In A Nutshell
Before you can download from the Usenet, you need a provider — here are our recommended Usenet Providers for 2014.
If you need a basic NZB search try Binsearch — this public search engine is a easy to access, but basic.
If you need a better organized, more comprehensive NZB search, try a member-only site. These sites tend to come and go, and they often close their public registration.
Here are my recommendations:
- OZnzb (open registration — quickly becoming the best NZB index out there, now requires a email verification & free accounts limited to 5 searches per day)
- Nzbplanet.net (open registration, search produces good results but not quite as comprehensive as others)
- NZB.su (one of the best indexes, but registration is by invitation only now)
- DogNZB (open for registration for short periods every few weeks — now open May 2nd)
- NZBmegasearch (a stand-alone app – here’s a guide to installing it in the cloud)
- aBook.ws (by invite only — indexes audio books)
- NZBHangout (newly open for registration but require invitation code)
- Nzbfriends.com (seems to be the same as Binsearch)
- nMatrix (private registration — not currently open)
A new one with open registration: http://www.nzbhangout.info
The Best Usenet Index Overall
OZnzb is becoming the best NZB index. You may wish to opt for this service since the registration is currently open to everyone. The only catch is that free accounts are limited to 5 searches per day. This limit is removed if you pay $16 per year for VIP access (100 Downloads / 1000 API Calls per day).
Before you can start downloading from Usenet, you need to pay for Usenet access from a provider. You can expect to pay about $10-$20 per month for access. I recommend XLned (see my article The Best Usenet Provider for more details).
The Best Usenet Client: SABNZDb
You’ll need an application to download all your files. My recommended app is SABnzbd (for Windows, Mac and Linux). If you download a lot, consider saving files directly to an external hard drive.
Use a VPN
It’s unlikely that you’ll be spied upon when using the Usenet, but it is still a possibility. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a straightforward way to conceal your IP address, and ensure your privacy. The best VPNs are those have policies that allow P2P transfers on their servers, like Private Internet Access. See all my recommended providers in this post: The Best VPN For P2P.