USENET users saw a lot of changes in 2012. Among the most significant were the endings of several popular NZB sites and their replacement by new sites, many of which offered some real conveniences compared to the sites that they replaced. Old names may have gone, but new names are there to fill in the void and, in many cases, it’s a lot easier than ever to get into a good NZB indexer.
NZBMatrix announced that it was going away for good on December 9 of 2012. This was a pretty significant blow to the USENET community, as the site had become a standard stop whenever many USENET users were out looking for the latest NZBs.
NZBMatrix may have been replaced by many other sites, but it is sad to see them go. With everything up to an including mobile apps for their site, they did leave a big set of shoes to fill.
Newzbin 2 followed Newsbin, a great site that was found guilty of disseminating copyright materials by the High Court in the UK. Newzbin2 was launched to fill the hole when Newzbin was taken offline, but they never got the same number of subscribers or generated the same level of interest that the original site got. There were also some personnel issues behind the scenes that led to their demise, according to the Internet rumor mill.
Newsbin 2 also lost payment providers due to pressure from the MPA, which made it even more difficult for the site to get traction. They accepted bitcoin but, because that payment system is notoriously hard for casual users to figure out, the new site never really took off. The site runners planned on staying online as more of a blog, but it remains to be seen whether or not that will be successful.
The Internet has some great self-healing properties to it and that was exhibited by the new NZB sites that sprang up in the wake of the disappearance of some of the biggest names out there. Over the year, plenty of new sites came online, including NZBGeek, pwnZB.com, NZBZombie and NewNZB. Many of the new sites are still offering open registration, so those individuals who were shut out of the older sites may find a way to get a great level of service on these new sites.
USENET and the Internet change all the time but, whatever happens, they both just seem to keep on going, no matter how traumatic a year may be!
Newshosting improved their newsreader, making it more accessible to users overall. The newsreader added support for Mac OSx, bringing the company to a higher level of competition. The new version also added support for Windows 8, ensuring that there wasn’t any problem for their users who wanted to transition to the latest offering from Microsoft.
Easy handling of USENET data and keeping the downloading process secure and anonymous are important concerns for many USENET users, particularly those who are new to the system. Newshosting addressed those issues, as well, adding third-party libraries that addressed UnRar and SSL issues. Overall this might just seem like one offering from one company, but it does represent a trend in the USENET becoming more useful to a broader client base.
Giganews was already easy to use. Their newsreader MIMO functions much like a tabbed browser, includes a comprehensive search feature and other conveniences. DumpTruck was originally designed to be just as easy to use but adding a mobile app that allowed access to the cloud file storage service was certainly a natural extension of the convenience it offers.
Retention times are big selling points with USENET providers. This year, several of our favorite providers actually managed to cross the 4-year retention mark, meaning that you can still download files that were uploaded to the system that long ago. The providers who reached this mark included UsenetServer, Giganews, Newshosting and Supernews. Combined with the fact that these providers all make accessing and searching the USENET system easy, and secure, the USENET got better than ever this year.
USENET continues to evolve. While some of the old-guard sites may be going away, the system keeps getting easier to use, search and enjoy and is likely to continue in that trend in 2013.