How to Use a Newsreader

An easy-to-use reference guide for those looking for how to download content from Usenet newsgroups.

This is a follow up guide to one from a few days ago in which I discussed what Usenet newsgroups are and what’s needed to begin downloading content from it. In this guide I’ll walk you through one of the programs, called a newsreader, that allows you to “read” newsgroup articles.

The newsreader we’re going to use is Alt.binz, though there are many others to choose from. The process will be easy and straightforward, doing only that which is necessary to begin downloading in its most basic form. A more advanced user guide will follow this one.


1. Select “setup” from the main tab menu.

2. Select “download” from the setup menu.

Here it’s important that you decide where you want your downloads to be saved in. You’d be surprised how many people have downloaded stuff and then are unable to find it.

3. Select “connection” from the setup menu.

Choose a desired a maximum download speed. If you’re unsure how fast your connection speed is you can check it here. Keep in mind you may not want to max it out so that you can still browse web pages, etc..

4. Select “servers” from the setup menu.

Here you need to enter the details of your newsgroup service provider. As you can see in the example I entered my info for Giganews, including username and password, and selected “apply.”

5. Finish by selecting “add as primary.”


So we’ve got the newsreader ready to download content, all we need to do now is go out and find some.

I mentioned a number of sites before. The only we’ll use here will be NZBMatrix, on which I found the .NZB file for an old Charlie Chaplin movie, “The Kid.”

1. Select “connect” from the main tab menu.

A message that says you are “connected & authenticated” should then appear in the bottom of the window.

2. Select “NZB” from the main tab menu and open the .NZB file associated with whatever you’re trying to download.

You will then see your download begin.

Where Do I Find Stuff to Download?

Here’s a list of Usenet indexing sites again that is by no means complete:

Stay tuned for additional guides in which I discuss more advanced user techniques for Alt.binz, as well as review some of the sites listed above.