Updated: 01/31/2019 by Computer Hope

Developed by Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, Dennis Rockwell, Steve Bellovin, and Stephen Daniel who were students at Duke and the University of North Carolina, usenet was first implemented in 1979. It is a location where millions of different users can access millions of different articles written about various topics. There are over 14,000 forums (also called newsgroups) on Usenet, and it is still used today to communicate and share files.

How does Usenet work?

Usenet is run across hundreds of different servers around the world that each mirror each other's content (newsgroups and files). You can connect to these servers to read the newsgroups and grab files using a Usenet news grabber which each cost a small monthly fee.


If you've used BitTorrent or another torrent client to download files before, Usenet is very similar to how torrent files are shared and downloaded. One advantage of Usenet over torrent files is that information can be sent over SSL (encrypted), which prevents your ISP from knowing what you've downloaded.

Examples of Usenet news grabbers

Below is a list of Usenet news grabbers that can be installed on your computer to connect to Usenet news servers.

  • Sabnzbd - An open-source client for Windows, macOS, Unix, and NAS devices can also run from a web browser for support on iOS and Android devices.
  • Usenet Storm - Everything needed to get started with Usenet with Newsbin, unlimited speed, uncensored, and private.

BBS, Fidonet, File sharing, Internet terms, Killfile, News server, NNTP