Newsbin Pro 6.50 Review

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 16, 2013
Updated • Dec 19, 2013

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.

Server Setup

  1. 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.
  2. Select Options > Servers to get started.
  3. Click on New Server and enter a server name. Here you can also copy server settings if available already.
  4. Once you have added a server, you need to enter the username and password if required.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Adding Groups

  1. Once you have added at least one server, you can start downloading that server's group list.
  2. Select Options > Add Groups from the menu.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Newsbin Pro offers filters that you can use to only display groups in binaries, or popular groups.
  6. 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.

Closing Words

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


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Klaas Vaak said on December 26, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    @Martin Brinkmann: with all due respect, this is now such a basic function, esp. for people reading your articles, that this article is like explaining to the readers how to calculate 1+1.

    1. Herman Cost said on December 26, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Yes, I have to agree with this. I can’t imagine that there are many spreadsheet users who are computer literate enough to even casually read ghacks, but don’t know how to use a SUM function.

    2. Malte said on December 26, 2020 at 4:05 pm

      @Klass Vaak & Herman Cost
      Ever thought that people might google it so this artice might show up in the search results. it’s not useless. I think it’s a good strategy explaining stuff even if it’s just basic things. Every day there is a new user on the internet searching for this kind of tutorial.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on December 26, 2020 at 6:55 pm

        @Malte: you make a good point, in principle. Nevertheless, nowadays telling people how to do a sum calculation, the simplest of the simple, in a spreadsheet is like teaching grandma to suck eggs.

        If say an elderly person would be sitting in front of a spreadsheet wondering how to sum a number of cells, that person is unlikely to look it up on internet, but would ask one of her/his children.

        And in any case, Ghacks is not a spreadsheet tricks and tips site, so it would not show up high in the ranking in a Google search.

      2. marty said on April 11, 2022 at 1:42 pm

        I`m an elderly person. 71.
        My experience in computers spans 50 years, focused on Unix internals, advanced degrees.
        I look to the internet for answers, since my children hate me and wouldnt tell me “jack”, even if they knew the answer.
        I dont know how to “suck eggs in principle”, or anything else for that matter. I’m retired and not interested in learning. Some other guy learned “the theory of sucking things.”

        Never needed spreadsheets, always too darn busy. Thanks for this info. Now I know how to sum two cells.

        Everyone starts somewhere.

      3. yanta said on September 10, 2023 at 9:34 am

        I am an elderly person and I can use sum, sumif, sumifs and so on. My kids come to me for knowledge on how to use excel and other programs ;)

        But then, I was in IT my entire career before I retired :)

        There are basic sites, and there are advanced sites. GHacks used to be more for people with technical knowledge. You can’t be everything to everyone though that seems to be the trend these days. Since it’s all about clicks and click bait the wider the topics the more you can remain “relevant”…

        However, that mentality tends to alienate the more technical people. I find myself spending less time here every month. It won’t be long before I stop coming here altogether.

        I have no mobile or wireless technology.

        Anything google or apple is insidious to me. And that accounts now for most of the content here.

        As to this article. Avast, and all of their products are untrustworthy. There has been much controversy and negativity regarding their products. I would think a reputable site would be more careful in what they publish… err, sorry, advertise.

    3. Peterc said on December 27, 2020 at 1:22 am

      @Klaas Vaak: In Martin’s defense, it’s the day after Christmas, and some eggnog recipes pack a *real wallop*. Maybe we’re lucky he could type at all. ;-) More seriously, I don’t use Calc super-often, I typically type in the =SUM() function manually, and I’d actually *forgotten* where the Σ button is located in Calc. (The last time I was a heavy spreadsheet user, it was in an older version of Excel and I’m pretty sure the Σ button was somewhere on one of the “regular” toolbars.) So, the article actually did have a small payoff for me. Plus, there might be other intermediate or advanced users of other types of programs (graphics, audio, video, word-processing) who have never used a spreadsheet in their lives. It’s kind of hard to imagine, I know, but it’s possible.

    4. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 5, 2023 at 2:47 pm

      You were not born with the knowledge you have now. You once had to learn too.
      So get down off your high horse, grow up and show a little respect for others who need details.

  2. SpywareFan said on December 26, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Overall LO has become a good SW, what prevents me to use it is:
    “it will not store the information about the data source once the data is imported”
    Until that functionality is implemented I’m forced to use M$ Office (2003).

    1. Klaas Vaak said on December 26, 2020 at 3:05 pm

      @SpywareFan: an interesting alternative for M$ Office is Softmaker’s FreeOffice.

      1. intelligencia said on December 26, 2020 at 10:02 pm

        @Klaas Vaak

        I have the Softmaker’s Free Office Suite in my computer – – and I LOVE IT!


      2. SpywareFan said on December 27, 2020 at 11:18 am

        In the FreeOffice manuals there is no reference to XML data mapping functions.

    2. Kent Brockman said on December 27, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      Another vote for Softmaker’s Free Office, a very nice alternative to MS Office.

  3. Anonymous said on December 26, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Yes, I use functions in Calc: Average, Min and Max. I use the mouse to select the cells.
    I don’t usually have to use Sum.
    Thanks for the info, and could we have more tips for LibreOffice?
    I find that the documentation does not keep up with the changes in LibreOffice.
    Also, it is hard to find info in the help documentation.

  4. Bart from Holland said on December 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks Martin for all your great work you put in to make our live easier. Have a nice and healthy 2021.

  5. ShintoPlasm said on December 26, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    To all those complaining about this being a simple ‘101’ function: it’s Martin’s blog, he can write a deep-dive review of Windows Calculator if he so wishes. Do you pay his salary or something?

    1. Klaas Vaak said on December 27, 2020 at 5:27 am

      @ShintoPlasm: yes, it is Martin’s blog, but it is a public blog with a comments section, which means he invites people to comment. And having been an avid reader for several years now, I am pretty sure Martin does not expect commenters to agree with him all the time.

      You do not help him with agreeing with everything willy-nilly and “honouring” him with praise. Martin, like everyone else in the world, is not perfect, therefore he can only learn from constructive criticism.

      Unfortunately you look at constructive criticism as a complaint. I do not agree with you on that and will keep making constructive criticism because I believe in keeping this website one of the best ones – refraining from constructive criticism won’t do that.

      1. Kent Brockman said on December 27, 2020 at 7:59 pm

        Absolutely. People could rather than leaving constructive criticism just stop visiting the site. How is that in the best interest of the site’s authors?

  6. Anonymous said on December 30, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    A new way to sum with the latest version is to place the cursor under the numbers to be summed, then press Alt-=, then ENTER.

  7. Pat said on April 19, 2021 at 6:23 am

    The SUM function doesn’t work. It just keeps putting the same total no matter what figures I enter.

  8. Mary said on March 23, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    I would like to know how to make the sum function work. I know how it should work and it works in excel. But when I put the sum function in, it will not make changes when I edit and change the data, the total remains the same

  9. will willows said on July 26, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    Ditto, Marty. Everyone starts somewhere. Thanks.

    1. Anonymous said on September 29, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Instead of being snarky, maybe you could be helpful. I’d like to add two numbers in a cell;
      In Excel, it would be

      I try that in this piece of crap software, and get a message “Invalid value.”

  10. semce said on August 23, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    I used Excel a lot when I was working. Retired now seven years. Excel was great, especially for macros. I now use LibreOffice, which works similarly but the macros are difficult in comparrison to Excel. I couldn’t find anything on macros for Free Office, which was disappointing, so I uninstalled it. I find Zoho to be the most similar to Excel but there you’re stuck with your spreadsheets in the cloud which I didn’t like.

  11. Graham said on August 24, 2023 at 1:44 am

    Um… When was this article posted? The date says today (August 23, 2023), but I’m seeing comments from 3 years ago.

    1. Anthony said on August 24, 2023 at 5:04 am

      I was going to amuse myself and check out the comments for this Avast AV sponsored post since there were so many comments. I thought it funny since they have an article bashing the product in 2019.

      What do I see when I go to the comments? Ghacks pulled an “Amazon” and replaced an article on Excel SUM functions with a sponsored post to make it look like a good article.

      Anyone and everyone who even has a clue about tech knows that Avast is utter garbage and focuses on spying on you and spamming you with ads these days. Just check out the bad article from 2019 on this very site! If you run Windows 10/11, you already have better antivirus than Avast built-in to Windows.

  12. awf said on August 26, 2023 at 7:33 am

    surely more importantly is why an ad for dodgy anti-virus has the whole thread on office suites instead.. something in the db is messed up.

  13. Kirk said on September 1, 2023 at 5:33 am

    On a slight tangent, does foobar2000 have a built in lyrics plug in? I mostly used Linux and Deadbeef, the closest alternative to Foobar there has a very old(and kinda broke) plug in.

  14. News filter said on September 1, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    If you want news then add this line in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    1. owl said on September 2, 2023 at 1:27 am

      @News filter,
      >,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

      Thanks for the useful information.
      Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin.

      I was able to clean up “all articles” by other authors on the Ghacks site.

      It’s refreshing to be able to see only useful articles (instead of being buried among inferior articles) by clearing out the obtrusive articles.

  15. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Important note: changing policies through the program doesn’t save them automatically. You need to hit Ctrl+S (or go to File > Sve Policies)

  16. Zaqzyp said on September 5, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    What silly click bait article. Even the actual article is ridiculous.

    “The launch of HarmonyOS for PC could pose a serious threat to Windows.”

    Who cares what people in China use.
    Don’t do drugs before working maybe.

    What’s next? Look up the biggest Android fork in China and write pointless long article about it how it’ll take over Google’s Android.

    1. Zaqzyp said on September 5, 2023 at 1:00 pm

      HarmonyOS and Excel comments are mixed up.

  17. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    HarmonyOS is not an open-source OS, only partially components.

    What is happening with these comments from other articles?

  18. awd said on September 5, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    this is funny. it looks like the same base article, comments and all has been repurposed and edited or something for 3 (or more) different articles.

    started off as something for some office suite… and then it was some antivirus thing.. and now it’s some iffy os.

    wtf is that writer doing? no one reads or comments on the ad articles and he has to reuse old ones to make it look like it’s getting traction? (though it shows up as 0 comments on the homepage, so that can’t be it?)

  19. dial said on September 5, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    “HarmonyOS does not have Google. Huawei’s HarmonyOS is a proprietary operating system..”
    “HarmonyOS is open-source, which means that it can be customized by developers and manufacturers.”

    Both are quotes from the article. So which one is it, open source or proprietary?

  20. Winnie said on September 5, 2023 at 4:01 pm

    Without windows-based videogames able to run, it’ll stay niche.

    Huawei better put serious money into a harmonyOS port of Wine, DXVK or Proton if it wants its machine being more than web browsing thin clients.

  21. John G. said on September 5, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    I won’t trust a foreign OS.

    1. John G. said on September 5, 2023 at 4:16 pm

      Deeply foreign, I meant. In so many ways.

    2. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 2:00 pm

      “I won’t trust a foreign OS.”

      You trust Microsoft Windows, Google Android and Apple operating systems just because they are from businesses in your country ? Talk about blind nationalism.

      Do not forget also that there is a world outside of USA and that for most of human beings, your favorite operating systems are also of a foreign origin, and as hostile towards them as they are towards yourself.

  22. wibble said on September 5, 2023 at 5:07 pm

    HAHAHAHA – did you really say “it could pose a serious threat to Microsoft’s Windows operating system”?

  23. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    It won’t run programs or real games, so it will be useless.
    I mean, there are some people who apparently love using tablets and phones for everything, but mostly are people who will barely do anything with their brain in life.

    I mean, even if Photoshop, and others are available for iPad, do people think iPad is a threat for windows? not really, maybe for useless consumers who will just, like with a phone, be happy and move on, but not for professional industries which are the ones who matter the most, because are the ones who generate more revenue, since they buy the most expensive hardware and software.
    Nothing consumer computing related really makes much money, unless it is data from users that get sold for AI or Ads.

  24. vanp said on September 6, 2023 at 6:10 am

    Who knows where this comment is going to wind up. It’s in response to the article about Huawei’s HarmonyOS (HOS) operating system.

    Two places in the article it says HOS is open-source. One place the article says HOS is proprietary. Uh, I’m pretty sure it can’t be both. Which is it? If there’s some fine distinction, somebody needs to explain it.

    1. Jody Thornton said on September 7, 2023 at 1:52 am

      After all of these issues with Ghacks articles and misplaced postings, I’m reminded of this

    2. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 8:22 am


      Note: I replied to you on September 6, 2023 at Around 2:20 pm, but it was still remain blocked after more than half a day, so I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and reposted.

      The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
      Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
      As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.

      By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
      RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

      Regarding “Huawei’s HarmonyOS” you asked about, the developer has stated that it is planning to open source, however the actual situation has been shelved (no such movement).
      HarmonyOS – Wikipedia
      Therefore, it is “proprietary software”.
      Moreover, both the company and its production base are in China. China, Russia, Israel, etc. are “Authoritarian state” and products and companies based in those countries are under state control, and privacy policies can become “famous and innocent.” Those products should be avoided.

      1. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:20 am

        Correction of sentence
        Before correction: “famous and innocent.”
        After correction: “nominal name only titular.”

      2. vanp said on September 8, 2023 at 5:29 am

        owl, thanks again for the great info.

  25. Dennis Faucher said on September 8, 2023 at 4:12 am

    HarmonyOS doesn’t run Windows apps. It is no threat to Windows.

    1. Glyde said on September 8, 2023 at 8:06 pm

      I agree.. i bet it cant even run wallpaper engine, it probably has the worst compatibility with software.

  26. hira said on September 9, 2023 at 9:24 am

    iam vary satisfied this work

  27. yanta said on September 10, 2023 at 9:36 am

    ah, wonderful, this message/article cross-posting hasn’t been fixed.
    Ignore my comments.

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