Newshosting Newsgroup Client Review

Newshosting provides their Usenet browser free to all of their customers. This is no watered down, or under-powered application, it is a full featured newsgroup reader capable of downloading, extracting and displaying/playing binaries all in one package. On top of that, installation is extremely simple; enter your username and password once and it just works. Combine all these great features with one of the best prices available for an unlimited data plan and you have a great way to enjoy Usenet.

Newsgroup Browser Highlights

Newsreader installation - as I mentioned above, Newshosting has made this about the simplest Usenet client available to setup. When you sign up, you will receive a welcome email which includes a link to your free download. You can also log in to your account and download the client directly from the link on your control panel. After download is complete, you run the application and it will finish your installation. All settings are pre-defined for standard users, all you need is your Usenet account information to get started.

Integrated Search - unlike some newsreaders which require you to purchase a subscription for their search capabilities, Newshosting has integrated the search directly into their Newsgroup Browser. All you need to do to get started is type in keywords for articles you are interested in, and their servers will return results from all newsgroups for the last 1393 days of articles. In addition, you can filter articles based on language and media type (ie. images, video, audio, etc).

Remembered Searches - the Newshosting client allows you to setup “Search Subscriptions”. You create a search subscription by clicking on the little sticky note icon at the bottom right of your search results. After that, you can perform the search by selecting it from the “Search Subscriptions” menu at the top of the newsgroup browser window. Subscriptions can be modified in the “Search Subscription Manager” in the same menu.

Binary Previews - the Newshosting newsreader has a preview feature for many binary types. This allows you to download a small sample of the binary and possible save yourself a lot of wasted download time and bandwidth. To get a preview you can right click on a binary in the search results and choose “Show automatic preview” from the context menu. If the sample is something you want, you can click the “Download” button at the bottom of the dialog and the binary will be added to your download queue.
*NOTE* don’t make the mistake I did and pause downloads, and then ask for previews

Download Queue - all downloads you have requested are added to the download queue in the Newshosting client. By clicking on the “Transfers” icon at the top of the client you can change download priorities for binaries or cancel binaries you no longer want.

Bandwidth Limiting - downloading usenet binaries can seriously impact your internet connection and make it nearly unusable for other things, such as watching netflix or listening to pandora. To prevent this, the Newshosting newsreader allows you control the amount of bandwidth the client will use when downloading. To change the bandwidth limits, you need to go into Options-Settings and then click on the Connection tab. From their configuration is fairly straight forward if you know what speed internet connection you have.

Scheduling - even more protection for your internet connection is available using the scheduling feature. The Newshosting Usenet reader allows you to specify what time of day certain activities are allowed. To use this feature, go to Options-Settings and click on the Scheduler tab. First you will need to click on “Use Download Scheduler” and then you can specify what is allowed during different hours of the day. Images mean pictures such as GIFs, JPGs, PNGs, etc. Previews are also pretty self-explanatory. Downloads are anything except Images and Previews, which is not what I thought at first, I assumed that Downloads turned off everything.
My standard configuration for the client is now to allow previews and images all day, because they are relatively small. Downloads only occur between 2am-7am when I am sleeping so they don’t interfere with my online gaming habit.

Download/Combine/Repair/Extract - the Newshosting newsgroup reader does it all. All parts are downloaded from Newshosting’s redundant server farms, which practically guarantee complete binaries are available. All parts for the binary are automatically combined, Parchive is used to repair/replace any broken or missing parts, and unrar is then used to extract your binary from the container file. All of this is performed for you in the background, all you see is a dialog message telling you when your download is complete.

Power User Settings - besides the bandwidth limiting and scheduling features, there are many settings that a power user might find helpful. Newshosting provides a lot of switches and settings in the options to allow power users to tweak and experiment in order to get their best connection and download speeds.

Final Thoughts

Newshosting has put together a Usenet Browser that rivals some of the best newsreaders on the market, and they provide it to their users for free. Similar commercial Usenet clients will cost you $20 and up, and the search feature is usually a monthly subscription costing you at least $2 or $3 per month. Overall this reader is very nice to use and is a great added value for Newshosting customers.

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