Usenet is Older Than the Web But What is It?

Usenet is Older Than the Web But What is It?

Ask almost anyone to describe the internet and they’ll almost certainly paint a picture of the World Wide Web. What most people dont know that, right there alongside the familiar mix of web pages sits another service thats even older and just as large – UseNet. Every day millions of users all over the world connect to UseNet via usenet servers such as Easynews or GigaNews. These services provide a web or newsreader interface to Usenet that is an alternative to peer to peer (P2P) services such as Limewire or Kazaa. The main benefits of such wed based services are many-fold :-

1. Generally faster – because you are not relying on a distributed set of peers, you know that all of the parts of the files are right there on the usenet server just waiting for you to download them. The only barrier to spped is generally the speed of your ISP connection.
2. Multiple downloads are supported. Using software such as Flashget or FileZilla these services allow you to download multiple files simultaneously to achieve better speeds than torrent or P2P services
3. More secure. Because they use standard HTTP protocols (some services offer https if you are really paranoid) you can employ the same security standards as you do for general surfing suck as anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software
4. Automatic thumbnail previews and autounrar. The one drawback I have found in my many years of using binary new services is that, in order to speed up uploads, many posters have had to spit large files (such as movies) up into smaller parts that then have to be joined when downloaded. The commercial services, such as Easynews, however do this job for you automatically nowadays and even provide handy thumbnail previews of the file so you can judge quality etc.

Usenet is very well established, for example Easynews has been providing premium, high quality access to Usenet for 11 years, and I myself have been a subscriber for over 7 years continuously – so good is the quality of service. It is the only Usenet service I know of that provides a web interface which means you do not need anything special to access it – just a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox will do just fine.

People use Usenet for a variety of reasons. You can take part in one of millions of text based discussions on every topic under the sun (and a few you have never , ever thought of – I promise). Alternatively, you can use a subscription based service such as Easynews to download files such as movies, music, mp3s, pictures, and software.

The amount of data stored on usenet is also mind-boggling. For example the Easynews web site contains every file posted to every Usenet newsgroup in the last 25 days. That’s over 8 million files with hundreds of thousands of new files every day.

The only downside with these services is that, of course, being commercail there is a subscription fee to pay. Typical rates are about for 20 Gigabytes or 30 days, whichever comes first. This is only to be expected, however for the level of service being provided.

So, if you like the sound of Usenet, and would like to try it for yourself, why not head on over to and check it out, it could be the start of a new passion!