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About Newsreaders

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A news reader is a program that you install on your computer to connect to a news server where all the messages are stored. There is no sharing, no DHT, no swarms, no uploading - just a direct connection to a high speed news server. This means super fast downloads and no network bottlenecks. In this section, we're going to discuss the theory behind news readers, guide you through our top three favorite news readers, and provide you with a complete list to our entire news reader database.

News readers were not originally designed to download binary files from the newsgroups. This has changed over the years, and today's modern news reader can read messages as well as grab binary files. In our news reader guide section, we'll cover alt.binz, Grabit, and SABnzbd+. All three are excellent at what they do and are very easy to use. There are some differences between the three that change the newsgroup experience, but we'll be sure to let you in on the details.

News Readers: Easy as Pie

alt.Binz, Grabit and SABnzbd+ automate much of the process of grabbing binaries. alt.Binz is very easy to use, is perfect for newcomers, and is well suited to take advantage of NZB files. SABnzbd+ is a web based new reader that works on all three major operating platforms (Mac, PC, and Linux).Grabit automates the download process as well, but also lets you browse the newsgroups.

Today's news readers are simple to learn. There's no peer connections or upload traffic to worry about, only your connection to the news server. This simplicity makes life on the newsgroups one of the easiest methods to obtain messages.

News Readers: Then and Now

There have been tremendous advancements in news reader technology since the turn of the millennium. When PAR/PAR2 files first arrived, they had to be manually applied to the archive with a program such as QuickPar. Although there are exceptions, modern news readers no longer require the end user to manually repair a file. The process, known as auto-par, downloads the required PAR/PAR2 files and repairs a damaged archive with little direct end user involvement. Although the news reader has taken over the repair process, QuickPar is still a worthy piece of software in some circumstances. It's free and is discussed on our PAR & PAR2 Files page.

All three news readers covered in this chapter automatically reassemble archives as well, a process known as auto-rar. Before this, the end user had to manually reassemble an archive with a program such as WinRAR. Under most conditions, this is no longer required as modern news readers have this capability built in. Now that we've covered what you can expect from your news reader, check out our Slyck Recommends list and get yourself a news reader!