What is Google Groups? How is it different from Usenet Newsgroups

google groups

When you come across Usenet newsgroups, you will also hear about Google Groups. What is this type of communication network? Is there any difference between Google Groups and Usenet Newsgroup? Finding answers to these questions will help understand what each one has to offer.

What is Google Groups?

As the name indicates, Google, the search engine giant is the service provider that maintains Google Groups. In February 2001, this type of communication network became operational online, making it accessible to the users via a new interface.
Deja News Research Service is a Usenet newsgroup message archive. After starting in March 1995, this search engine played an essential role in shaping the online discussion. After the company shut down its service in 2001, Google acquired its archive, a database containing over 700 million messages. The information available in these networks was valuable, as they provided insight into the internet culture and history. The search engine giant moved all the assets to a new domain.

Usenet Newsgroup

A message repository of posts made by users through the internet, you can think of the Usenet newsgroup as a discussion group. With Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), people were able to use the internet to connect to Usenet servers for data transfer.
Every newsgroup focuses on a specific subject as this is the point of interest among its users. There are two types of Usenet newsgroup – binary and text. Servers and users use these variants to decrease network bandwidth usage.
Due to the development of Base4, yEnc, and Uuencode codecs, it was possible to transmit video and sound files by converting the data into text characters. Due to size limitations in a single post, users posted several times for large files.
However, newsreaders overcame this shortcoming by splitting large files into multiple posts. As a result, users found it easier to download the data they need depending on their requirements.

Difference between Google Groups and Usenet Groups

Majority of the Usenet newsgroup don’t have any moderator. If it does have a news server admin, this entity will be responsible for determining how long the posts will remain in the server. Known as retention time, they vary depending on the preferences of this party. Also, the admin has to approve the post for it to appear in the discussion. You will also come across Usenet newsgroup, which uses bots to perform the same function as the moderator.
On the other hand, there is always an entity that acts as the owner of the Google groups. The owner can increase the number of managers to moderate the discussion. These entities were responsible for ensuring the posts are relevant to the subject matter. They can also restrict access and remove members who are disruptive in the discussion. One major differentiator is that the owner doesn’t have to set any retention time.
You need a newsreader, special software to access Usenet groups. However, this isn’t the case with Google groups, as it is essential to have an internet connection and a web browser.
Diving deeper into the subject of Google group vs Usenet newsgroups, another differentiator is in the names. Google groups will always end with “,” while Usenet groups have periods to differentiate between various parts of the discussion.
One of the Google group limitations is the change in the layout. There was a degradation in discoverability, functionality, and usability due to these moves by the company. Also, the search engine giant discontinued “Advanced Search,” in these discussions, resulting in significant Google group limitations. As a result, users were only able to find what they are looking for if they knew about the newsgroup containing the post or appropriate keywords.
Another difference in Google group vs Usenet newsgroups is in cost. If you wish to use the service from Google, it is free. There is no fee when you need to access the text-based Usenet groups. However, if you want to obtain the downloadable files or submit posts, the service provider will charge a fee.
When looking at Google group vs Usenet newsgroups, the former comes with a mailing list feature. In other words, you can provide email id, through which you can receive the posts.
Because of Google’s group limitations, there was a decline in its user base and functionality. Fortunately, you can’t say the same about the Usenet newsgroup. Even to this day, it continues to thrive as a file sharing service.

How to download using Usenet for free?

Download with Usenet

When it comes to downloading different types of files from the internet, nothing can match free Usenet. You might argue that you can use torrents to achieve the same thing. However, these types of distributed file-sharing services aren’t always reliable.

Why Usenet is better than torrents?

The ability to look for files you need depends on the people who share them. Also, the speed at which you can download them hinges on the internet speed of these users. On top of that, your connection isn’t secure, putting your identity at significant risk. For example, it is necessary to share your seedbox, proxy, or other similar types of information, to start the torrenting process.

Usenet overcomes these issues, as it is secure, quick, and private. Despite being an old service, it continues to be the most reliable option available to people. However, for new users, downloading from free Usenet may seem to be a complex process.

Guide to using free Usenet to download files

While you have to go through extra steps to use this service, it is worth the effort. Given below is a simple guide, which will help you download with Usenet for free. You will also learn how to use Usenet during this process.

Create an account on XS Usenet

The first thing you need to do is create an account with XS Usenet, one of the few service providers with a free package. It gives you a download cap of 25 GB with a speed of 2 Mbit. With a free account, you can have a maximum of five connections.

Download Usenet client

Once you have an XS Usenet, you need to start looking for client software, which helps you download the necessary files. The options available to you depend on your computer’s operating software (OS) – Linux, macOS, and Windows.
One of the best clients for using Usenet is SABnzbd, which offers a myriad of features. At the same time, this software is light on your computer. Due to this reason, it won’t consume a large portion of your system’s resources.
After you install this software in your computer, you should look for the server tab. In this category, you can change the details, so that it gives you the best performance. You need to enter the XS Usenet server information, to make use of this service.
Once you login to your XS Usenet account, the dashboard will contain all the data you need to complete the above step. It has your username, password, hostname, and ports.

Search for NZB files

SABnzbd and all other clients which support free Usenet, require NZB files. You can think of these files as XML indexes, whose role is to make accessing and sharing information on Usenet easy. During the early days of Usenet, the entire process of downloading content was cumbersome. You needed to collect multiple files and reassemble them before you can use them.
With the introduction of NZB files, you no longer had to go through this process. The difference between these files and torrent files is that it directs you all the pieces of data you want, which is available on the Usenet server. The latter point you towards every user in the world, who are sharing the files you want to download.
All you have to do once the NZB file is on your computer is to double click it. After it launches SABnzbd (or any other client), the software will start downloading the content. Another option would be to set up SABnzbd to pick up the .nzb files immediately.
This way, the software will start downloading the content, as soon as the .nzb file becomes available. To do this, you need to change the “Watched Folder” to the directory where your browser stores downloaded files.

Should you upgrade to a premium account?

The free account you use on XS Usenet is free for Lifetime. However, it can be challenging to stick to the 25 GB data cap. Also, the 2 Mbit download speed can take a long time to download files.
Upgrading to the premium account will enhance your experience while you download it with Usenet. In this package, there are no restrictions on the download speed when you use this service. It also removes the data cap, ensuring you don’t have to worry about the file size. The retention date of both the premium and free account is the same at 1100 days.
It increases the number of active connections to 50, while giving you posting capability. Also, it provides access to the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) a protocol for encrypting the link between the server and the client software. As a result, your data is safe and secure at all times.

Why is Usenet still Important in 2020?

Usenet in 2020

Usenet is a worldwide distributed network where people share and exchange news. Users can post information on the Usenet network freely without any interference and minimum censorship. This network is supported on servers referred to as newsgroup servers. This information can then be viewed by the vast majority of people on the Usenet network, acting as a free newsgroup of sorts. One could say it roughly resembles a bulletin board system. Although Usenet was there in the picture long before forums such as social media platforms (Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn), it hasn’t been talked about much or brought into the limelight.

Usenet advantages

One would wonder, if we now have easy to access social media platforms to use as a medium and a platform for distributing information, why should one still be interested in using a Usenet? The advantages of using a Usenet are manifold.

*Usenet is safer than BitTorrent. You do not share any of the files with other users.

*BitTorrent requires you to wait for others to seed the files you’re trying to download. However, there are no such delays with Usenet.

*Usenet achieves higher download speeds via direct downloading owing to dedicated servers. You can take advantage of your ISP’s full bandwidth.

*Usenet makes use of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to encrypt data being sent to your PC. Other than you and the provider, nobody on the network has any idea what you’re downloading.

Usenet history

Usenet was developed long back in 1979 by two Duke University students named Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott, along with their University of North Carolina friend, Steve Bellovin. Using two Unix computers running on Unix to Unix Copy Protocol, these three were able to successfully transfer information between their two universities.

Thus was developed a possible alternative to the US military-controlled Arpanet system. Usenet could have possibly been the foundational architecture of the Internet that we so widely used today. However, due to its then difficulty of usage, it was shifted into the background.

What exactly is a newsgroup?

One could think of a newsgroup as an active discussion forum available online via the medium of Usenet. Many free newsgroups, as well as paid subscription-based newsgroups, are available on Usenet. These newsgroups are further divided into subcategories. Subcategories are depicted by a dot. An example of a newsgroup category is – ParentCategoryA.SubCategoryA1.SubCategoryA2.SubcategoryA3
The best Usenet provider or newsgroup provider
If you are satisfied with the architecture of a Usenet and want to see for yourself the power of a Usenet server, XS Usenet is a great option.

XS Usenet has a free and premium plan. The most popular premium plan has the following features.

Unlimited Speed
Unlimited Data FUP*
1,100 days retention
99%+ completion
50 connections
SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

The free plan has the following features.

2mb speed
25Gb data
1,100 days retention
99%+ completion
Five connections
No Posting

Several factors place XS Usenet as a popular choice among Usenet users.

*Usenet servers are strategically located worldwide, providing blazing fast connection speeds.
*The sign-up process is completed in a single step and takes under 30 seconds to do so.
*Multiple simultaneous connections can be made with a huge range of bandwidth.
You do not require a contract to use it.

Usenet future

Usenet has been there before the Internet, and it is amazing to see how Usenet has evolved and stayed strong over the years. With the current Internet architecture so advanced and revolutionized, the potential of Usenet as a potential alternative is a radical new idea. Content downloads on full speed, file sharing is done within a split second, and the entire architecture is rock solid. Could one of the oldest communication methods on a distributed network be the strongest and most viable?

Although there is still a comparatively very less number of Usenet users, it is slowly picking up pace. Users are finding it a much more open space to share and distribute content. Moreover, with free Usenet subscriptions offering free newsgroups and free Usenet servers for a limited period, people are getting to experience a little glimpse of how powerful Usenet can be. These free models are pushing people to go for premium subscriptions and unlock the complete power of the network of Usenet.

How to get a free Usenet account with Lifetime Validity?

How to get free Usenet

Usenet came into existence in the year 1980. It was invented to form a network where people can exchange information in a dedicated group. It is the basis of the World Wide Web or the Internet that we use extensively today. The purpose of Usenet is to offer a platform where people can post information freely so that other users can see and respond to it. Usenet’s the original social network. To a greater extent, if we summarize, Usenet is a cross between a discussion forum and the ultimate file-sharing platform, but it’s still something else entirely. Though Usenet came before the Internet, blogs and social media, it is still in use in closed groups.

Why Usenet is Costly?

The demand for Usenet is increasing every day. As in any business, if the demand is high and supply is low, the cost of the product increases. The same universal law applies to Usenet too. Since there are very few reliable Usenet providers, the cost of acquiring Usenet is usually high. Also, Usenet uses several security features, high-speed servers and support staff to provide solutions to subscribers. 

How to get Free XS Usenet

To access XS Usenet all you need to do is visit the official homepage of and open an account to subscribe Usenet. Follow the below steps to get free XS Usenet.

1. Open the XS Usenet website and click on the ‘Subscribe Now’ button on the Signup page.

2. Fill up the details(Name, Email, and password) as requested on the website to complete the Signup procedure.

3. An email will be sent to you with details like username, password and connection details for your account. is the host for your free account. There are four options for the ports – 119, 80, 443 (SSL) and 563 (SSL). Among these four ports, 563 (SSL) is found to work well with free accounts.

4. Once you are allowed to use the service of XS Usenet, you can configure your Usenet clients like Unzbin and SABnzbd.

XS Usenet Features

XS Usenet is one of the best free Usenet providers. It also has premium Usenet plans, which have an edge over free Usenet. Below are some of the features of XS Usenet.

• With servers located in strategic locations around the world, XS Usenet provides high speeds and connectivity.
• Sign up takes less than 30 seconds since there is no need for account validation or complicated processes.
• There are several options for payment. You can choose from SOFORT banking, credit card, Pay safe card, SEPA/iDeal or cryptocurrencies.
• Premium Usenet offers you 50 simultaneous connections and hundreds of megabits of bandwidth.
• Up to 1100 days of retention with a 99% completion rate.
• There are no contracts or hidden termination fees. Hence, you can cancel, terminate or renew at any stage.
• The multilingual customer support is available round the clock to address any issues.

Advantages of Premium Usenet Plan

Most of the time using free Usenet plans hinders your productivity since they have many restrictions. Upgrading to a premium plan provides you several advantages. Some of them are listed below.

1. Retention – While free Usenet plans have limited retention rates, premium plans provide the longest retention rates depending upon the plan you choose.

2. Value for Money – You can choose from several plans suiting your requirements. Each plan has its own unique features giving you affordable access to newsgroups.

3. Security – With XS Usenet you get better security on all your communications and file sharing and it dominates over Torrent when you are comparing. XS Usenet Premium Usenet plan offers SSL protection while Free plan comes without SSL.

4. Speed – The speeds are heavily reduced for free Usenet plans. XS Usenet Free plan will have a speed cap of 2Mbit and Our premium Usenet plan gives Unlimited speed.

5. Posting – Free Usenet plans won’t give access to posting in Usenet Newsgroups. You need Premium Usenet plans for that.

6. Privacy – Premium plans ensure that your information is protected by any threats from outside parties. XS Usenet premium plans can be combined with VPN and get extra layer of privacy.

7. Support – Our dedicated team is handy in solving any issues that our customers are facing while using the Premium XS Usenet services. Our team at XS Usenet is devoted to delivering you the best possible product and we are committed to 100% customer satisfaction.

What is NZB File? How to Download it with Usenet?

NZB downloader

Although the original use of Usenet was to be a bulletin-board service, it changed with the entry of binary newsgroups. There was a switch from text content to searching for the right files on this platform. It resulted in the creation of Usenet NZB file.

What is NZB file?

It is a file format with the .nzb extension. Based on XML, its design is to help users find files they want to download. On Usenet, there is a division of every file into multiple parts. Known as articles, each one contains a message ID, which is a unique number.
The Usenet NZB downloader will know which files it needs to download with the help of the message ID. You can think of NZB file as a collection of these unique numbers.

How to find NZB files?

There are plenty of techniques that you can use to look for NZB files on the internet. The most popular one is to use the newsreader’s built-in search engine. Another option would be to go through NZB site directory. As they are text files, you can use them on all OS platforms, including macOS.

How to download Usenet NZB files?

After you find a NZB file download site, you need to look for the content you want to obtain. Do keep in mind that if you go for websites that offer their services for free, you will have to deal with limited speeds and number of downloads. The software you use to download the NZB file will ask you where you want to save it. Make sure you remember the location, as you will require it for the next step.

NZB downloader – SABnzbd

You need a compatible newsreader, which can download the NZB file. The most popular NZB downloader software is SABnzbd. It is a free tool, which works on Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Download the software and go through the setup wizard. The instructions are simple and easy to follow. Make sure you provide the correct Usenet provider data so that the software can work properly. Only select SSL, if you want to use SSL-connection while downloading files. It is a type of encryption that hides your activity from other entities.

Make sure you click on “Test Server” at the end of the installation, to verify that the software works as intended. Also, check out the “User Folders” section of this tool, to find out the default download location. You can make changes to this portion, as per your requirements. Setting up “Watched Folder” is convenient, as the software will start the NZB file download automatically when you place them in this location.

History & future of NZB file

Newzbin, a Usenet indexing site based in the UK, created a new file format, known as NZB file, to index available binaries. As a result, users could look for files with the help of a search engine.
You can think of NZB files as torrent files, as it contains information, to direct software to download files from the correct location.

Downloading NZB using XS Usenet

Although there are platforms which offer to encrypt internet traffic, it is better to take matters into your hands. Using a VPN will help maintain your anonymity online. While there are plenty of providers, you should use XS Usenet, designed for Usenet NZB. It comes with a free package, which gives you five connections, 2 Mbit speed and 25GB Data cap. You can also upgrade to the premium model, which removes restrictions on download speed, data cap, and up to 50 connections simultaneously.

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