Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

Usenet – Do you use it?

I’m just wondering how many people out there still use usenet/newsgroups. I still use it quite frequently – then again, I did have a development contract with Highwinds Media (a provider of Usenet streams) for a few years, so that may be why. For some of you that are scratching your head, I’ll explain what Usenet is…briefly…I’m no expert…I just know that it’s still useful today (and very profitable if you are a reseller of a Usenet/Newsgroup service).

What is Usenet?

Well, Usenet started off as one of the first discussion arena’s on the internet. People would post messages to various Usenet groups and others would respond similar to how you would do a “Reply To All” in your email inbox today. Well, that was many many moons ago, but it is still relevant today…kinda. On a given day, the Usenet feed usually only contains about 20% of actual textual chatter – the rest is binaries (music, video, etc) – it’s like the ultimate P2P network (works a bit differently though), and I need to add this – I do not condone downloading any copyrighted material! If you want to know even more, I’ve found that has some great information about “What is Usenet?”. If that still has not satisfied you, search the wikipedia!

Who are some of the Usenet providers?

There are MANY Usenet providers out there, but I’ll let you know about the providers I have personally used.

One provider that I frequently use to this day is, as their “beta” global search (web based tool used for searching newsgroups that have already been organized for you) was pretty much the selling point!

Another Usenet provider that I have used is Like any other provider, when you create your account with, you’ll be assigned a few URL’s to use to access the newsgroups, and you’ll need to have a Usenet reader (Newsrover, Agent, or Grabit).

I’ve also used – they have an awesome desktop application for searching/downloading that was really easy to use for Usenet n00bs.

Should I use Usenet?

I don’t know – should you? That’s your call. I enjoy using it for various reasons, of which I won’t go into too much detail here, but not so much for chatting, as I do enough of that on Twitter!