Getting Started with a Newsreader
A newsreader is the program that provides you with access to the vast wealth of resources available on the Usenet. These programs are usually compact, easy to use but do have varying capacities. Some of them are oriented toward getting binaries, which is the overarching term for any digital file found on the newsgroups. Others are solely oriented toward reading text posts and will provide clunky service if you try to download binaries. The free newsreaders available are numerous and versatile and should include options for just about everyone’s preferences.
Thunderbird, one of the open source offerings from the Mozilla organization, is an example of a newsreader that is oriented toward providing access to the text posts on the forums. It has a very simple interface and, in reality, it looks almost exactly like an email program. This is no coincidence. At the simplest level, the services are somewhat similar. In fact, Thunderbird allows you to read newsgroups in the same screen that you read your email. For those who intend to do a lot of reading and writing on the Usenet, but not a lot of file sharing, this is a fine, and free, choice.
There are also newsreaders that are oriented toward those who prefer to download files rather than concentrating on text. One of them, Grabit, is geared toward the new users on the service. It features a very simplified design. While this may not be adequate for the most advanced users, the functions available include the most important and widely-used. Making use of such a reader can not only provide access to the Usenet, but can provide a good way to get an overview of the services it entails and how you go about making use of them. This is great for people who love the Usenet but who maybe aren’t so enamored of technology in general.
Sabnzbd is another reader that is oriented toward downloading binaries. It operates off the Internet, which makes it a bit different than the two aforementioned readers. This is particularly useful for those who operate Macintosh computers and who run computers with the Linux operating system installed. Because the technology is web-based, it can run on any computer. It provides fairly advanced services, such as integration with sites that can provide search features for various types of files. For those who have alternative operating systems, this is the natural choice.