I would say Usenet has less stuff catalogued than, for instance, The Pirate Bay does, but sometimes it has what torrent trackers doesn't have and is always ready to stream a download.

I think I'll continue researching newsgroups, maybe, pay for tier 1 provider subscription to download stuff freely.

Few useful links for those who are interested in Usenet:

https://www.eternal-september.org — free of charge provider for text-only usage, if you wanna feel the atmosphere; there's also a directory of newsgroups with occasional descriptions on their website
https://novabbs.org — web client for some active newsgroups; you can also create an NNTP account there

For downloading:
https://nzbscout.com, https://binsearch.info, https://www.nzbindex.nl — binary indexes that I liked
https://sabnzbd.org — a utility I use to queue NZB downloads



From my understanding the backbone is the server that stores all the data (newsgroups, binaries).
What would happen if a binary is stored on a different backbone from the one your provider serves?
Would you have to buy a provider for that backbone or could your provider communicate with the other backbone?




>Would you have to buy a provider for that backbone or could your provider communicate with the other backbone?
Second option. Seems like the servers are somehow synced or simply federated like emails.