How to download files from

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 8, 2013
Updated • Jan 30, 2015

So, I have been using the Usenet for a very long time and I have seen services come and go rather regularly in that time.

One service that has been there for a very long time is It is a search engine for files that get posted on the Usenet and while veteran users should not have any problems making use of it, users who never came into contact with newsgroups before may like a short introduction on how to use the service.

While it is not really difficult to use, it is important that you meet all prerequisites to successfully do so.

Lets start with the things you need to use

  • You need access to the Usenet. If you are lucky, your Internet provider provides you with that option either free of charge or as an extra to your monthly subscription. Everyone else needs to subscribe to a service like Giganews for a monthly subscription fee. Plans differ in terms of bandwidth that you get per month and the money you pay for that.
  • You also need a news reader. I have been using the commercial Newsbin software for the last decade or so, but there are free alternatives available as well like Sabnzbd. Both support the loading of so called nzb files which is what we need to use Binsearch.

Binsearch as mentioned earlier is an indexing service. The service itself does not host any files and is in may regards just like Google Search, only that it concentrates all its efforts on the Usenet and not the web as a whole.

You can use the basic search which is good for a quick search, or the advanced search which offers advanced parameters like filtering for specific file sizes or searching only in specific groups instead of a popular selection of groups.

Results are always displayed in the following fashion:

Each item that has been found is listed with its name, poster, group it has been posted in and age. To download one or multiple items, simply select them and click on the create nzb afterwards.

This creates a file that you need to load in to your usenet client. The client will do all the rest, download all files listed in that nzb file and depending on the client, unpack the files on your system as well automatically.

The nzb file contains the information where the files that you have selected can be found on the Usenet, and the client uses those information to download those files directly to the computer.

You can also browse a group using the browse newsgroups feature here which may come in handy if you are not looking for anything in particular. You do however need a good understanding of what gets posted in which newsgroup, as contents differ highly depending on that.

There are two additional options that I'd like to address briefly. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of a group you are interested in to receive information about new items once they get indexed by the usenet indexing service. The second feature is the watchlist which you can use to keep track of items that have not been uploaded completely yet.

That's basically all there is to Binsearch. Are you using this service or another one?

How to download files from
Article Name
How to download files from
The article walks you through the steps of using the Usenet search engine Binsearch.

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  1. M4CGYV3R said on March 9, 2013 at 4:14 am

    @orly: Noob comment of the month. With all respect and sorrys to we, the noobz. =D

    @beemeeup: Yes, it is, Tiberius!

  2. Rafa said on March 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Well, I’m searching so long for a replacement since matrix has gone =/
    Would like a dog invitation..

    1. nZbeeez said on April 9, 2013 at 6:51 am

      Same here…i miss matrix.

  3. Alex said on March 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I tried and could not understand the fact that sometimes the package is missing files and there are this other files to restore them. How can you be sure that the file you have choosen to download is complete?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Alex let me explain that to you. It can happen that uploads to the Usenet become corrupt, either because they have been corrupt before they have been initially uploaded to the first usenet provider, or because they became corrupt during transfers between different providers. There is not a lot that you can do about that, but if you notice lots of corruption on your server, you may want to consider switching to another provider to improve the situation.

      Binsearch often displays whether an upload is complete or not, but not always.

    2. Richard Steven Hack said on March 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Corruption is usually an issue for larger files, such as media files. Users of Usenet long ago discovered the only way to deal with that is to provide what are called “PAR” files, or parity files. These use an algorithm that extracts data from the various separate files making up a download and makes it possible to recreate a missing file. It’s similar to hard drive RAID that allows recreating a corrupted drive from the data on other drives.

      To use PAR files, you have to download them along with the media files you’re downloading. You also need a program that parses PAR files and recreates the missing media file from them. There are free PAR file utilities for Windows and other OS.

      Even this won’t help if too many file parts are missing. There is a ratio of PAR files to original files that needs to be kept if recovery is to be possible. Too many missing parts and PAR files can’t recover the entire original file.

      You should also pick a commercial Usenet provider. Most free providers either don’t have a high ratio of “completeness” in their files or don’t have a long file retention period – because it costs disk space. I use Giganews for $13 a month and it’s well worth it. They have lower and more expensive plans as well. They even offer a file storage service for their larger plans.

      I’ve downloaded an absolutely massive personal library of tech books using alt.binaries.ebooks.technical newsgroup. I don’t usually use it for media, though, as I can get what I want from other sources. Usenet is an awesome resource once you figure out your way around it.

  4. orly said on March 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I really wish people (particularly tech bloggers) would observe the 1st rule of usenet.

    1. beemeeup said on March 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      Is it the same as the 1st rule of fight club?

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