CouchPotato Vs. SickBeard, SickRage and Sonarr

March 14, 2016


CouchPotato, SickBeard, SickRage and Sonarr all get a lot of attention on this site. Some users might not be familiar with them at all. If that sounds like you, read on. This article will explain the differences between these four programs and explain how you use them with your USENET subscription.

For Movies and Television

The biggest division between these four programs is in terms of what type of content they’re designed to download. CouchPotato is the sole movie downloader of the four. SickBeard, SickRage and Sonarr are all used to download television shows.

Each of these programs is used in conjunction with your USENET subscription. There are other ways to download movies and television shows from USENET, but there is no way to use any of these programs to download that content without USENET.

To keep it simple:

The Downloading Isn’t Really the Feature

All four of these programs have features that go beyond downloading content. They all provide easy ways to search for, research, and download television shows and movies. If you want to label your movie and TV files in a certain way, these programs will even do that for you.

They’ll also download the titles automatically, as soon as they find them on USENET. They’ll even alert you when the download is complete.

Software of this type is referred to as PVR.

Why Choose One Over the Other

Clearly, you really only have to eliminate variables on one side of the PVR equation. For movies, the answer is CouchPotato. You can read our comprehensive guide to the program here, but you’re likely to be very pleased with it if the above-listed features interest you.

The only choice you’ll have to make is between SickBeard, SickRage or Sonarr. SickRage is based on SickBeard; Sonarr used to be called NZBDrone.

There are some technical issues that you’ll want to consider, but not too many, it turns out. Sonarr is the most developed—or, at least, it feels that way—but you have to have a Windows machine to get the best out of it. It runs on Mac, but Windows users will likely find their experience a bit smoother. Sonarr also uses the mono framework, and that can be tricky for Unix-based system users.

It’s likely that, to some extent, your selection will be based on how easy it is for you to get any of these programs to do what you want them to do. That means design will factor into your choice quite a lot, as will how much sense the options layout makes to you and so forth.

All of these programs, however, are good. We have detailed reviews of them, along with more usage instructions, you can check out to learn more.

If you have a USENET subscription, one of the perks is that there’s a lot of open-source software out there that you can use along with the service. Feel free to check any of these four out, and remember to always download over the SSL port on your USENET service for the best possible security!

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