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Binverse – has Usenet becomes the new (old) file sharing paradise?


binverse small Binverse   has Usenet becomes the new (old) file sharing paradise?

Way back in 1980 BF (Before Facebook) and a decade before the World Wide Web was created, Usenet came into being. It was set up as a communication channel, a cross between a bulletin board and email, and it flourished. Cut forward 30 years and despite the massive popularity of various entities like AOL, CompuServe, ICQ, IRC, Friendster and yes, even the mighty Facebook, it’s still going strong.

It also remains the place where serious geeks announce important things to the world. Linus released Linux on the newsgroups first, Tim Berners-Lee did the same for the Web and the Mosaic web browser first saw light of day on a posting.

Nowadays Google Groups maintains the archives of past posts for posterity and history, and the newsgroups, the collection of disparate interest groups spanning the gamut from computing to recreation and science, continue to generate around 1,800 messages *every hour*.  Business is booming.

binverse3 thumb Binverse   has Usenet becomes the new (old) file sharing paradise? 

For it is indeed a business nowadays. Where before every ISP automatically delivered Usenet account access as part of your plan, now you need to sign up to a premium service if you want to get the fastest most comprehensive newsgroup coverage. Sure you can find free news services, and even search engines, but the fact is it costs real money to maintain terrabytes of data as a newsgroup supplier and serve it up at a respectable speed to your users.

One of the two biggest companies supplying such commercial services are Giganews and Binverse, and since I hadn’t taken a look at Usenet for at least 10 years I willingly accepted the offer of a test account from the latter recently to see if and just how much the whole service has changed.

 Well it’s certainly changed all right. We’re now used to the full blown multimedia, graphical glory of the Web, but Usenet has always been the resolutely geeky brother in the basement, refusing to compromise on UI or functionality. You learn it, or take a hike. The new premium services have all but removed that attitude.

binverse2 thumb Binverse   has Usenet becomes the new (old) file sharing paradise?

The first screen that greets you once you’ve logged into the Binverse online account manager is a super helpful Quick Start page, designed to…well get you started. The modern newsgroup community appears to have changed somewhat from a pure discussion based set of groups, to one which has a healthy appetite for file sharing, demonstrated by the fact that a full 3 or 4 help topics are devoted to searching for and downloading files of all sorts. The legal material includes open source software, public domain material, even scientific research, however a large proportion of files on the alt.* group appear to be copyright stuff. A sign of the times?

Binversesoftware

The first thing you need to do is download the software which makes the file sharing activity easier than the horrible…repeat horrible…mess it was in the old days. You see Usenet files are typically shredded into lots of little parts as they are distributed amongst the myriad servers in the network, which means that gathering them all together used to be a nightmare for the non-technical. That’s all in the past.

Now you get a nice big friendly search box and a download button and you’re away. Enter your search term and the super slick software hunts for all the bits of the file, downloads and collates them, repairs them if necessary and presents you with a nicely packaged result you can go away and play, view or listen to immediately. Mostly. Sometimes the files are encapsulated in risky wrappers like .exe format (which I would be very wary of) or .iso, which is fine for the latest Linux distro, not so understandable for a multimedia file.

Binversesoftware2 

But boy is it fast. Did we mention speed before? Binverse comes with two modes, unlimited low speed downloads at 1 Mbps downloads, and a metered high speed setting which gives blistering speed for a certain amount of data depending on your plan. How fast? Well a 700MB file took me around 8 minutes from go on my not so fast ADSL Internet connection, compared with around 2–3 hours or more you can typically see on a BitTorrent download.

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Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • Adyton

    You left out some of the nifty nntp tools, that will ease the process of finding, downloading and unzipping, all in one process, and all with your favorite browser: NZB http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NZB

    Pair one of the following search engine:
    http://www.dmoz.org//Computers/Usenet/Search/NZB/

    with NZB software:
    mac: http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/25236/sabnzb
    windows: http://wiki.sabnzbd.org/install-windows
    FireFox addon: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/76

    And you've got yourself a super-easy solution with simple web search and a
    powerful download manager that will automatically fix broken files, unzip and much more.

    And lets not forget IRC, where you search millions of files and with small commands get those files posted on nntp, where sabnzbd downloads it automatically when posted..

    Have fun..

    P.S
    For access to nntp with the least effort, use http://www.easynews.com Everyting unpacked with very powerful global search engine, saved search, rss, zip-manager, picture-viewer and more.

    Have fun
    Adyton

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Nigel Nigel Powell

      I did try SuperNZB and Sabnzbd with http://nzbindex.nl/ and found it all very clunky compared with the Binverse experience. Ordinary folk like me just don't have the time or interest in digging around to find tools to do a job. We just want to press a button and shazam… :)

      And let's not forget the Binverse high speed issue, which is the real deal maker here. :)

      • Adyton

        Well, as i said, if you want it easy, try http://www.easynews.com. the have the same speed as Binverse, (25Mb/sec download from usa to norway, adsl maxed out) but with only a web browser, and global search through all newsgroups, with thumbnail viewing of all movies and pics, preview of mp3s, streaming of movies, very efficient zip manager and much more.. It's like being on nntp without any of the drawbacks (no preview, no global search etc…)

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/Nigel Nigel Powell

          Yes, but you still have to use a 3rd party tool to re-assemble par files which you've downloaded with EasyNews, which as I said before is probably a step too far for many people when Binverse does it all in one single step. Download – access completed file. Doesn't get easier than that.

          • Adyton

            No, Easynews does that for you, they re-assemble all postings and unzips archives (using par if files are missing) on their servers, giving you one-click download/streaming of every file posted in all groups from a single search engine, even if that file was posted in an archive (rar,zip,etc.)

            No software to download, and no need to wait for unrar/smartpar to unpack huge archives (like 120GB HD movies, split in 100's of rar files.. takes forever to fix/unrar…)

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Nigel Nigel Powell

            Ahh..they need to fix their video tutorial then. It talks about needing to download additional software to assemble the files. Who to believe eh? :)

            http://www.easynews.com/video/index.html

          • Adyton

            Sorry, can't watch that video from here (Goa, India on a 19KB wifi line)
            But i have been a member of easynews for about 5 years now, and this is the way i use easynews for the moment.

            Searching for Avatar and .mkv gives me 1 good hit, clicking thumbnails gives me 20 small pics of the movie, letting me check the quality of the movie before downloading. Clicking on the movie itselfe, and it starts downloading… (And yes, it came from an archive, as it has the AutoUnRAR tag)

            So i don't really know why the say you need a seperat download, maybe for the folks still using a nntp client..

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/Nigel Nigel Powell

            Yeah, well I was only quoting the video. Apparently EasyNews does all the file gathering pre download, but then downloads them all individually into a zip file, after which you need a tool to re-assemble the file bits from inside the zip into a single main file. At least that's what the video says.

            The video recommends you download MacParDeluxe for Macs, and WinRar for Windows to do the assembly.

            Is that not your experience?

          • Adyton

            No, they give you an option of zipping multiple files for you. If you want to download, lets say 100 mp3's, then you zip those mp3s on their server, then download the zip file, then unzip with normal zip prog (i'm using the built-in unziper on my mac)

            For single files, like Avatar, dmg etc. I use DownThemAll plugin to download the file directly.

  • http://www.watchgleefreeonline.net Dorthea Sitto

    I am glad you wrote this. I have been thinking the same thing as I’ve watched the last few episodes.

  • adyton

    You do of course have the option of downloading the rar archives instead of the autounrar file, and sometime you need to, if the rar archive contains password…

  • Ben

    Binverse
    Stay away nothing but problems….

    Got the free 14 day trial Cost $1 billed on Paypal. Received login and pass right away. Worked great for 2 days using Newsbin reader , then nothing.

    Status window said Connection refused, Login and Pass rejected?

    6 weeks later I discover $20 had been STOLEN from my paypal account by Binverse using paypal trickery to auto bill for no services. Connection still refused Login and Pasword continues to be rejected. Contacted Binverse they sent same unworking Login and password over and over and over again.

    Customer technical service is dreadful to nonexistant. Recomendation STAY AWAY. Not Recomended.

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