Usenet – What Is It For?

The Usenet, which stands for Unix User Network, is a network in which messages are distributed over different servers. It can be compared with a huge Internet forum. Thousands of exciting discussions on a wide variety of topics can be found there. In addition to text discussions, Usenet also contains a wide variety of files (so-called binaries). In many explanations it can be read that Usenet is the “Internet on the Internet”. It should be noted that it is an independent platform and originated long before the “World Wide Web”. To access it, however, an Internet connection is absolutely necessary.


The articles published on Usenet are sorted into so-called newsgroups. These groups serve a clear sorting of the contents. Our test winner UseNeXT, for example, offers access to a variety of over 100,000 newsgroups. Text newsgroups are stored over 3800 days and files (binaries) 3000 days on the servers. Since over the years many articles have been made available on Usenet, a manual search has become very tedious in the meantime. For this reason, newsreaders and indexing services have been developed.


A newsreader makes it really easy to access Usenet content. Prominent examples from this area are for example the SABnzbd or the reader from Tangysoft. Whereby the latter makes the entrance especially easy for newcomers. In general, one can compare a newsreader for the Usenet with a browser like Google Chrome for the Internet.

How do I get into the Usenet?

To gain access to the Usenet, you need a Usenet provider. Similar to an Internet provider, your Usenet provider only provides you with access to the Usenet. You can then access the Usenet directly with a newsreader. You have to enter the access data that you receive from your Usenet provider and you are ready to go. You can find an overview of top providers in this large german Usenet provider comparison:

Usenet – Legality

Probably one of the most exciting questions when it comes to Usenet. The answer is also quite simple. “YES”, it is a completely legal service. However, as in the Internet, not all content offered there is legal. If you download a copyrighted film or a pirated copy of a music album from the Internet, this is illegal. This use case can also be applied to the Usenet.
You can find out more about this in our article “Is the Usenet legal?

Speed of downloads

In connection with the Usenet, there is always talk of “high-speed downloads”. In contrast to peer-to-peer networks, which often have extremely slow download rates, downloads are made from professionally operated servers of a provider. As a rule, these servers are equipped with fast connections to the Internet and thus enable an excellent download experience that is perfectly tailored to the user. There are no central servers, but the providers usually operate complete server farms to cope with the onslaught of users and constantly exchange the published content with other providers.

What does the Usenet cost?

  • Reasonable Usenet providers with reasonable speeds usually charge between 7 and 15 euros per month.
  • However, many providers offer a free test phase.
  • Our test winner UseNeXt, for example, offers you the opportunity to test the Usenet for 14 days free of charge.
  • The most popular package of UseNeXT (“Smart+) costs for example only 7,95€ / month.