Newsbin Pro is a commercial Usenet client. What is meant by that is that you can use the program to access the Usenet, much like you would use a program like Outlook or Thunderbird to access emails.
The Usenet is like a big -- really big - discussion forum where all users can participate that have access to it. Unlike in regular forums on websites, all users are allowed to post to all groups, and they may do so by posting messages only, or by uploading attachments to groups.
The core thing that is keeping the Usenet from reaching a wider audience is the fact that requirements need to be met to connect to it. Not only do you need a client that is capable of connecting to the Usenet, access to a Usenet server is also required.
Some are lucky if their Internet Service Provider is still offering access to the Usenet. More often than not, this is not the case which leaves paid or free services as the only option.
While there are free services available, they usually limit what you can do when you use them. Paid services too may limit what you can do, but it is usually only a question of price to remove those limitations.
Side note: I'm subscribed to Giganews, a premium provider.
Newsbin Pro Review
Newsbin Pro has been around for a very long time and the company that produces it has updated it regularly with new features and other improvements.
I have been using Newsbin Pro 6.5 RC4 for the review. The final version of 6.5 should come out very soon though and it is likely that it won't feature any major differences to this release candidate build.
If you have bought Newsbin Pro, it is currently available for $30 including lifetime upgrades and one year free Internet searches for contents, and you always have the option to download and use the latest stable build or the beta build.
The interface of the application may look intimidating at first, but it should not take long before you get used to it and appreciate what it has to offer.
Before we start to dive into this part of the application, I'd like to provide you with a quick setup guide that explains what you need to do after you have started the program for the first time.
- First thing you need to do is add at least one Usenet server to the application. You can add multiple servers if you want, which some do, for instance to resolve issues with incomplete uploads or removed uploads.
- Select Options > Servers to get started.
- Click on New Server and enter a server name. Here you can also copy server settings if available already.
- Once you have added a server, you need to enter the username and password if required.
- You may also want to modify other settings available here, like the maximum number of connections, whether encrypted connections need to be used, and which ports you want to connect to.
- The information are provided to you by your Usenet provider, which means it all comes down to entering them in the right location.
Note: It is not really necessary to add groups if you use so-called NZB files exclusively. These files contain information where files are located on the Usenet. So, you can simply load them into Newsbin Pro to load the files to your system, even if you are not subscribed to a single group.
- Once you have added at least one server, you can start downloading that server's group list.
- Select Options > Add Groups from the menu.
- Click on Download Groups List From Server and wait until it has been downloaded. You can alternatively add groups manually, but it is usually faster to download all groups and use the search to find those you want to subscribe to.
- Once done, use the search to find the groups you are interested in. It all depends on your preferences. You can subscribe to binary groups, which are groups that contain file uploads by other users and bots, or the discussion part of the Usenet.
- Newsbin Pro offers filters that you can use to only display groups in binaries, or popular groups.
- To subscribe, simply double-click on a group and hit ok afterwards.
Once you have added the server and the group, you are ready to go.
If you are subscribed to groups, you can download their most recent or all of their headers. Headers contain information about the posts that have been made to a group. This download may take some time depending on the groups you are subscribed to.
Once done, double-click on any group to display its contents in the Newsbin Pro interface.
Newsbin Pro displays posts in a table when you do so. You can sort that table by name, file size, status, or date of having been posted to the Usenet.
In addition to that, you can also make use of the search feature to find posts you are interested in.
The group search option is not the only search that is at your disposal. Instead of limiting the search to a particular group, you can alternatively use the global search to find articles in all groups, or use Internet Search which uses cloud-based Usenet indexing to provide you with search that covers the majority of groups out there.
To download posts, simply double-click individual ones, or select multiple ones using the mouse before you right-click and select to download them using the context menu that opens up.
Newsbin Pro supports several automatic actions when it comes to downloads. Picture downloads can for instance be previewed right away using the program's thumbnail view mode.
Archives on the other hand can be extracted automatically when they have been fully downloaded to your system. Newsbin Pro supports single and multi-file archives, can use passwords from a list that you supply, and also use Par2 recovery files if necessary to repair them before extraction.
The latest version supports the new RAR5 format, so that files that have been packed with it can be extracted automatically as well.
You can define download locations for each group individually. To do so, right-click on a group in the Groups listing and select Properties from the menu. Here you can change the download path to any location on your local system.
The settings are powerful. You find loads of preferences here that change client functionality. It would go too far to describe them all though.
To give you some examples: you can change spam filter settings here, define network related connection settings, configure auto par and auto-unrar, run scripts after unrar has completed, configure a speed limiter, or enable performance improving features here.
As far as the interface is concerned, it too can be modified to your liking. You can move tabs around for example or remove those that you have no use of. If you never download images for example, you may want to remove the Thumbnails tab as it is of no use to you.
You can enable and disable tabs in the View menu. Note that you can drag and drop interface elements around, for instance to display the file list below the groups list, or the other way around.
Once you are done configuring the look and feel, select Options > Lock Display Layout to set it in stone so that it cannot be altered accidentally anymore.
Improvements in Newsbin 6.50
Besides the ability to unpack RAR5 archives, other features have been integrated into the newest version of the Usenet client:
- SSD optimizations.
- Option to launch scripts after the unrar process.
- Watch feature to automatically move posts of interests to the Watch Topics group during downloads. This enables you to monitor groups for topics of interest so that they can be downloaded and accessed easier. Lots of configuration options available from text and post filters to select groups and file size limitations.
- Supports SMTP authentication for email notifications.
- Startup checking improved, is faster now.
- Fill Server definition has changed. Instead of setting fill servers, you set different priorities now.
Newsbin Pro Tips
- Newsbin Pro supports auto-downloads. You can configure it to download all articles posted to a particular group automatically. To do so, right-click a group, select Properties, and enable the automatic download option on that page.
- The program can monitor folders for NZB files to automatically start downloads. This is done under Options > Options > NZB Options.
- You can enable the scheduler, so that downloads are only processed during those times.
- Newsbin Pro supports remote access. You can download a remote control app for Android or iOS from this page. Note that you also need to enable it in the program options.
Newsbin Pro is a complete Usenet client, maybe the most sophisticated of them all. The company that produces it is very active when it comes to making improvements or implementing new features to the client, which means it is usually among the first to get a new feature implemented.
While it may take some time to get used to how it works, it is not really that complicated after all. And once you realize how well its modules interact with each other and how stable it is, your hooked and probably won't even consider another client from that moment on.
If you are unsure whether it is the right client for you, you can download a fifteen-day free trial of the application to test it on your system. Companies like Xsusenet offer free access to the Usenet which you can use for that purpose.
Now Read: How to pick the right Usenet provider