What is Usenet?

Usenet is an online discussion network set up for talking about particular topics and sharing files through newsgroups. There are many different companies that offer Usenet services, along with different features and packages.

What are Concurrent Connections / Streams?

While using Usenet, you will find that most different servers will offer a variety of different plans with different “connections”. These connections are the number of simultaneous connections you can have under the same login information online at the same time. These can be from all different locations, but must be under the same login.

What is a newsgroup

A newsgroup is a forum-like discussion board online through Usenet. Newsgroups can range from many different topics for every interest available.

Moderated and unmoderated newsgroups

A moderated newsgroup is a newgroup discussion board hosted by a moderator or multiple moderators. This means that one person or a group of people oversees the posts of the newsgroup to make sure the rules are followed and questions are answered. Unmoderated newsgroups are similar to moderated newsgroups, except nobody watches over the board, meaning that anything can be said or posted.

How Do I Post To A Newsgroup?

When posting to a newsgroup, you will need to download a newsreader. This is a program that shows your newsgroups that you are subscribed to. Within this program, you can select whatever newsgroup you would like to post to and just click “write message” or “post to newsgroup” depending on your server. From here, you can type out your post, and just select the group and post them. It’s very simple!

Usenet Download Speeds

Every different company that provides Usenet has different download speeds. These speeds can range from quite slow to just as fast as your internet speed. The faster speed you have, the quicker you can download, upload, post, access and read different things on Usenet.

What is a Newsreaders

A newsreader is a software program that allows you to read and post messages that belong to different newsgroups.

Usenet – Technical details

Nine Hierarchies of Newsgroups

Within the Usenet world, all newsgroups are organized into nine different categories:

  • comp.* (computer related discussions)
  • humanities.* (philosophy, literature and arts discussions)
  • misc.* (miscellaneous discussions)
  • news.* (news discussions)
  • rec.* (recreational and entertainment discussions)
  • sci.* (science discussions)
  • soc.* (social discussions)
  • talk.* (controversial topic discussions)
  • alt.* (alternative discussions)

Binary content

Usenet sharing is split up into two different sections: text and binary. Binary content is content too big or different from text like files, photos and videos that get shared as binary information to transfer as tons of little segments as opposed to one big file. This makes transfer and download much faster.

Binary retention time

Binary retention time is usually calculated in days and is the amount of time that something of binary stays available on a certain newsgroup. The higher the retention time, the longer the binary files will stay available.

Legal issues

There are some legal issues surrounding Usenet. First of all, Usenet and newsgroups gives users the ability to download shared files like movies or music along with most other online formats. As it is well known, downloading without payment to the original owners of any movie or music file is illegal. Though Usenet does not have a very illegal outlook, there is still the issue of people not using it for its intended purposes, and therefore, creating legal issues.

Usenet History

Usenet started out as an idea of a program used to transfer information between two connected computers in 1979. Starting out with being able to transfer a few files a day, it has grown into being able to transfer thousands of files every minute from everywhere in the world.

Usenet Propagation

Propagation is the method of distribution from one system to another. Once a file or article is uploaded to a newsgroup, the Usenet servers will use propagation to move the article around the world.

What is Newsgroups Retention?

Newsgroups retention is usually calculated in days and refers to the amount of time that certain files and articles will stay active for transfer and viewing on different newsgroups.

What is Newsgroup Completion?

Newsgroup completion is the number of articles and files that a certain Usenet server will have compared to the number of articles and files available. Most good Usenet providers have 99% completion across their newsgroups.

Newsgroup Peering

Newsgroup peering is an arrangement that various Usenet providers will have among each other to share around information. This means that if you are on one provider, they can have peering arrangements with another to keep their information up to date and available.

Technology

What is a Usenet provider?

A Usenet provider is a company that offers Usenet services within different packages and bundles. Every provider offers different features in their packages for different prices and different information. Often, on the Usenet providers website, you can find an outline of their features.

What are headers?

Headers are listed on every newsgroup message to inform the user what the article is. These headers can have a variety of information on them ranging from dates, content and subjects.

What is the difference between a block account and an unlimited account?

Both of these accounts are subscriptions you can pay for with various Usenet providers to get different features. A block account is an account that lets you “buy” a certain amount of downloads space on a server while an unlimited account is one that lets you pay by month to get a certain amount every month. A heavy Usenet user should opt for an unlimited account while a light user might want a block account.

What is a PAR and RAR?

PAR and RAR are file types that are sent though Usenet servers. A RAR is a technique used for compressing files and then dividing them into a bunch of little pieces. Usually, large files will uses RAR. A PAR file is a file that will find and recover missing or corrupted pieces of a larger file. PAR files often accompany a RAR file for collection afterwards.

Should I use a VPN provider with Usenet?

Many Usenet providers offer a VPN service to encrypt your location, data and identity while online. This can be important while using Usenet to protect yourself from hackers or thieves trying to track or steal your information.

Should I connect through SSL?

Connecting through an SSL (Secure Socket Layers) is a technology connected through the links between a Usenet server and your computer that will encrypt the connection to hide your sensitive information such as banking numbers, emails and logins. If you are worried about the connection being open to your computer, it is important that you do have SSL connections.

 

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