How To Search Usenet

Last Updated: Aug 05, 2019

One of the biggest problems you will face when taking advantage of USENET is that first you must know how to find what you are looking for. USENET is powerful, fast, and the best USENET access providers offer excellent privacy protection. That being said, USENET functions quite a bit differently than, and uses different terminology than, the Internet, and those things, unfortunately, sometimes discourage newcomers.

Search Usenet

This article will teach you how to search USENET for the files you want. You have several different options for searching USENET, some paid and some free, and we’ll give you an overview of them so that you can get the most out of your USENET subscription.

Understand the USENET Landscape

Most of the binaries worth downloading are going to be found in one of fewer than 100 popular groups. Given that most USENET providers offer access to more than 100,000 different groups, there’s clearly a lot of groups that you never even have to bother searching. This is why we don’t recommend that you use the number of groups a provider offers as a criteria for selecting a USENET service. What is important, however, is the retention time that your USENET provider offers. The longer the better. Some USENET search sites will give you listings for binaries that were uploaded several years ago, but you won’t be able to download a binary that was uploaded a long time ago unless your USENET provider has adequate retention.

Get a Good Newsreader: Our List

When we say “good newsreader,” we have some specific criteria in mind, which include:

  • Integrated search features, such as are available from Newshosting’s newsreader and from Newsbin
  • Good program design, because downloading headers will chew up your memory if you’re using a poorly-designed newsreader
  • Intuitive interface, because you shouldn’t need a college course to figure out how to operate your newsreader!

There are many different newsreaders out there: some free, some paid; some good, some bad. Sorting through all of them can be a frustrating waste of time. Because we want people to learn about and to enjoy using USENET, we made a list of the best USENET newsreaders. Take a look at the list and find something that suits you. Remember: Your USENET provider might offer a newsreader with your subscription to their service and, if so, that’s probably your best bet.

# Name OS Details
1 Newshosting logo
  • Multi Platform Newsreader
  • Bundled USENET service
  • Quickly Scan Header Files
  • Good USENET Search
2 SABnzbd logo
  • Multi Platform
  • Lots of extensions
  • NZB Downloader only
  • Excellent User Community
3 NZBGet logo
  • Fast and Many Platforms
  • Small Memory Footprint
  • Constant Development
  • Par Check and Repair
4 Newsbin logo
  • View USENET Headers
  • Years of Development
  • USENET Search Service
  • Windows Only
5 NewsLeecher logo
  • Decent USENET Search
  • Quick and responsive
  • Windows Only Newsreader
  • 10 Year of development

Don’t have time to sort through a long list? Check out these newsreaders, which compose our top five choices, and which are also among the most popular and easy to use:

Join an NZB Site

NZB sites provide search engines that you can use to find binaries and, in quite a few cases, a slew of other worthwhile features. In addition to that, most of them offer some sort of a community. Many offer forums; some even offer IRC channels to members. We highly recommend you join such a site. We have a list of NZB sites you can explore. Some of them charge a fee for membership, but many are free. If the site requires an invitation–it’ll say if it does on our review–and there’s no login field when you go to the site, that means it might be temporarily closed to new members. Find another site; there are plenty to choose from on our list.

NZB Sites to Consider

If you’re in a rush, go ahead and check out the NZB sites listed below. These are our Top 5 NZB Sites.

# Name Details Rating
1 NZBFinder logo
  • Free: 5 NZBs & 25 API Calls.
  • 10, 20, 35 Euros.
  • Up to Unlimited Hits & Grabs.
  • Spotweb for Elite Access.
4 Stars
Read Review
2 NZBGrabit logo
  • 10 Zip dls / day
  • $15/Year & $35/Life
  • Up to 200 NZBs for VIP
  • Reward System / Community.
4 Stars
Read Review
3 ABnzb logo
  • 20 NZBs & 100 calls
  • $25/Year for VIP
  • 1000 NZBs & 2000 calls.
  • Very active forum.
4 Stars
Read Review
4 NZBGeek logo
  • No Free Account
  • $12/Year for VIP
  • GeekSeek Search Engine
  • Bitcoin and/or Credit Cards
4 Stars
Read Review
5 GingaDaddy logo
  • 3 API Hits/NZB Grabs
  • $17/Year for VIP
  • Unlimited API Hits / NZBs
  • 50 Groups Crawled
4 Stars
Read Review

Use Our Guide to Find a USENET Search Site

USENET search engines are sometimes more convenient to use than NZB sites, given that many don’t require that you join or even log in to use their services. USENET search sites are often uncurated and, thus, they tend to have more spam in their search results than do NZB sites. It’s still worth joining a USENET search engine site, as they can provide a very comprehensive search of binary newsgroups, most often at no charge. When you do use these sites, remember the following tips, which will help you avoid spam:

  • Check which newsgroups the binaries you find are posted in and download from groups that specialize in the type of content–video, audio, etc.–you’re looking for. If a binary is in a spam group–e.g., a warez group–don’t bother downloading it.
  • Files that require a password to open them are always spam
  • There are well-known uploaders on USENET, learn their names so you can spot good binaries right away and save yourself some time
  • If you join an NZB site–and you _should_–ask on the forums for tips about using USENET search sites. People are generally very helpful on such sites.

Best USENET Search Engines

In a rush and just want some links? Our Top 5 USENET Search Engines are listed below. If you’re in a hurry, just click on the links below and see which service you like best; they’re all good.

# Name Details Rating
1 UsenetServer logo
  • Search USENET quickly
  • Scan & See Content Available
  • NZB and Zip files returned
  • Subscription Required
4 Stars
Read Review

2 Binsearch logo
  • NZB file creation
  • SSL website access
  • RSS support
  • 1000 Days of Retention
4 Stars
Read Review

3 BiNZB logo
  • 1,995 newsgroups indexed
  • 11 million NZB files indexed
  • Using RIAK - Distributed Database
  • Cloudflare Server Caching
4 Stars
Read Review

4 UsenetHub logo
  • Indexing for fast search
  • Mobile responsive search
  • Similar to Easynews
  • Filter Adult Content
4 Stars
Read Review

5 NZBFriends logo
  • 1,200 days of retention
  • 8 million NZB files
  • Rapid Search Results
  • 2,000 Groups Available
4 Stars
Read Review


It’s Worth Learning How to Use USENET

Of all the methods of downloading, USENET offers among the fastest speeds, is less complicated to use than are torrents, and USENET offers excellent privacy protection, provided you go with a good USENET service We have plenty of information on that’s designed to make figuring out USENET easy, even for complete novices. The most important thing to keep in mind is that USENET does not function like the Internet technology you’re probably used to, but it’s actually a bit easier to use once you get the hang of it. Probably the second most important thing to remember is that using USENET to download content, including taking the measures you have to take to protect your privacy, is usually cheaper than is using other methods. Most people who learn how to use USENET end up using it as their first choice whenever they want to download something. Compared to downloading over torrents and other options, USENET is simply better.

Best Usenet Services