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Usenet and Newsgroups Freeware

Contrary to what some people think, the Web is not all there is to the Internet. Take the Usenet newsgroups, for example. There are many thousands of newsgroups in cyberspace, which serve as bulletin boards on which anyone can post content. With so many newsgroups in existence, there is one for any interest that you can imagine, from antique tractors to sushi to ancient Babylonian culture.
The newsgroups are a wonderful source of information if you need quick help on a certain topic (such as fixing an annoying computer glitch or finding help on getting a software program to run). Or if you simply want to discuss the issues of the day, there are plenty of lively debates raging in newsgroups at all hours.
The newsgroups contain far more than just text messages, though. You can find everything there from images and photos to sound files to multimedia files and software programs.
Below, we offer the Web's best free programs for getting the most out of the Usenet newsgroups. Some are good, all-around general newsgroup programs that can handle every task you can imagine. Others are more specialized and excel in one certain aspect of the newsgroups (such as automatically retrieving photos).

Binary Boy

An excellent freeware utility, Binary Boy searches the newsgroups for binary file attachments that match your search criteria. You may execute searches immediately or use the scheduler to call your news server at a preset time. You can also create different search criteria for each newsgroup or search globally. New version adds many new features, such as the ability to cancel downloads of unwanted files and an improved newsgroup picker that finds matching newsgroups as you type.

NewsXpress

Here's an excellent, highly configurable free newsgroup reader for Windows. Offers many advanced features, such as built-in uuencode and uudecode. You can also view binary (graphics) files as they download. NewsXpress also lets you send E-mail via SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and much more. (For Windows).

WinVN Newsreader

A solid freeware program, WinVN (Windows Visual Newsreader) has been around for a while and is constantly improving. Like other news readers, it can be used to select, view, write, sort and print Usenet News articles, but it offers a more visual approach than other similar programs. With WinVN, you can easily navigate between newsgroups and articles via a point-and-click interface. (For Windows). English and Japanese versions are available.