Alt.Binz Usenet Client

Martin Brinkmann
May 16, 2008
Updated • Jun 9, 2013

I'm very fond of the Usenet client Newsbin which I have been using for many years. It's not a free software and I made the purchase because at that time it was definitely the best client available. I'm sometimes getting asked if there are free alternatives to Newsbin and I always have to say that I have not tested any of them. But John Tash send me an email a while ago asking about my opinion about the news client Alt.Binz and I finally found some time to check it out.

Alt.Binz is a free Usenet client that supports several of the most important features a news client should have. These features are multiple connections and SSL and NZB Support. Let me explain why I think that those three are essential. Multiple connections is a no brainer, Giganews (the best Usenet Provider) provides access to ten connections to their servers and a client should support that to maximize the speed from the server.

SSL is important for security. You don't want your ISP or someone else snooping on your traffic finding out what you are downloading, right ? And NZBs are a a standard that makes it a lot easier to download from the Usenet. NZB files contain information about multiple files and their location on the Usenet. Instead of clicking on hundreds of files to download them you can simply load one NZB.

Alt.Binz looks like a great client. I had no troubles adding the Giganews server information to the client and support for the Giganews Accelerator was given as well.

The major difference is the approach. Newsbin provides direct access to Usenet groups while Alt.Binz does not, at least not in the way I have been using it for years. Alt.Binz has some Usenet search engines directly integrated into the program interface that provide access to NZBs. That's a great feature and I hope the guys at Newsbin will implement it soon.

Supported are respected sites like Newzleech, Binsearch and several others. A full server wide search is supported as well. Now with Newsbin I usually visit the website of those search engines and download the NZB from those websites. This step is no longer required in Alt.Binz.

Alt.Binz is a great free Usenet client which I will definitely keep an eye on even though I have paid for Newsbin. The interface is intuitive and fast and it does provide access to several features that are definitely missing in Newsbin. Oh, and yes it seems to work under Wine in Linux.


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  1. bouncy castle hire weston super mare said on April 12, 2010 at 9:43 am

    AltBinz is freem can you not read the great article ?

  2. josko said on October 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    i don’t wanna pay for altbinz do someone have a hack or someting?

  3. Martin said on September 4, 2008 at 10:45 am

    You should work on your manners, maybe anger management would be advisable as well.

  4. papa smurf said on September 4, 2008 at 1:29 am

    NZBSRUS is BY FAR the BEST NZB search engine for the FREE ones. NEWZBIN.COM is also excellent but it is about 3$ per month. Also, if your Usenet Client does not have an integrated search feature to search usenet then it is useless. Also the author mentions something about having to click a ton of files to download them when you search and that is why he uses NZB’S instead. Well if you are not a complete moron you ALT SELECT the files you want, just as you would with your OS (if you are using windows).

    P.S. Your article about top Usenet search engines is terrible. All of those engines suck and you didn’t even mention the best one. Newsbin (a usenet client is nice, but like the author mentioned – it is not free and neither is NewsLeech (Which I prefer over Newsbin). I would suggest just shelling out 20 bills to buy a good client such as Newsbin or NewsLeecher (I mean you are paying for a usenet service so you might as well pay for the client). REMEMBER: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

    P.S. The Author did make one more intelligent remark regarding usenet other than the Newsbin Client. He mentioned Giganews (which he wrote allows 10 connections and might have at the time he or she wrote this article but they allow 20 connections now) and it is by far the best service out there. Also you get the Giganews Accelerator (for downloads) which well, does what it says really. It accelerates your downloads. Not to mention that if you do choose Giganews, you get a discount on NewsLeecher (but hey, the trial version works just as well – you can just download a crack for it – which they should have thought of and not even allowed a trial although that seems stupid because most people want to know what they are buying before they buy it but they should have at least limited your supersearches to 1 and not 10 if not zero and allowed only 1 NZB to be imported) But I wanted the little company to grow and to have later versions be improved upon and they can’t do that unless people are buying the software. So if you like a product and it isn’t a huge corporation – don’t be a cheap ass and BUY IT)

  5. Bruno said on June 8, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I try it since 2 days, it’s a very client with very good features : many search engines, intelligent PAR’s management, build in unrar tool (not tested), intelligent archives management, it’s possible to limit the bandwidth, etc, etc.
    AND it can download some archives with specific problems in file’s name (grabit and xnews fails).
    “interface is intuitive”, ^^ hum ;) for people that already knows this kind of tool, don’t expect to start to learn usenet from scratch with it.

    + since many years, my best free usenet’s tool for text and pictures forums : MesNews

    sorry for my english level

  6. tash said on May 23, 2008 at 4:42 am

    I’m glad you had some time to check it out. Alt.Binz is definitely my favorite client for windows right now.. Hellanzb for linux.

  7. zennf said on May 16, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Definitively the best free Usenet client. It fully integrates searching, downloading, checking and extracting. No need to download the headers anymore.

    One nifty feature is the ability to auto-import NZB files from a selected directory. Use it in conjunction with Foldershare and you have a simple remote downloading solution.

    Run Foldershare on both your work and home computers. Save any NZB you generate at the office in a synchronized directory. The file will be transmitted to your home computer via Foldershare. Make Altbinz check the destination directory (Setup/NZB/Autoimport NZB files from folder) and it will begin downloading automatically. No time wasted, the goods are here when you get home.

    Geekier users may want to check the RSS autodownload feature. It is perfect for TV shows if you configure it right.

    As Domdom said the free version (0.25) is very good. The only wish I have is the possibility to check mails for NZB files.

  8. Domdom said on May 16, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    This is a no-brainer .. Altbinz made me switch instantly from all other clients. Its main feature is to be able to browse newsgroup and download files WITHOUT downloading headers!!! even the free 0.25 version does it. 0.28 (you need to contribute for a fee, it is up to you) is a great improvement.

    Altbinz is so smooth and efficient, it makes the whole d/l experience so much better, which includes automatic nzb processing, unpar (for error correction) and unrar. This is a must-try!

  9. Cheryl said on May 16, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I’m not that crazy about Usenet largely because of the retention time thing. I mean, what if I want something that’s past the retention time?

  10. Bruno said on May 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    “Alt.Binz has some Usenet search engines directly integrated into the program interface that provide access to NZBs. That’s a great feature and I hope the guys at Newsbin will implement it soon.”

    since many years I use :
    to search and/or create my own nbz, by the way For binaries, I don’t need to subcribe to any group or to update groups.

    I’ll give a try to Alt.Binz, thx

    edit : you’ve already talked about

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