Before rushing out to explore the world of torrenting, many often overlook the pioneer in file sharing, that's been around a lot longer, and is much safer - especially when downloading movies, tv shows and audio. Today we're going to show you how to download usenet files in New Zealand, fast and securely, without revealing your public IP address to anyone -something torrenting is notorious for.
Protect your internet privacy with a VPN. Your public IP address can be traced back to the account holder of your Internet connection. Get started with PureVPN now.
What is Usenet?
Before we get into the article, we'll give you a brief rundown on what Usenet is and how it works. Usenet operates on a client/server model and is organized into newsgroups, which are similar to discussion boards. Each newsgroup is dedicated to a particular topic, and users can post messages to these newsgroups, which are then distributed to other Usenet servers worldwide. This distribution is often called "propagation."
How does Usenet work?
Here's a simplified explanation of how Usenet works:
Newsgroups: Usenet is divided into many categories, each one called a "newsgroup." There are thousands of these newsgroups, covering a wide variety of topics.
Posting: A user with a Usenet client (software) writes a message and posts it to a newsgroup. This could be a new discussion topic or a reply to an existing one
Propagation: Once the message is posted, the user's Usenet server sends that message to other Usenet servers it's connected to. Those servers, in turn, send the message to the servers they're connected to. This process continues until the message has been distributed to all Usenet servers around the world. This is the "Usenet network."
Reading: Users subscribed to that newsgroup can then read the message. They can do this by connecting to a Usenet server with their client software, which downloads the headers (metadata about each message) for the newsgroup. The user can then choose to download and read any messages that interest them.
Retention: Each Usenet server only keeps messages for a certain amount of time, known as its "retention period." After this period, messages are deleted to make room for new ones. Retention periods vary from server to server, ranging from a few days to several years.
It's important to note that Usenet is decentralized—there's no central server that controls everything. Instead, each server operates independently, choosing which newsgroups to carry and how long to retain messages. Users can choose from many different Usenet service providers, each offering different newsgroups, retention periods, and other features.
While it was originally used for text-based discussions, today Usenet is also often used for binary data, allowing users to download files such as images, music, and movies. However, it's worth noting that this use of Usenet can raise legal and ethical issues, as it's often used to distribute copyrighted material without permission.
Now that we know what Usenet is and how it works, as we proceed to show you how to setup the system, keywords will make much more sense.
How to Download Usenet Files
You will need a few things to download Usenet files. These are 3 things.
1. The Indexer
You will need a service to find files through Newsgroups. We call this the Indexer. Usenet files don't show up in a traditional search engine such as Google or Bing. Nor do they show up in community groups that are public accessible. All your content will be in a .NZB file format, which is not to be confused as being related to New Zealand.
The indexer acts as a search engine for files people have posted or shared in newsgroups. A bit like accessing the dark web without a search engine, it really is the unknown until you use the Indexer, as you won't be able to find anything to download.
Indexers are often hidden behind paywalls -i.e. you need to pay to join. Others require a recommendation to actually get in. Others are down and out scams so be sure to checkout the best indexers post on various websites.
Once you're in you'll likely have a number of API calls, number of downloads and access to special features such as Spotweb - a protocol that sits on top of Usenet offering a better way to download movies - often at a more expensive price tag.
Indexers nearly always offer top movies and tv shows to quickly download. You can also search for nearly anything you can think of. Depending on the Indexer they may be better served at providing NZ or AU content etc. You'll likely be able to view information about the file before download and then download the NZB with one click, or add to cart and download all the files at once.
There's no evidence to say downloading NZB files to your home computer is breaking any laws. As it stands an .NZB file is completely useless at this point and is simply an XML file that includes data about the file you're planning to download, metadata etc.
Table of Contents
What are the best NZB Search Indexers?
Most NZB websites have closed registration but here are some of the best paid and free indexers you should consider checking out:
2. The Newsgroup Usenet Provider
Now you've found an NZB file to download you'll want to download it but unlike a torrent which uses your own computer to download that file, with Usenet you'll need to use a premium Usenet provider to download the file for you, and then download it from them onto your computer. Before you scream, scam! It's not, and let me tell you why.
Nearly all Usenet providers are based in offshore jurisdictions such as Netherlands, Panama or Russia where DMCA is ignored. This allows you to literally download anything initially to their servers and then encrypted to your machine without anyone ever seeing your IP address, which is ultimately how most people trip up when downloading torrents.
For added protection you can use a VPN on your local machine in the next step. Many Usenet providers now offer their own VPN service but we're a firm believer in sticking with what works and that's why PureVPN is our go-to provider.
How to Choose The Best Usenet Provider?
Newsgroups: There are hundreds of Usenet providers out there but as there are over 110,000 newsgroups out there where participants share content files you'll want a Usenet provider that has the biggest reach. Some providers such as Giganews boast 100% newsgroup completion due to storing multiple versions of every newsgroup article ever published. Completion is when your file is downloaded successfully. Some files fail due to missing articles which you'll likely experience as you download content.
Retention: Additionally you'll want to look at retention, which is the amount of time and data the Usenet is caching. Most of these are around 4987 days or around 12.5 years. This means if someone shared a movie in a newsgroup in say 2011, and you found the file on an Indexer, you should be able to download it due to the retention. Basically the higher the retention the better, but unless you're downloading older content it might not matter.
Maximum Connections: You'll want to choose a usenet provider that offers a high number of connections. Most providers are around 40-50 however some are as high as 100. This allows you to download at much higher speeds. Remember it's the Usenet provider doing the downloading and then offloading to you at the end of the process.
SSL Connection: You nearly always want to choose a Usenet provider that allows your machine (we'll get to that in step 3) to connect to the Usenet using a secure encrypted connection, basically blocking out any prying eyes (if there were any). Similar to SSL for VPNS, emails, websites or your home Internet, without it these days is just foolish!
Free Trial: While free trials are nice and a good way to test a service out, most of the time, the best Usenet providers are the ones that don't give free trials. Trials often come with limits such as file transfer limits. Imagine a 5GB file, if you had a 50GB limit, you'd hit this after 10 downloads. Given how cheap Usenet providers are, we'd say it's better to go for a paid plan that comes with a money back guarantee instead.
Offshore Servers: We'd say for peace of mind you need to choose a Usenet provider that is offshore where DMCA is ignored or not followed. Often they aren't required to connect any logs either, making your activity basically undetectable. Been very concerned around companies offering local servers in Australia and New Zealand however there's plenty of companies that offer local caching for faster downloads.
Price: Going for a yearly or bi-yearly package definitely makes sense, but it may take you a couple shots at it to find the best Usenet provider for your needs. Personally from experience, cheap is not always good. You will find a lot of your downloads fail due to missing articles which is basically related to the retention and caching of newsgroups. More expensive providers have bigger and better servers for this, leading to a nearly 100% success rate on whatever you want!
Remember: If you use a poor quality Usenet provider, it doesn't matter how great your NZB search or indexer is, the majority of downloads will fail due to missing articles. If you want 100% success, you need to pay for a high quality usenet provider that offers high retention and completion rates.
What are the best Usenet providers?
You should do your own research on these providers, they are constantly changing their plans and offers so our website would be quickly out of date. Be careful though, most of the best Usenet providers in other guides are only there because they offer an affiliate program where the site owner gets a kickback on any sales they bring.
3. The Newsreader Software
Now you've got your NZB files and your Usenet provider, you'll want to put it all together and download the content. There are dozens of high quality binary newsreaders out there such as Sabnzbd. Like many things in life, without putting all 3 together, Sabnzbd is a completely pointless software package on it's own. Unlike blatantly illegal tools such as P2P software, this application just tells your Usenet provider to download the articles, put them together to make the file, then download it to your machine.
Sabnzbd runs anywhere on Windows, macOS, Unix and on NAS devices such as Synology if you've got one of those. It integrates with a wide range of other software applications to automate your download process. This guide would get super long if we showed you how to this so we'll include in other guides but you can checkout Sonarr and Radarr which are two popular options for automation content downloads.
Sabnzbd is open source software that is supported by a community of developers, so you can download a free copy and get setup right away.
What are the Best Sabnzbd Alternatives?
Remember there are other alternatives you can use, we've just chosen the best and most popular option we believe you should checkout. Some of the best alternatives include these:
How to Setup Sabnzbd In New Zealand?
Once you've downloaded and run the software you'll want to open it up. You will quickly see it's a web browser app that loads a web address on your local network called 127.0.0.1:8080/sabnzbd/ - don't be put off by this, perfectly normal. You will see a settings cog at the top of the screen which will allow you to customise settings.
You'll want to choose servers and then 'add server' - this is where you'll put in your Usenet provider details. You will need the following information:
- Port (Usually 563 for SSL - tick the SSL box first to auto-change).
- Username (Your Usenet provider login)
- Password (Your Usener provider password)
- Connections (Enter the max your provider supports, i.e. 40)
Choose test server and once successful you can save the settings. You're pretty much all ready to go now.
Files will be downloaded and end up in one of two folders that would have been auto-created during initial setup on your machine. For Windows devices it's under Downloads and then Complete & Not Complete.
Downloads start in not complete until they are 100% downloaded and then moved to complete. If they fail due to missing articles they stay in not completed, so be sure to clean out the folders regularly. If you don't see the folders or want to change them click onto the folders option in settings.
From completed your media content will be ready to watch and from there you can do whatever you want with it. Most people put it onto a NAS that's setup with a Plex media server, others put it on an external hard drive and connect to the TV.
How to Download With Sabnzbd?
You'll want to drag and drop your .NZB file from the first step into the queue. You can add as many files as you want and they'll be downloaded one after the other. You can see the free space on your local drive and the expected download space required.
You'll also see a history of files that were completed or failed. If files fail, there's usually a reason. Most of the time it's due to missing articles from older files, or new media files that aren't correct. Exercise caution when downloading "cam footage" of new releases, these nearly always fail, especially if you're one of the first to try downloading.
There are other ways of downloading such as providing a link to the NZB or choosing the upload NZB from the + menu on Sabnzbd. These are other areas you can explore should you wish, but for us the drag and drop method works best.
How To Protect Yourself Using Usenet Providers
Personally we don't use a VPN as there is limited news reports of anyone ever being caught for downloading using the Usenet platform, making it one of the safest ways of downloading content without getting caught. However that's not to say it won't ever happen which is why if you're wanting total privacy when using this method we'd recommend turning on a VPN - checkout our guide on the best VPN providers.
A VPN from a company such as PureVPN conceals your true identity and IP address by routing your connection through servers located around the world. Rather than appearing in a house in Auckland, you'll appear as if you're using a server in Romania, or a server in United States, basically making your Internet use and activity untraceable.
Quick Guide - Best VPNs for New Zealand
- PureVPN - High quality, no logs provider offering torrent friendly servers in 142 countries worldwide, at affordable prices.
- ExpressVPN - Provides excellent speeds and some of the best Netflix servers, ideal for those heavy demand streamers.
- Surfshark - The cheapest provider, offering unlimited devices streaming and various modes for combating geo-restrictions. Probably the fastest vpn.
- NordVPN - Offers high levels of security combined with torrent friendly servers, but comes at a cost.
Frequently Asked Questions About Usenet
Q: Is Usenet illegal or legal?
A: Usenet itself is a decentralized network that was developed in the 1980s as a means of exchanging text-based messages and files. The use of Usenet is generally legal. It is a protocol for distributing and retrieving articles across a global network, and it does not inherently involve illegal activities.
However, it is important to note that Usenet is often associated with the sharing and distribution of copyrighted material, such as movies, music, software, and other digital content. Sharing copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder is illegal in many countries and can result in legal consequences.
Usenet providers and users can face legal issues if they are involved in the distribution or sharing of copyrighted material without authorisation. The legality of Usenet largely depends on how it is used and the content being shared. It is always advisable to respect copyright laws and use Usenet for lawful purposes.
Q: How much does it cost to use Usenet providers?
A: The cost of using Usenet can vary depending on the provider and the specific package or plan you choose. Usenet is a decentralized network that allows users to exchange messages and files across various newsgroups. While there are some free Usenet providers available, they often have limitations in terms of speed, retention, and access to certain newsgroups.
For a reliable and high-quality Usenet experience, many users opt for paid Usenet providers. The cost typically involves a subscription fee - around $10 per month, which can range from a few dollars per month to higher-priced plans depending on the provider and the features offered. These plans often include benefits such as faster download speeds, longer retention of articles, SSL encryption, and access to a broader range of newsgroups. It's nearly always cheaper to buy an annual plan.
Additionally, some Usenet providers may offer different pricing tiers based on factors like data transfer limits or the number of concurrent connections allowed. It's important to carefully review the offerings and pricing of different Usenet providers to find the package that best suits your needs and budget.
Q: How much do NZB Indexers cost?
A: From our research the cost varies from free with limited downloads to $15 per month for the best service. Of course there's plenty of options from a few dollars a month, to $25 per year. These are search engines so the cost is often the same whether they have 1 member or 1000 members so they usually price fairly.
Q: Is Usenet illegal in New Zealand?
No, Usenet itself is not illegal in New Zealand. Usenet is a decentralized network and a communication protocol used for exchanging messages and files. It is a legitimate technology and is widely used for various purposes, including discussions, sharing information, and downloading files.
However, it's important to note that the legality of specific activities conducted through Usenet, such as sharing copyrighted material without authorization, can vary depending on the jurisdiction. In New Zealand, as in many other countries, copyright infringement is generally illegal, and sharing copyrighted material without the appropriate rights or licenses is against the law.
It's crucial to respect copyright laws and use Usenet or any other technology in a lawful and responsible manner. Always ensure that you have the necessary permissions or licenses for any copyrighted material you intend to share or download.
I am a software engineer based in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. I love the outdoors and spending time with my family. I started playing around with VPNs when I wanted to watch something overseas and there was no local TV company showing it. I quickly found out how I could enjoy the same content as my American friends without living in Los Angeles.