What is a USENET/newsgroups?

Question by Kardon: What is a USENET/newsgroups?
someone told me this:
Why not just use newsgroups? No risk that way, MUCH higher speeds, and SSL encryption. Your ISP can’t see what you’re downloading at all, just that you are downloading.

so what is it? Is it basically a way of torrenting? Please explain.
Also is it free? Send me a link please.

Best answer:

Answer by Tobias
If you want information about the usenet ask wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet

Yes you get maximum speed as you are downloading directly from servers, and most of the providers offer SSL encryption by now. So nobody can trace you back. It is not really like torrents, because you are not leeching directly from another person and you are not forced to immediately upload as well.

However, it is not for free. Since it’s similar to the internet you will have to pay for a usenet provider as well. But most of them offer free trial periods, so you can check them out without actually having to pay. The most common would be Usenext (www.usenext.com), but you can also try out Giganews (www.giganews.com) oder Binverse (www.binverse.com)

What do you think? Answer below!