What’s the difference between a newsgroup reader, newsreader client, and Usenet browser? You will see all three terms used in reference to software that is used to download from newsgroups. Whether you want to use your web browser or a custom newsreader, you will find some great options for Usenet beginners and veterans alike.
Automation tools like Sickbeard, CouchPotato, Sonarr, Radarr, and SickRage extend the capabilities of your newsreader by automating the Usenet downloads. These tools will help take your Usenet experience to the next level so you’ll want to use some of them as well. The combination of the right Usenet client with a good NZB site and automation tools will give you everything necessary to enjoy Usenet to its fullest. The final step is looking at ways to serve the content you download. Most Usenet fans will simply save content to their hard drive, but tech savvy users with a library of content may also want to build a media server. Those who want to get started with a media server should consider some of the hardware and software options available, ranging from Raspberry Pi to higher end NAS devices running Plex.
Reviews of the Best Usenet Clients
1. Newshosting browser lets you search, preview, download, repair, and unpack content.
Newshosting (newshosting.com) is our favorite Usenet provider. One of the big reasons the service won our Editor’s Choice Award is the inclusion of a all-in-one custom newsreader. You can use the Newshosting client to search for Usenet content, preview, and download. The software will take care of any necessary file repairs with the available PAR files and unpack your downloads. The client is pre-configured so you can get started right away. Give Newshosting a try for free.
2. SABnzbd integrates with CouchPotato, Headphones, Radarr, Sickrage, and Sonarr.
SABnzbd (sabnzbd.org) hardly needs an introduction as the popular open-source Usenet browser has been downloaded millions of times over the years. SABnzbd runs in your web browser. It is available in 16 languages for Windows, Mac, and Unix. It is also a good choice for Synology NAS devices. In addition to integrating with popular Usenet automation tools, SABnzbd has a lot of third party addons including nzb360 for Android and SABmini or nzbUnity for iOS. SABnzbd can take some time to set up but the results are well worth the effort.
3. NZBGet is programmed in C++ which makes it the fastest Usenet browser.
NZBGet (nzbget.net) isn’t quite as well known as SABnzbd, but the similarities make it a great alternative for those who need more speed. NZBGet is built with C++ which makes it faster by using less system resources. If you plan to run your own media server then we highly recommend starting with NZBGet on your Raspberry Pi or NAS device. Combining NZBGet with your favorite NZB indexer will help you automate Usenet downloads. The Usenet browser will automatically download, repair, and unpack content from multiple Usenet servers.
4. TweakNews offers members a full-featured newsreader with servers in The Netherlands.
TweakNews (tweaknews.eu) is one of the best kept secrets in Usenet. While Usenet veterans are well aware of the service, many new users haven’t taken the opportunity to try it yet That will surely change as more Usenet fans learn about the advantages of using TweakNews. For starters, the service offers high completion through their own backend servers in The Netherlands. The TweakNews Usenet browser is available to all members free of charge. Use it to find, download, repair, and extract content from your favorite newsgroups.
5. Easynews full-featured web interface is the best solution for those new to Usenet.
Easynews (easynews.com) presents a unique solution that is perfect for new Usenet users. Rather than install a newsreader, Easynews members can simply log into the website and connect through their web interface. Easily search for content, preview, and download from within your web browser. Easynews is the only solution in our list that doesn’t require you to install any software. There are also third-party mobile apps for Android and iOS. You can access Easynews web interface from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to a web browser.
Here are a few simple guidelines you can follow to help find the best newsreader to meet your needs.
7 Tips for Comparing Newsgroup Readers
- Price: Consider how much the software costs. Within the last couple years most of the Usenet clients we recommend have decided to offer free software. Some of top Usenet providers including Newshosting, TweakNews, Easynews, and Giganews provide custom newsreaders to their members. Others like SABnzbd and NZBGet are open-source. There are still a few premium third-party newsreaders. The best known are Newsbin and NewsLeecher. These options come with a price tag for usage of the software and Usenet search features.
- Operating System Compatibility: This one is pretty straight forward. You should consider what platforms you plan to download from Usenet on. Windows users will find a wider range of newsreader options. The list of Mac and Linux Usenet clients is more limited. Mobile access for Android and iOS devices is even more rare. We’ll cover all of these along with Usenet browsers that are well suited for media server installs.
- Usenet Client Features: In the past we would show you how to use tools like WinRar, 7-Zip, and QuickPar to repair and unpack your Usenet downloads. Fortunately newsreaders like Newshosting and TweakNews take care of these tasks for you. That means you won’t need to download a separate batch of Usenet tools and take the time to manage your files. This will save you a lot of time and frustration. If you’re researching a Usenet browser that isn’t on our list then we would suggest testing a download in multiple clients to see how each one performs.
- Set Up Time: It can take some time and technical expertise to configure some Usenet browsers. You will find that SABnzbd and NZBGet take longer to install and configure than the other options we recommend. This is mainly due to the ability to interface with popular Usenet automation tools. If you have some experience with Usenet and want to automate the process then the trial and error is well worth the time. Otherwise we recommend using a newsreader that has more built-in features to help you get started.
- SSL Connections: All of our recommended Usenet clients and top Usenet providers support SSL encrypted connections. Whether or not you choose to connect via SSL, we would recommend selecting a Usenet client that supports it. There are very few that don’t support SSL so if you’re looking at one that doesn’t its likely a sign that the software hasn’t been updated in years. While you can connect using as many connections as your Usenet service allows, we recommend only using the minimum number necessary to max your desired download speed. Using any more will put undue stress on your system and can actually slow it down.
- Multiple News Servers: You will want to set up multiple news servers for the best Usenet experience. This will help you pick up missing parts and also act as a backup in case your primary server or provider goes down. For example, you might set up all three Newshosting servers (US, NL, DE) so that the newsreader will hit all three servers. You could also add a block account from a service like TweakNews or UsenetExpress and add those servers to your client setup. Make sure whatever Usenet browser you choose supports multiple news servers if you plan on using more than one service. Usenet services that offer their own newsreader often hard code their own servers and do not allow you to add servers for other providers. This is fine for some users but can pose a challenge for others.
- Usenet Automation Tools: We recommend SABnzbd and NZBget for those who want to integrate automation tools. They are both open-source and well suited for the task of automating your Usenet downloads. There is some work involved in getting everything set up but the results are worth it. Some of the most popular Usenet automation tools include Sonarr, Radarr, SickRage, Sickbeard, and CouchPotato.
Want more options? Here’s a complete list of newsreaders.