Harley Hahn's
Usenet Center


Home Page

File Sharing   NEW 
• Tutorial
• Posting Binaries

Quick Start Guide

Hands-On Guide

Le petit guide
illustré sur Usenet

Master List
of Usenet

Harley Hahn's
Usenet Tutorial

Usenet Glossary

Site Map

About Harley

Harley Hahn
Home Page

Send a Message
to Harley

  Top Usenet

  Top Usenet

Usenet Tutorial

Usenet Newsgroup Search Engines
and NZB Files

A USENET SEARCH ENGINE is a service that searches through Usenet newsgroups to find specific content. Usenet search engines can be used to search for anything, but they are most often used to search for binary files. For example, you might search for photos of a famous person.

Searching Usenet is not nearly as easy, as powerful, or as fast as searching the Web, because there are no general-purpose, free Usenet search engines.

If you want to search for regular, text-based articles, the easiest way is to use the Google Groups Web site. (I have included a link below.) The results will appear in an easy- to-use format, web-based format. Just click on what you want to read, just as you do with the regular Google search engine. This is what I use when I am looking for information.

For example, let's say I am using Windows and I see a strange error message. It is likely that many other people have had the same problem. Of course I will use the regular Google search to see what I can find, but I will also use the Google Groups search to see what people are saying on Usenet. Often, I will get better answers by looking at the ongoing discussions on Usenet than be looking at Web pages.

If you want to search for music or photos or videos, Google won't help, as it does not archive binaries. Instead, you can use one of the special-purpose binary search services I have listed below. Using them, however, requires you to have a bit of knowledge. Specifically, you need to understand about NZB files.

Usenet search engines look for what you want by searching through all the header lines in a particular set of newsgroups. Because there are so many groups, you need to specify which ones you want to search.

It is important to understand that the output of a Usenet search engine is information about the articles that meet your criteria, not the actual articles themselves. Once the search is complete, this information can be saved in what is called an NZB FILE, a text file that stores information using XML. (XML is a general-purpose specification used to transport and store data.)

Once you have an NZB file, you can download it and open it with your newsreader. Your newsreader will then connect to your news server and download all the articles specified in the NZB file.

This is particular useful when you are looking for binaries that may have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of parts. The NZB file will contain all the information your newsreader needs to download all the parts. Once they arrive, your newsreader will put them together for you automatically to recreate the original file.

A Final Suggestion

Now that you and I have finished working through this Usenet tutorial, I have a suggestion. When you get a few moments, I recommend that you read my step-by-step guide to using Usenet:

Harley Hahn's Hands-On Guide to Usenet

Within this illustrated, easy-to-use guide, I lead you through the most important skills necessary to use Usenet, one step at a time. As you read, you will be able to practice using Usenet for the three most popular activities: searching for photos, reading text articles, and file sharing.

I'm sure you'll find my Hands-On Guide both useful and interesting, especially now that you have some understanding of the largest discussion and file-sharing system in the world.


Jump to top of page