Usenet is the largest file-sharing platform that has ever existed. It’s bigger than Kazaa ever thought about being and is even bigger and more secure than Torrents. So why haven’t you read about it before? Because it takes a little more knowledge to access it than other options and the people that already know about Usenet would prefer to keep it private, so no one really wants to introduce you to the subject. We are going to show you how to get started with Usenet quickly, and without leaving your web browser!

First, there are some things that you need to understand. Usenet has over 45 Petabytes of files, which is a bunch, so things are split up into to categories that are called newsgroups to make things easier to find. You can browse those newsgroups directly with software like Newsbin or you can use something called a Usenet search engine to search everything that exists in every group instantly, all 45 Petabytes, and download what you want quickly. When you find something you want to download, the search engine will give you an NZB file. This basically tells your Usenet software where to find the file(s) you want, and your software takes care of the rest, using that NZB file.

You’ll see all kinds of strange terms like RAR and Par that may seem confusing, but these are actually great things. RAR files are just compressed files, and Par’s let you repair them if they are damaged. It’s a wild concept, but if you are downloading a 2-gigabyte video and you are missing 60 megabytes of it then if you have enough Par files they can actually repair that bad download to its original pristine condition.

You will also see a lot of newsgroups with strange names and you will notice that the groups that have the most content start with alt.binaries, which is what all of the newsgroups for file sharing have at the start of their name. Think of it as saying “files.groupname” and you will be fine.

All this sounds more complicated than it really is, because software like NZB Get lets you do everything within your web browser. You just save the NZB file you got from the Usenet search engine and NZBGet is waiting to grab it and take care of everything behind the scenes. It downloads, decompresses, and repairs anything that needs it. All in your web browser, and all without you having to touch anything.

Usenet downloads also typically max out your Internet connection. It’s not like torrents where you need someone to peer with and sometimes have to wait as your download trickles into your hard drive. There are no peers, you’re downloading from massive global networks with 10 Gbps fiber optic links. What you are downloading will come down as fast as your Internet connection and computer can handle it.

There are newsgroups that cover every subject possibly imaginable, some with billions of files, so it is a resource worth checking out. The best part is, the search engines and software you need are free so it’s easy to get started and see what is out there waiting for you.