Usenet FAQ

What exactly is the Usenet ?

The Usenet is a large network, similar to the Internet. It consists of several newsgroups where data, texts, etc. are uploaded and made available to the general public. To get access to the Usenet, you need a so-called newsreader (e.g. Outlook). Since many of these newsreaders are very uncomfortable, providers such as Usenext or Firstload provide their own software that makes downloading data no more difficult than with Emule, Kazaa & co.

Why are so few people familiar with Usenet?

The first reason for this is that Usenet has been very difficult to use until now and was therefore too complicated for the „normal“ Internet user. Thanks to new software and good support from the providers, the Usenet can be used just as easily as an Internet browser, for example, and is self-explanatory and convenient for the user.

Is the Usenet really as anonymous as promised by the providers?

Basically it can be said: Yes. The providers only need the IPs of the users to measure the traffic (i.e. the amount of data a customer downloads).

Without further ado it is not possible for the provider to check exactly which data you are downloading. This wouldn’t make any sense for the provider, because he lives from the users and would lose you faster than they came…

What is in the Usenet ?

This question is not easy to answer, just as no one can tell you the exact number of websites on the Internet. According to estimates by a provider (, however, it is over 80 terabytes, which corresponds to 80 * 1024 = 81920 gigabytes (for comparison, current hard disks offer an average of 160 gigabytes of storage space) of data such as films, MP3s, games, programs, but also pictures and texts. The Usenet lives from its users, as it is becoming more and more, a not inconsiderable number of new data is added daily.

How fast can I download ?

The speed of your downloads depends on two factors. The first is the speed of your Internet provider. If you only have a DSL connection with for example 2 MBit/s, you can also download with max. 2 MBit/s. The second factor is the speed of your internet provider. The second factor is the speed of the Usenet provider. Many providers, such as Usenext, offer speeds of 16 MBit/s or more. Providers of Usenet flatrates are usually slower. More in the Usenet provider comparison.

Do I also have to offer data ?

Definitely: No! The times when you offered your data to other users on file-sharing networks, constantly uploading your Internet line and were not anonymous are over. You can enjoy fast & anonymous downloads without having to offer other data. Also you are not preferred by offering downloads or have to collect credits (as with file sharing sites) to get a faster download rate.

I hear again and again the term Newsgroups ?!?

Newsgroups are special areas of the Usenet where contributions or downloads are made available.

What are newsreaders and what do I need them for?

With the help of a newsreader you get access to the Usenet. It is, so to speak, the access software (like the T-Online or AOL software). The major Usenet providers, Usenext & Firstload, provide their customers with their own newsreaders, specially optimized for download.

On many pages I read something about binaries ?!?

Binaries are file attachments on Usenet that you download, for example, when you search for certain files. Binaries are simply expressed as your downloads, i.e. games, programs or other things from the Usenet. With the help of the newsreaders, you first download them and then unpack them.

What are archives ?

  1. As soon as news or postings on Usenet have reached a certain age, they are automatically deleted by the news servers.
  2. Since you may also be interested in older data, these are first saved in an archive in order to ensure continued access to the data.