Choosing a Newsgroup Reader

With so many newsreader options out there to choose from we are going to offer some tips on what to look for. Then head over to our newsreader section and compare more than 60 Usenet clients. Once you choose a Usenet clent visit our newsreader guides area for help setting it up.

7 easy tips to choosing a newsreader

1. Binary or text newsgroups – are you going to be accessing binary usenet newsgroups or text newsgroups? If you are only going to access text newsgroups and are already running Windows then we would suggest giving Thunderbird or Outlook Express a try. It might offer all you need without purchasing and configuring a separate newsreader.

2. Does your Usenet Provider recommend a reader? – some providers offer free newsgroup readers or deep discounts on certain newsreaders. If this is the case then we would start there. Also some providers will offer special versions of newsreaders that are already configured for their servers.

3. Is it easy to use? – this is one of the most important areas. If you purchase a newsgroup reader with lots of cool features only to find out it is too difficult to configure and use then you won’t be happy with the results. No matter which newsreader you choose we would suggest reading some reviews and also trying it out before you buy it. A number of vendors offer free newsreader trials.

4. Does it support NZB files – this is important since using NZB files can save you from ever having to download headers. Along this same line some newsreaders offer search services to allow you to search the various newsgroups and download binaries without ever downloading headers. This can save you many hours a week.

5. Does it support SSL encryption? – We’re assuming privacy while using newsgroups will be important to a large percentage of users. We wouldn’t use a newsreader unless it could support SSL encrypted access to our usenet provider. Otherwise you can look to services like Secure-Tunnel and Secure NNTP to provide encrypted newsgroup access.

6. Using dial up? – first we would say if you are accessing anything other than text newsgroups then upgrade to cable or DSL access. Otherwise you better have lots of patience. Some newsgroup readers handle dial up connections better than others. For example Binary Boy will dial out to your ISP to handle dropped connections.

7. Features – this is an area that could go on forever. It really comes down to your needs. If you want a newsreader that can provide instant access, present image thumbnails while downloading, process Rar files, transfer files to your iPod, and many other features are available. Just take your time and test drive a few to decide which is the best fit.

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