What is a Newsgroup Web Gateway?
Usenet web is recommended to beginning users, to people who do not own a newsreader program, or to travelers who usually use a newsreader but do not have one on hand at the time. It is a very handy way to get into Usenet and do what you usually do with ease and nothing else but a web browser like Internet Explorer, Netscape Communicator, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Safari.
Usenet Web Gateways provide an easy way of browsing Usenet. Usenet Web Gateway solutions can be looked at as translators which understand both the protocols governing Usenet transfers (NNTP) and the protocols of World Wide Web (HTTP).
Most often the Usenet web gateways are provided as an additional service by your Usenet provider. These gateways are often developed by the same people who have developed the news server software and work seamlessly as a port of the news server on the Internet.
There are also free Usenet web gateways. Google is the prime example. A few years ago Google acquired DejaNews, a company which was creating a massive Usenet archive. After expanding the archive, Google made it available to the public and today everyone can browse these text group archives for free.
The major benefit of using a Usenet web gateway is the fact that it replaces the need for specialized software. Even binary groups can be viewed and fully decoded using a Usenet web gateway. For example, downloading and opening a picture from Usenet is as easy as clicking the link with the subject of the posted article. The gateway automatically downloads, decodes, and opens the attached picture, displaying it in the form of a web page. The once convoluted and difficult downloading of binaries from Usenet is now a matter of just browsing web pages the way we do it everyday on the net.
Only Way to Access the Newsgroups?
You may have heard the term “newsreader” before. A newsreader is considered the primary means of accessing Usenet and downloading from the newsgroups. It is a simple program that supports all functions of Usenet – reading posts, browsing, viewing pictures and thumbnails, posting and downloading. The newsgroup web gateway, however, is considered a simpler tool for accessing Usenet.
Of course, with simplicity come certain drawbacks and limitations. While the Newsgroup Web Gateway is a great tool for browsing the 100,000+ groups available from Fast Usenet, it is not the best way to look for and download files. Pictures and thumbnails are supported within the newsgroup web gateway but larger binaries, such as videos, audio, and computer programs, are a little harder to get through it. It is not impossible but it can end up being quite a hassle.
A hassle that can easily be prevented by using a newsreader such as GrabIt. What’s the catch, you may ask? There is no catch, just maybe a longer learning curve as we are all familiar with how the web browsers work but not all of us have used a newsreader before. It is a pretty simple application that has an extensive functionality and could be a very useful tool once you familiarize yourself with it.
Everyone who has a computer with Internet connection and a Fast Usenet account can take advantage of it. It’s nothing more than a website with a username and password log in. Once you log into the Usenet web, you can choose the servers you want to use and find the newsgroups you are interested in. Then, once you are in your desired newsgroup(s), you can browse the posts they contain, view pictures with the help of the thumbnailing features, and download all the images, videos, and software. That’s right, you can do it all on the Usenet web. Fast Usenet is one of the premium Usenet providers that offer Usenet web to their members for free. So you can do it your way, every day.
What Is A Newsgroup Web Archive
A Newsgroup Web Archive is a collection of all stored messages and articles that can be accessed with a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Opera. Without a newsgroup archive, a Usenet Service wouldn’t last very long since its existence relies solely on the archive itself. Another word used commonly in the Usenet vocabulary is retention. Like an archive, retention is the amount of time that articles (information) is stored on a Usenet server.
Newsgroup web archive is built on the idea of sharing, also called peering. Sharing articles is what really makes Usenet function and this process fills up the servers that are owned by many different Usenet service providers. All those services share their information around the world with other Usenet services, including their competitors. Web archives are stored on servers that have many hard drives and over time the archives can go back days, weeks, months, and even years.
Accessing The Web Archive
Like we mentioned before, newsgroup web archive are articles that are accessed with your web browser. This form of accessing the web archive is called using the “web-to-news gateway”. Using specific software that works with the web browser turns your web browser into a basic newsreader which works great for browsing text and image based newsgroups.
Once you have an account at Fast Usenet, you can log into the members area of the home page (www.fastusenet.org) and log into the servers that way, or you can just type the server name into your URL address bar at the top of your browser (webnews.fastusenet.org).
Either way, once you are logged into the server, you can read text, post text, view images, and post binaries. All this is done using a web browser to access newsgroup web archives using the web-to-news gateway which is a very good way to get an introduction to Usenet and see what it’s all about.
What If I Want Both?
In the case of a newsreader and a newsgroup web gateway, you not only can have both, you are encouraged to have both depending on your present goals. Web browsers are free and everyone has them on their computer. Newsreaders are generally not free, but you can get a free customized version of GrabIt (one of the nice newsreader applications) when you get a Usenet account with Fast Usenet.
If you don’t like it, you don’t have to use it – it’s free after all. So, the best way to go about accessing Usenet if you are a novice would be trying both and deciding which one works best for you. If you are in Usenet for the free binary downloads, however, my recommendation to you is to download GrabIt from Fast Usenet today and start learning how to use it.
Fast Usenet Free Trial
Fast Usenet offers a 14 day 15 gigabyte free trial to new members. If you aren’t sure if Usenet is right for you, or if you are with a different Usenet provider and what to experience all the features that Fast Usenet offers we invite you to test our service so you can see why Fast Usenet is the right choice for Usenet service!