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First free browser-based binary Usenet provider launches

Posted at 11 June 2012 15:20 CEST by Seán Byrne

Unless a person’s ISP came with Usenet access, anyone interested in accessing Usenet had to subscribe to a Usenet provider. While there are free Usenet providers such as Google Groups, they provide either no or very limited access to binary groups. Even if someone just wanted to try out a binary Usenet provider, all the pay providers require credit card or other payment details even just for a free trial.

UsenetStorm has launched their own HTTP based Usenet service, which provides access to binary content through the web browser. Unlike other binary Usenet providers, it includes a free option where users can download up to 500MB of binary content at a time and no registration or payment details are required. Basically, what the user does is create an NZB file that links to the binary content they would like to get and then uploads this NZB file to UsenetStorm. Once UsenetStorm fetches the binary content, it will provide this content in a ZIP file, which can be downloaded through the browser like downloading from a file locker service.

As the Usenet binary content is retrieved by UsenetStorm instead of by software, it also gets around any Usenet restriction the ISP may technically enforce. For example, while UsenetStorm’s free service does have a 5Mb throughput limit on its browser-based download, some ISPs are known to throttle Usenet content to as little as 512Kbps.

Usenet does have several advantages over BitTorrent. Users who download from Usenet are not uploading or sharing what they are downloading, thus giving the same privacy as with downloading from file locker services. As long as the content is available on Usenet, it is delivered as fast as any other Usenet content. Content uploaded to Usenet can live on Usenet for many years, unless manually removed such as due to a DMCA request.

Unlike most file locker services, the only main restriction UsenetStorm has on free users is a 500MB limit per NZB file and that the download speed is limited to 5Mb. There is no limit to the number of NZB files the user may fetch. If the user wishes to download more than 500MB of content, they can link up to 500MB per NZB file and upload these NZB files one at a time to download the resulting fetched binary content as Zip archives for each NZB file. UsenetStorm does provide subscription options for those interested in downloading more than 500MB at a time or multiple downloads simultaneously.

TorrentFreak goes into more detail about this service and a basic Tutorial of downloading content.

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