Picking a Newsreader Client

There are easily hundreds of options out there to choose from. Here are some tips to help you pick a newsreader client.

10 Newsreader Client Selection Tips

1. Binary or Text Newsgroups
2. Free and Discounted Newsreader Clients
3. Ease of Use over Bells and Whistles
4. NZB and Web Search Support
5. Security - Support for SSL Connections
6. Automatically Reconnect Dropped Connections
7. Image, Video, and Music Previews
8. Schedule Downloads and Walk Away
9. Integrated Rar Support
10. Organize Downloads

1. Binary or Text Newsgroups
We start here as we did the the Usenet provider guide. If you are looking for text newsgroup support then try one of the free newsreader clients. Binary Usenet users will need more functionality.

2. Free or Discounted Newsreader Clients
Several Usenet server providers offer free or discounted newsreader clients. We do not suggest you pick a provider based on their newsreader offers. However, if your provider offers a free newsreader then save some money and start there. Most of the free offers we have seen include popular newsreader clients.

3. Ease of Use Over Bells and Whistles
I think the KISS method applies well when it comes to newsreader clients. If you keep it simple and understand the features available you can get the most out of your newsreader. If however you choose one that's tech savvy but not intuitive the result is likely buying another client or lots of cursing.

4. NZB and Web Search Support
For anyone not familiar with NZB files they save you tons of time over the old method of downloading headers. By using a newsreader with NZB and Usenet search support you can easily find what your looking for and download it without going through the task of downloading headers.

5. Security - Support for SSL Connections
Most but not all newsreader clients support SSL connections. By choosing a Usenet server and newsreader that supports SSL you are adding a level of security and privacy. You can find more information on Usenet security in our Usenet resources section.

6. Automatically Reconnect Dropped Connections
If you have ever started a download and then come back to the computer only to find the download failed then this will be important. Some newsreaders will automatically reconnect any lost connections. For those insane enough to download binaries via dial up some newsreaders will also support lost dial up connections.

7. Image, Video and Music Previews
Previewing a file while downloading is great. Many newsreader clients let you preview images within the client and support mp3 playback. Previewing videos can also ensure quality and save time.

8. Schedule Downloads and Walk Away
A newsreader with scheduling or download queue feature will allow you to queue up files and walk away. Many will even let you prioritize the downloads so that you get the most important selections first and so on.

9. Integrated Rar Support
Many binary downloads will come in parts. These parts are often Rar files and require a utility to unrar the files and combine them into the finished product. This can be done from within some newsreader clients. Some even provide Rar utilities to help you recover damaged or missing files.

10. Organize Downloads
If you are new to Usenet then you'll likely go nuts downloading at first. You can find out quick that its a pain managing all those downloaded files. A good newsreader can help by giving you options to organize files including pre-configured folder schemes and customizable download folders.