If you are looking for files or information on the #USENET, then you need a search method. Although USENET beats all other methods for file downloads, it does fall a little short in the search facility. There is no way to search the USENET that is built into the system.
You do need a special #search #service. There are a few software programs now that will do the searching for you. Getting onto the USENET means that you have access to masses and masses of files and you can quickly become lost.
It is the USENET search engines that will save your bacon and stop you from becoming totally overwhelmed by the information available.
When you are choosing a USENET search engine, then you want one that is suitable for both binary content and also nzb files. The search engine will then go through all the newsgroups looking for specific content according to your search parameters. In most cases people are searching for binary files such as photos of their favorite celebrity.
If you are looking for just simple text based articles then you can use systems such as the Google groups web site to find them. This is mostly a system used for people looking for very specific information.
If you are looking for photos, music or film then you will need to use a USENET specific search service. These search services work by searching through the headers of newsgroups.
The sheer volume of newsgroups in the USENET means that you do need to specify some search parameters to speed up the search. When the search completes, you will receive information about the articles that have been found, although you will not receive the articles themselves.
When you get the search result you can save the information as an nzb file. Once this nzb file has been saved you can open it with your newsreader and then download the appropriate articles it has come back with.
The good thing about a newsreader is that when you have the nzb file the newsreader will do all the work and get together all the information of the original file, which can be thousands of different parts.
As we have seen there are free options to search the #USENET but these are very limited with only being able to search text files. The USENET in most is used for sharing and downloading binary files so you will need a good search facility.
The search engines that we found the easiest to use are #nzbindex, #newsleech and binsearch. Nzbindex has been around for 15 years now and has a good step by step help section for those that are a bit confused by the whole #USENET system.