Basically, newsgroups are a means of “public discussion,” using Usenet. (Usenet, in its basic form, is a set of computer servers that host newsgroup articles for people to look at) They are A place where people can post newsgroup articles (messages). These messages look similar to e-mails, but they could possibly be read by millions of people all over the world.
Getting Free Newsgroups
Free Usenet access providers allow you to post newsgroup messages free of charge and exchange them over Usenet. Your ISP provider often provides these newsgroups to you free of charge, but they are often substandard. One problem you may face with free Usenet providers is the limited number of newsgroups you have access to. Because of this, it may be very hard to find the group you are looking for.
You can access the Usenet newsgroups for free through two different roads: using public servers or using open news servers. Free/public servers are provided by various sources: governments, educational institutions, individuals interested in specific groups, or generous companies. Descriptions of public and open servers follow below.
Public news servers are servers that intentionally allow access to their newsgroups by any user, and they will advertise this fact. Some public servers use the web to allow access, negating the need to use a newsreader. Most of those news servers use strong anti-spam techniques, and are watched closely by the system administrators for breeches of article content rules (thus they are moderated). You can find public servers by using a search engine. The use of phrases in quotes, i.e. “public news server” will probably return the best results.
Open News Servers
An open news server is a server that allows anyone access to its newsgroups – either intentionally (publicly) or unintentionally. Unintentionally means that the news server administrator has either not set up the security/NNTP configuration correctly, or is currently setting up the server and is in the process of testing it out (this can take a number of weeks), or has set up the server to allow access to any user for convenience – however access is only supposed to be by people who have been given the servers details (this particularly applies to university type networks).
Another possibility is that the administrator might have set up the server to allow a pre-determined percentage of non-member access to open news servers that are open unintentionally. Those servers do not normally stay open for long, or they change their address – to reduce the amount of unauthorized access/posting.
Both types of servers can and do just disappear at any time. Searching for public servers that are really public and that one can connect to is a rather complicated procedure that takes quite a bit of time. This is due to the fact that according to research only approximately 1% of the world’s news servers are either open or public.
Free Binary Files on Usenet?
So where can one find the largest number of free binaries on the Internet? The place for free binaries is certainly Fast Usenet. What exactly are those free binaries? Well, chances are they can do any Internet user a huge favor. “How so?” you may ask. It is very simple. No matter who you are or what you do, chances are you will be able to find an enormous wealth of useful content and information that can help you with almost anything, from repairing your car to writing a physics research paper. And it’s all being discussed on Usenet.
All you need is a Usenet membership with a good Usenet provider such as Fast Usenet. Now, let’s go back to the subject of free binaries. Files that are located in Usenet are basically referred to as “binaries.” You may wonder why they are called binaries. There is a reasonable explanation. Back in the early days of Usenet, the system was not built to handle anything other than text discussions and messages.
The creators of Usenet did not anticipate the need for an exchange of files. But later, users started posting messages containing binary files (as opposed to text) and this became a common occurrence rather than an exception. This easy way of exchanging information has made Usenet an amazing resource for sharing information with people around the world.
Pros and Cons of Free Usenet Providers
The completion rate, or the percentage of messages that make it to the server (low completion means a server is missing a lot of messages making downloading very difficult), for binary files (such as videos) is very low with most ISPs and free newsgroup providers. The reason for this is that many ISPs neglect their servers as providing access to Usenet is only an add-on to their main business and they are not specifically paid by users for it, or because they simply do not care much about that side of their service.
Same with free newsgroup services – they are maintained whenever their one and only news administrator gets to it. Another important thing to consider is the low retention rate. Because they are free, unpaid newsgroup servers and providers retain binary messages for only 2-3 days or even less. Not to mention that ISPs and free service providers censor their Usenet newsgroup servers, restricting your access to newsgroups they consider “questionable” (but that you might need). The biggest and probably the only advantage there is to using a free service as compared to using a paid provider is the fact that it is free. However, this advantage comes at a price, that is higher than free – the price of inferior quality.
In summary, we highly recommend the use of high-quality, professional Usenet providers that give you the speed, completion, retention, and support you need at an affordable price.