Usenet is one of the oldest repositories of information on the internet. In fact, it predates the internet as we know it. When you think of Usenet, you should generally think of mailing lists. Actually, you should think of a gargantuan network of mailing lists.
These mailing lists, or newsgroups in the Usenet community lingo, are contributed by thousands of internet users sharing ideas, news, files and pictures. Topics include those you can't find anywhere else on the mainstream web.
Usenet is like a giant email-based chat room. As we all know by experience, when you get a large number of adults together for lively debates, the result is courteous exchanges and polite discussion. Hmm, maybe not. Uh-oh.
Large ISPs are blocking Usenet for the possible availability of child pornography. However, the underlying issue is really one of control -- ISPs can't control people from using Usenet responsibly, and lack the manpower to police it appropriately.
Luckily for those of us who are sensible, rational, responsible, law-abiding adults who embrace Usenet as an invaluable resource, there are ways to get around these internet restrictions.
If you are new to Usenet and want to get started, head over to our How To Share Files on Usenet guide.
This article is a wiki. If you have better ideas on how to get your Usenet, log in and write them up.
1 Use a Search Engine
2 Download Your Warez Using NewzLeech
3 Find Another Usenet Server
4 Use a Proxy server
Use a Search Engine
DejaNews was a well known Usenet provider and archiver from back in the day. Google bought DejaNews in 2001 and has been running it under Google Groups ever since. Archives on Google Groups go as far back as 1981.
Google blocks access to alt.binaries and other "alt" newgroups, where pirated materials and (ahem) adult themes tend to live. However, those newsgroups are uncommon in most free Usenet services anyway. Google allows you to search Usenet at large, but the service also runs its own in-house version that's inaccessible to Usenet nodes elsewhere. So, you can create your own private groups and mailing lists at Google Groups for free.
If the rest of this article sounds like gibberish, Google Groups is your best bet. All you have to do is point your browser to groups.google.com.
Download Your Warez Using NewzLeech
People find that using Usenet for downloading is fast and anonymous. NewzLeech offers a way to search for just the binary files available from newsgroups.
NewzLeech searches return a list of NZB files. Load the XML-based NZB file into any compatible newsreader and it will download the file for you.
If you're bypassing newsreaders to get your filez, you might as well explore other options as well. Have you heard of P2P file transfer software called BitTorrent?
Finally, there's always buying your files through proper channels legitimately. Developers will thank you for it.
Find Another Usenet Server
Many ISPs aren't blocking Usenet, they are just discontinuing their local servers. If this is the approach your ISP is taking, all you really have to do is find a new Usenet provider.
There are plenty of free providers online. We recommend Usenet Tools or DMoz.org.
Free Usenet providers tend to block off access to download sites and other naughty areas, like the alt.binaries hierarchy. If these are the places you are most interested in and you find yourself using Usenet a lot, you'll probably want to buy into an uncensored Usenet service. Monthly subscriptions are available on sites like Giganews ($8/month). Some other popular premium servers include Newshosting (plans start at $10 per month) or Usenetserver ($15 per month).
Use a Proxy server
If the ISP blocks your route to Usenet, use another route.
Usenet's internet protocol, Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), is usually run over Port 119. However, it is feasible to run a proxy server and tunnel through using another port. Using a proxy with SSL is an even safer bet, as this will encrypt the transfer -- ISP's can't detect what you are transferring.
You should check with your Usenet provider to see if it is already doing this. Not too long ago, major Usenet providers started offering SSL on ports other than 119 just to get around this problem. OrdinarySoft has many free applications to provide that SSH tunnel. Rahul.net also has a few Usenet SSL proxies available.
SOURCE: Wired Magazine
Edited by Ovaltine Jenkins, 27 June 2008 - 07:07 AM.