A free newsserver is usually not used for research or archival service but mainly used for ongoing discussions in certain newsgroups across Usenet. For most free newsservers, third party software, such as the newsreaders Xnews, News Pro, News Bin Pro, or News Rover, is not needed.
What you can use to access the free newsservers is your Internet browser like Internet Explorer or Netscape to enter the discussion boards of the newsgroups located on the free servers. There are a few things to know about a free news server. For starters they are a great place to start out in getting to learn and understand what Usenet is all about by learning the chat areas, message boards, and discussion groups. Basically getting your feet wet to prepare you for a professional service like Fast Usenet where you’ll have access to over 120,000 newsgroups instead of just the hundred or so that you get with a free news server.
Free news servers are free because of advertising everywhere and low download bandwidth. But again nothing really against free news servers because even professional Usenet services will set up a free news server to have potential customers test out and get them comfortable with Usenet all together. Just have in mind that most free news servers just have articles and very little or no binary files. It still could be a great place to meet some new friends and get well acquainted with Usenet before you go for the real thing, which is a full-service premium Usenet provider, such as Fast Usenet.