Usenet: When you are looking to download files, such as video tapes or TV shows, torrents are often the first choice that comes to your mind. They have been running for years and have proven their value before streaming. But there is an option that appeared long before the torrents, and still works the same way.
Today we will present an alternative but ancient way to download content: Usenet.
What is Usenet, where does it come from and where is it today? We will try to answer the above but also on a very basic question: Is it legal?
What is Usenet?
Usenet is one of the oldest messaging and archiving systems on the Internet. In fact, it is well ahead of the World Wide Web (about 10 years). Originally intended for universities and research facilities, it was eventually used publicly. At that time, most ISPs and many other organizations offered free access to Usenet. Unfortunately, it was soon unblocked and some have turned it into a place where all kinds of illegal content are. In response, most ISPs discontinued the service and left.
Of course there are many providers who still have Usenet pay-per-use connections (Usenet subscriptions). So the service has not stopped working by offering any file you can imagine.
How does it work;
We will try to describe it simply. Imagine that a messaging system is huge. These messages can be both text and / or binary data (binary plural binaries). These messages are stored on Usene servers (also called news servers), which are interconnected and keep their messages synchronized. Users use a special type of software called newsreader or Usenet browser. The software can connect to Usene's servers to browse existing messages, read them, download files they contain,
Messages are of limited size, stored as individual messages. (know how to store files in Scene, rar, or zip files are a file when logged in). Most newsreaders can handle reassembling downloaded files.
Usenet is somewhat similar to the discussion forum we know. In fact, Usenet is the forerunner of the forums. So everything is based on messages that can contain text or files. The files are stored on Usenet servers, all over the world. These servers constantly recycle their content with each other, ensuring that a message or file that goes up to a server in Greece will reach the edge of the world.
Is Usenet Better Than Torrents?
It is a debate that lasts for years. Supporters of each choice will argue that their own way is better and that the other is not worth anything. In fact, both options have advantages and disadvantages.
Torrents are free and Usenet costs.
Usenet is encrypted and generally safer than torrents.
Torrents are easier to use than Usenet, especially when you first start.
We could say that Usenet is faster than torrents but not always. The speed depends on the servers load. So if a torrent has too many seeders and even web seeds, the speed will be very fast. But again we can't say for sure because it depends on the number of leechers ...
Difference with Torrent
While torrents work like a P2P system, every user can share and download files - or file bits to be exact. Usenet uses a server-client architecture as mentioned above. All files are uploaded to servers so that one can download them.
How do I distinguish files from the chaos that prevails?
Usene publications are organized into discussion groups. There are literally hundreds, and possibly thousands of discussion groups and users can add more as they need. They are organized into classes. Top-level categorization is broken down as follows:
comp. * - computer related discussions (comp.software, comp.sys.amiga)
humanities. * - fine arts, literature and philosophy (humanities, classical sciences, humanities)
misc. * (misc.education, misc.forsale, misc.kids)
news. * - news discussions and announcements (ie Usenet, not current events) (news.groups, news.admin)
rec. * - entertainment (rec.music, rec.arts.movies)
sci. * - Sciences
soc. * - social discussions (soc.college.org, soc.culture.african)
talk. * - talk about various topics (talk.religion, talk.politics, talk.origins)
alt. * - anything that doesn't fit in the above categories (alt.binaries. * Here you will find most uploads for downloads)
Although the above categorization seems to make finding easy, I'm sorry to disappoint you. Usenet is a huge rubbish pit, and you can find something that's really worth it among the rubbish.
In fact, if you do not know exactly where to look for something, you probably will not find anything. To solve this problem, there are servers that index binary content from news servers and provide search engines. These servers are called NZB or simple search engines. Large files from Usenet very often due to the limitation in the size of the messages are divided into smaller segments. NZB servers are also looking for all parts and ensuring that you download everything you care about.
What is happening today:
Usenet, as we mentioned at the beginning, is no longer used for the purpose that began to exist. It is still the same protocol, same architecture and same function among servers, but they use it to store and download files of all kinds. Just like with torrents, you can find video files, apps and games.
What do I need to get started with the network?
A newsreader or Usenet browser, a pay connection from a Usenet provider and a little help from Google. Usenet providers will give you as much information as you need to set up a connection to your computer.
In addition you will need as many as NZB search engines (again Google)
Is Usenet Legal?
Difficult question for an answer, as laws change from country to country. We can safely say that in most countries, use of Usenet is completely legal. What you do with the service may not be legal.
Just like with Torrent, downloading files that infringe copyright is illegal. Downloading an open source Linux distribution is perfectly legal.
IGuRu.gr does not approve or recommend the use of any means for accessing copyrighted content. We are not responsible for what you decide to do with the contents of this article.