Sunday, September 4, 2011

UseNet - Introduced and explained
For the thousands of Indians who go online every day, downloading content from the Internet is very important. Much of the content downloaded from online sources is pirated material - content that is copyrighted, and has been posted online unlawfully. In your online wanderings, chances are that you’ve come across the term “Usenet”, but have never really given it much thought. If that’s the case, The Indian Geek brings you this article to give you an introduction to what it is, and how you can get on board. Jump past the “Read more” link and join us as we dive into our very own Usenet primer.

What is Usenet?
Usenet, in its simplest form, is a means for discussion on a global scale. It’s a network that is not a part of the Internet, but can be accessed through it. Think if it as a cross between a message board and email.
Usenet has been around since 1979, (that’s a full decade before the Internet came into existence!) when two students rigged up a means for text-based discussion between their universities. In the thirty years since then, the structure and tone of Usenet has changed. Today, a significant portion of Usenet has a commercial flavor with it being used not just for discussion but for sharing and downloading pretty much any type of file.

What you can do with it:
* Find and discuss topics: The discussions on Usenet are divided into a comprehensive hierarchy that covers nearly every imaginable topic. if you want information about a specific topic, chances are that you will be able to find a sub-hierarchy in Usenet devoted to it, and someone who can answer your query.
* Find files: Usenet holds one of the largest repositories of publicly shared data that can be accessed through the Internet. You can often find files on Usenet months before they come to other download sites, depending upon the type of content and its medium of release.

Why it is preferred for downloads:
1. Speed: Usenet is Fast. It maxes out any available broadband (or what passes for broadband) connection available in India, allowing you to download at the full speed your ISP provides.
2. Quantity of Content: It serves up a huge amount of content.
3. File Availability: Most Usenet providers retain files on their servers for upto a year. This means that if the file has been uploaded within the previous year, you will be able to download it at full speeds.
4. Ease of use: Earlier, Usenet needed a fair amount of technical expertise and patience to find, download, merge and check files. Today, there are many user-friendly clients that have automated these tasks, making Usenet a lot easier to use.

How you can access it:
In order to access Usenet and download from it, you will need to use paid services that will provide specialized software. This concept of paying for access may seem rather… unpleasant... to us who expect everything in life to come free, but if what you’ve read so far about it sounds perfect for you, then you may find it worth the cost.

That’s the basics of Usenet, what it can be used for and how you can use it. If any of you out there have used Usenet, or have some more useful tips - feel free to chip in with your thoughts in the comments section below. Due to the nature of most of the content available for download, we have to put out this disclaimer: The Indian Geek does not endorse or entertain efforts to access copyrighted material through illegal means.

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