This article is going to list some of the best Usenet search engines that are freely available on the Internet. Freely meaning that you do not have to create an account first or get invited to use them.
The Usenet is considered by many a dark side of the Internet, something that those who know do not talk about and those who do not know don't want to know about because it seems utterly complicated to begin with.
The real benefits of the Usenet in my opinion are speed, if you have a good provider that is, reliability and better privacy, because of SSL and no direct user to user connections. On the downside we have the monthly fee, a Usenet client that has to be installed and configured and a little bit of configuration in regards to the groups that you want to subscribe.
Usenet Search Engines help users find files faster. Most support the nzb protocol which combines all file information in one file that can be loaded into most Usenet clients directly to start the download. It works similar to torrent files in this regard but without any peer to peer connections. Good search engines should support advanced parameters, 200 day records, nzb creation and index most groups, at least the thousand+ important ones.
If you want to try the Usenet you could signup for a free 14 day trial at Giganews, the Usenet provider that I use for several years.
Working newsgroup search engines
Binsearch offers a general search option on its main page, and an advanced search that you can run using additional parameters.
The general search lets you enter a search term, pick the results per page and maximum age per post, and select whether you want the most popular groups searched or other groups.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, you may want to select the other option so that all groups have been searched. If that does not work as well, try the advanced search which adds more options such as searching a specific group only or filtering results by size.
You can download NZB files directly using Binsearch to load them into your client of choice. Binsearch lets you search groups as well.
Binz displays recent NZBs on its front page. Here you can use the search feature to find files posted to 2000 groups that the service scans regularly for new contents, or browse specific groups of interest instead.
One difference to Binsearch is that you cannot select multiple results at once for download, as there are no selection boxes available to do so. If you have searched for files and the results show ten, twenty or one hundred that you want to download, you will have to select them all one by one.
NZB.cc lets you search newsgroups as well, but the interface that it makes available is rather minimalistic. While some may like that, it does not display a lot of information about each upload.
NZBs can be downloaded right from the search results page, but only one at a time. There is no option to browse groups or use advanced search parameters.
NZBClub is free to use but offers member accounts as well which provide additional benefits such as adding searches to your favorites, access to a search history and bigger watch lists.
The search provides interesting options. You can hide spam, files with passwords and adult contents, and filter by group, poster, size or days.
While NZBStars offers a search, it is also sorting files into various categories such as image (which includes videos), sounds or applications.
While that may be convenient, it is displaying popups whenever you switch to a different filter. It is also worth noting that the site only searches withing the categories it provides which means that you won't find certain files here that other search engines list.
The search engine displays categories as well, but you can alos use the search, browse popular tags or take a look at screenshots posted on the site. The screenshots set it apart from other services.
This usenet search engine displays a sidebar next to the results which you can use to filter what is being displayed. You can filter by time, poster or group for example, and change the sorting options as well.
This seems to concentrate on TV shows only. You can browse shows on the site or subscribe to RSS feeds which you can add to your RSS reader of choice.
Search across all supported groups and use advanced parameters to define what is being searched and what not. Offers to limit results by size, poster, nfo content, age and other information. Can also be used to browse groups manually.
This one is a rather messy site due to the massive number of links posted on the site's frontpage. You can use the search to search across all supported groups, browse groups individually, or browse by keyword.
Newzleech [not available anymore]
I have discovered Newsleech only recently but have to admit that it provides one of the best Usenet search engines. It provides users with a general search, an option to browse groups, to browse posts and to subscribe to RSS feeds to be informed when a new post matching the criteria is made.
Search results can be filtered by group, post age and size. The results are displayed in a list showing the most important information such as name, size, group, age and completion status. NZBs are created on the fly by checking at least one search result.
Yabsearch.nl [not available anymore]
A Dutch search engine with no English interface. Supports NZB creation and advanced search parameters. Displays size, name and completion status in the results.
Most information on those search engines is redundant meaning that all seem to index new posts fast enough and tend to display the same information in their search results. It's still good to have some outs in case one of them goes down.
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