How to Choose A Usenet Newsreader

usenet newsreader

A Usenet newreader is what makes it possible to read and download from Usenet and just like you need a web brower to surf the Internet, you are going to need a newsreader to read Usenet newsgroups.

First, if you are just reading messages on Usenet and participating in discussion groups then I would recommend Thunderbird from Mozilla.   Thunderbird works well, is FREE and available for Windows, Mac and Linux so for regular reading and conversation on Usenet its perfect. It can be a bit tricky to use the first time but we have some advice and configuration tips in our  review of Thunderbird.

If you will be downloading binary files from Usenet then you will definitely need a Usenet newsreader. Our top recommendation is Newsbin newsreader for $25 (lifetime upgrades!) however there are several other options both cheaper and more expensive.

Also it is worth a mention that in some cases your Usenet service provider may include a FREE newsreader when you signup. ( Giganews Usenet offers a free version of Newsbin when you signup. )

Its going to be hard to go wrong with our top three newsreader recommendations however when choosing here are a few points that you should keep in mind.


Be sure to check out our Usenet Newsreader comparison chart to see our latest recommendations.

Essential Features

  • NZB File Support – does your newsreader support import NZB files.  This is a relatively new feature however very neccessary.  You should cross off the list any newsreader that does not support NZB files.
  • yEnc Support – all newsreader should support yEnc. We are not going to get into what yEnc is but if your Newsreader does not support yEnc its way too old and take it off your list
  • SSL support – Its good to have privacy when you are on Usenet both to stay anonymous and to keep your ISP from lowering your download rates. Make sure your newsreader supports SSL.

Possible features

  • Thumbnail preview of Images – some newsreaders do and some newsreaders don’t either way
  • Automatic Extraction of binaries of Features – can your newsreader unpackage par and rar files.  This is a really nice feature otherwise you will have to manually fix corrupt file using a third party program such as quickpar.
  • Usenet Search – Are you able to search Usenet easily with you Newsreader ?

Now let’s move on and talk about how to search on Usenet


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