Understanding Newsgroups And How To Use Them


Have you encountered the name newsgroups before? Do you understand what these are for? If you have no idea what this is about, below are the details of what newsgroups are.

What are newsgroups?

Newgroup is the name that refers to the different discussion groups that are found in Usenet. With the help of newsgroups, this keeps Usenet organized. To date, there are eight major hierarchies of Newgroups. They are referred to as the big 8. The topics involved in the big 8 are topics relating to computers, news, scientific, recreational, social, religion and politics, miscellaneous and humanities. The appropriate topics must be posted in the right topic hierarchy. Yet these eight are considered the original and is mainly used to classify the rest of the groups.

Who’s using newsgroups?

To date, there are now over 100,000 newsgroups in Usenet. From the general eight hierarchies emerged several more categories. One of which is the binary newsgroup. This is one of the more popular categories in existence. This is separated from the big original hierarchies because it was considered an ALT newsgroup. ALT newsgroup is short for an alternative. The binary newgroup is part of this ALT category. This was created because there are topics that can’t be covered by the first eight hierarchies.


If you are an avid seeker of files like me, you would absolutely love the binary newsgroup. This particular area is where files are uploaded to the various topics by users. For you to be able to post in one, you need to have access to a newsreader and also a Usenet provider. For instance, if you happen to be able to post already, the news server where the file is uploaded then sends the same file to the other servers on the Usenet network. This network of servers makes Usenet stand today. This makes the entirety of Usenet. Once the posted message is populated, other users can then be able to view it.

Who has access?

This can be accessed as long as the service has access to it. Not all news servers have binary newsgroups though. Most Usenet providers offer such access. The good thing about the binary group is that it not only has messages. This can contain non-text topics like audio, video and just about any file format imaginable. This covers a wide array of topics in the first place. Hence, you can be able to find quite a lot of files and related topics here.

In spite of the beauty and the huge repository presented in newsgroups, this is not free. There are rules that you need to follow and fees to pay. Should you decide to join and post, you need to provide a signature in your post. This looks like sharing your contact information in the form of an email. Remember not to use your personal email as many find it dangerous to share.

Newsgroups and Usenet are often used interchangeably. To make it perfectly clear, consider newsgroups like your email lists. Yet, the messages posted to this list go to the public platform. That platform is Usenet.