Best Free Usenet Clients

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 2019 ) and some place to find content most easily done via an NZB site (recommended) or USENET Search Engine.

Top 5 Free USENET newsreaders of 2019

# Name OSDetails
1NZBGet Review nzb site
  • Fast and Many Platforms
  • Small Memory Footprint
  • Constant Development
  • Par Check and Repair
2SABnzbd Review nzb site
  • Multi Platform
  • Lots of extensions
  • NZB Downloader only
  • Excellent User Community
3Newshosting Newsreader Review nzb site
  • Multi Platform Newsreader
  • Bundled USENET service
  • Quickly Scan Header Files
  • Good USENET Search
4PAN Newsreader Review nzb site
  • Linux and Windows only
  • Good for reading news
  • Good for NZB downloads
  • Highly Configurable
5Thunderbird Review nzb site
  • Free Basic Newsreader
  • No NZB file import
  • Not for binary files
  • SSL supported

Detail on Top 5 Free USENET Newsreaders

1st place - NZBGet



  • Fast and Multiple Platform
  • Small Memory Footprint


  • No USENET headers

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

Read Review

2nd place - SABnzbd



  • Multi Platform
  • Lots of extensions


  • No USENET Headers

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.

Read Review

3rd place - Newshosting Newsreader

Newshosting Newsreader


  • Quality Software
  • Search USENET newsgroups


  • Monthly Fee

Newshosting's newsreader comes free with Newshosting's Usenet service and while it's not as advanced as. It does the job well 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.

Read Review

4th place - PAN Newsreader

PAN Newsreader


  • Stable and Highly Configurable
  • Windows and Linux Versions


  • No MacOSX version

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

Read Review

5th place - Thunderbird



  • Free
  • Available for all platforms


  • no NZB support

Thunderbird is free, available in all platforms. Thunderbird is perfect as a free solution for regular newsgroup reading but NOT ideal for USENET binary downloads as Thunderbird does not support USENET NZB downloads

If you are focused on downloading binaries from USENET then most likely you will need something else as Thunderbird has no NZB support . If you are looking to quickly scan a USENET newsgroup or to read and participate quickly in a USENET discussion then Thunderbird could be ideal

Read Review

Five things to  consider when choosing a free USENET newsreader

  1. Search Ability – some USENET newsreaders such as Newshosting 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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 of 2019

NameOSMore Detail
SABnzbd Review
  • Multi Platform
  • Lots of extensions
  • NZB Downloader only
Newsflash Plus Review
  • Fast browsing, Full Control
  • Embedded Python engine
  • Easy API for beginners
NZBGet Review
  • Fast and Many Platforms
  • Small Memory Footprint
  • Constant Development
Unison Review
  • Mac OSX only
  • Free since Nov 2014
  • No updates since Nov 2014
Kwooty Newsreader Review
  • Linux only NZB Downloader
  • Multi-server support
  • Built-in YEnc and UUEncode
PureNZB Newsreader Review
  • Connected to USENET Service
  • Very simple NZB downloader
  • Unrar, UnPar and UnZip
Alt.Binz Review
  • Windows Only NZB downloader
  • Multi Server Support
  • Auto PAR and RAR
HelloNZB Review
  • Java-based NZB downloader
  • Supports multiple servers
  • Extracts, repairs & unzips
PAN Newsreader Review
  • Linux and Windows only
  • Good for reading news
  • Good for NZB downloads

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 2019 .

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