In A Nutshell
Update: OZNzb is quickly 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).
On the Usenet, an NZB file is the equivalent of a torrent file for Bittorrent. It’s a small text file that points to the media you want — for more info see my introduction to the Usenet article.
Here are my recommendations for the best NZB search engines in 2014:
The Best Public NZB Search Engine: Binsearch
If you don’t want to register on a search site, and just want a basic NZB search — try Binsearch.
This free search works well, but it only displays the unsorted parts of a binary file on the Usenet. Here’s how to use it — type your keywords, then select the checkmark next to all the parts of a media file you want. Then press the “Create NZB” button and you’ll be prompted to download the NZB file. You must make sure you select all the parts of the media file, otherwise your NZB will not work.
Personally, I only use Binsearch as a last resort. The search engines listed below make downloading much easier.
The Best Free NZB Engines (That Require Registration)
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:
- Nzbplanet.net (open registration, search produces good results but comprehensive as the invitation-only NZB.su for example)
- OZnzb (open registration, excellent search, now requires a email verification & free accounts limited to 5 searches per day)
- BinNZB indexes about 2.000 newsgroups with 11 million Nzb files. It is updated every 5 minutes with new Nzb files. They run no ads, no registrations, the site is fully free.
- NZBmegasearch (a stand-alone app – here’s a guide to installing it in the cloud)
- aBook.ws (indexes audio books)
- DogNZB (open for registration for short periods every few weeks — not currently open as of April)
- NZB.su (one of the best indexes, but registration is by invitation only now)
- NZBHangout (newly open for registration but require invitation code)
- Nzbfriends.com (seems to be the same as Binsearch)
- nMatrix (private registration — not currently open)
Other Usenet Tips
Before you can start downloading from the Usenet, you need to pay for Usenet access from a provider. You can expect to pay about $8-$20 per month for access. I recommend Usenetserver for Usenet access, and these are my other recommended Usenet Providers. I also recommending getting a back-up block account from a provider like Astraweb.
The Best Usenet Client: SABNZDb (free)
You’ll need an application to download all your NZB files. My recommended app is SABnzbd (for Windows, Mac and Linux).
Use a VPN
It’s unlikely that you’ll be spied upon when using the Usenet, but it still a possibility. Using a 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.