Best Free Usenet Clients
Last Updated: Jun 18, 2019
On this page we have listed the top 5 free USENET newsgroup newsreaders followed a list of all the free USENET newsgroup newsreaders that are to be found currently. We also make a list of the best USENET newsreaders (some are free and some are a one time fee).
In addition to USENET newsreader software you will need a USENET provider ( See our Top 5 Recommended USENET Providers for 2020 and some place to find content most easily done via an NZB site (recommended) or USENET Search Engine.
Top 5 Free USENET Newsreaders 2020
Details on the Top 5 Free USENET Newsreaders 2020
First Place - Newshosting
Newshosting's newsreader comes free with Newshosting's Usenet service and has usenet search built in. It's less than $10/month for the bundled Usenet service and search.
Newshosting's newsreader is available on Windows, Linux and MacOSx and covers all the basics like unrar, unzip and unpar. Just search, click and download. Alternatively just double click on an NZB file to get it working
Second Place - SABnzbd
Sabnzbd is a web based USENET newsreader and will run on Windows, Mac and Unix(or any platform that supports the Python programming language). By itself Sabnzbd is nothing spectacular
However when combined with various other open source projects such as Sonarr and other NZB sites then Sabnzbd really comes to life and shines. Sabnzbd is a bit complex but if you stick with it you will be rewarded.
Third Place - NZBGet
NZBGet is a cross-platform binary newsgrabber for nzb files, written in C++. It supports client/server mode, automatic par-check/-repair and web-interface.
NZBGet requires low system resources and runs great on routers, NAS-devices and media players. Quality USENET Newsreader but limited to NZB downloads only
Fourth Place - PAN
Free Linux Newsreader - Pan supports yEnc, offline newsreading, article filtering, multiple connections for USENET newsreaders users and alt.binaries fans.
This newsreader is most likely to appeal to those who have been on USENET for a long time, who appreciate the look of a classic newsreader interface and who need very little hand holding
Fifth Place - Kwooty
Five things to consider when choosing a free USENET newsreader
- Search Ability – some USENET newsreaders such as Newshosting Newsreader come in with a free built in search mechanism whereas other USENET newsreaders only download NZB files and are not able to search USENET in any way. Whatever choice you make you will need to have a plan for how you are going to find the content you want. If you don’t search within your USENET newsreader then you would need to search USENET via NZB sites or a USENET search engine.
- OS Compatibility – Many of the USENET newsreader currently are platform independent such as Thunderbird, NZBGet and SABNzbd, be sure to check our list to quickly verify whether the newsreader you are interested in works with your intended platform.
- Easy of Use – some USENET newsreaders are easier to setup than others. One of our top recommendations, Newshosting really doesn’t get any easier – just download and run the installer and you can search by group or by search term. Easynews is also another very easy choice. While Newshosting Newsreader and the Easynews Webapp are free only if you signup for their USENET service, remember you will need to pay for USENET access in almost all cases. Only a few limited exceptions for completely free USENET access exist.
- Headers vs NZB Compatibility – In some cases you will want to download the latest USENET headers or message subject headings from a USENET newsgroup to see what is being posted. Not all browsers support the downloading and browsing of USENET headers. Some USENET newsreaders such as NZBGet and SABNzbd would be better called NZB downloaders as with these USENET newsreader you are not able to easily scan the latest message headers in a USENET newsgroup. In some cases you might not need this nor be interested in the ability to download USENET headers as you might be using only NZB sites for finding your desired content.
- Performance – Some newsreaders are faster than others. This can be a very important point if you are trying to install a USENET newsreader on a low powered small CPU device such as a Raspberry PI. Our best example of a fast and efficient USENET newsreader would be NZBGet. Other fast and efficient options exit such as PAN and SABnzbd but NZBGET is the clear winner for this category. See list below.
Below we have listed the most popular free usenet newsgroup readers. There are a few others out there but the free newsgroup reader list below is the best of the best.
All Free USENET newsreaders
Some other free usenet news readers are not listed because they are very outdated and not even worth your time especially if you are looking to download binary files.
Additional Free USENET newsreaders tips
If you want something free and you are going to participate in only discussions and not binary downloading then Mozilla Thunderbird is the perfect free USENET news reader. Thunderbird is available for every platform – Windows, Mac and Linux and despite a slightly more complicated installation and a few hidden configuration option, is a very good piece of software. Check out our review of Mozilla Thunderbird here.
Another USENET newsreaders to consider would be the Newshosting Newsreader. Newshosting’s newsreader is able to use NZB files to quickly download USENET binary files, search USENET and participate in USENET discussion. Yes you need to sign up for Newshosting USENET service but if you want to use USENET you will need to buy access for at least one provider.
Finally, If you are only interested in downloading binary files from Usenet via NZB files or if you want to automate you USENET usage with PVR applications like Sonarr or CouchPotato then typically your best options would be one of two programs. and you want something free then essentially you have just a few choices
- SABnzbd – this is a web-based USENET NZB downloader meaning that SABnzbd installs it own web-server and the user interface is web-based. SABnzbd continues to make improvements and has a large base of fans that are happy with their software.
- NZBGet – similar to SABnzbd, NZBGet is a multiplatform USENET NZB downloader which runs it own web-server. NZBGet is different in that NZBGet is optimized for low powered CPUs. NZBGet is written in C++ and designed to achieve maximum download speeds while very little system resources. We hope you find these tips helpful. Be sure to give these free USENET newsreaders a try. Also be sure check out our list of best paid Usenet newsreader software in addition to our list of recommended USENET Providers for 2020 .