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What Is Usenet? Exploring The Only Unrestricted Online Communication Network


Long before the invention of Google and Reddit, there was Usenet: the original file-sharing platform. In an age of rampant global censorship, Usenet remains the only online communication network that is unrestricted, unmonitored, and totally private.

Beyond Usenet’s enticing unrestricted nature, it is making a comeback as a file-sharing network with the ability to oust BitTorrent. If you are interested in downloading and sharing files at breakneck speed while protecting your data with the security of an encrypted network, you may be interested in what Usenet has to offer. Let’s discuss the history of Usenet, what makes it unique, and a few tips to get started.

What Is Usenet + Why Is It Unique?

Usenet started out at Duke University in 1979 when two students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, first successfully transferred information to their friend Steve Bellovin at the University of North Carolina. Long before the invention of the World Wide Web, Usenet started out as a communication network of files exchanged between these universities.

At the core of Usenet is the desire to quickly and securely share files in a way that was not previously possible. Out of this foundation, the modern file-sharing platform was born.

After Usenet’s inception in the 1970s, forums called newsgroups were created, comprised of students and technology professionals longing to share ideas with like-minded individuals who were far away. Before the age of the internet, this was a revolutionary concept that allowed users to freely discuss any range of topics on an unrestricted platform.

The contemporary iteration of Usenet is like a cross between Reddit and BitTorrent, allowing tech-savvy individuals the freedom to engage in discussion on certain topics or share large files quickly. Usenet is universally safer and faster than BitTorrent, and a great alternative for a tech expert looking for lighting-fast and private file-sharing. Next, let’s explore how you can become a part of the world’s only unrestricted online communication network.

How Can I Get Started With Usenet?

Usenet is one of the only ways left to communicate, share, and discuss online without censorship or restrictions. Long before the invention of social media, individuals flocked to Usenet to share information and media… and they still do! Let’s explore how you can make Usenet work for you.

Access Usenet On A Secure Service Provider

In order to be a part of the Usenet community, you need to choose a secure service provider. When looking for a service provider, there are many factors to consider such as security, retention, and monthly caps.

Be sure to choose a Usenet service provider that provides SSL encryption. With this security measure, you’ll be able to download and share files without revealing your identity or location. A VPN can provide added security, and many service providers offer that as well.

Additionally, many Usenet service providers control how long you’re able to view your content and put a cap on monthly available GB for downloads. Be sure you consider how much you’ll be downloading and your file retention needs before choosing a plan or provider.

Join Or Create A Newsgroup

A newsgroup is a discussion forum within Usenet that centers on a certain topic. Join a newsgroup by searching for a topic you’re interested in and following a thread, or create your own. Using newsreader software, you can post, comment, and reply anonymously on the newsgroups of your choice.

Much like a Facebook group, these newsgroups can be moderated or unmoderated; you may need to ask the moderator to join before you’re granted access. Examples of active newsgroups on Usenet center on philosophy, politics, religion, and more.


Knowing its origins, you may be asking yourself: in the age of social media, is Usenet still relevant to contemporary culture? The simple answer is yes.

The modern iteration of Usenet has adapted over the years into a streamlined network for individuals to share, analyze, and discuss topics worldwide. It even allows you to quickly share large multimedia files such as photos, movies, and music. Contact a Usenet service provider today and unlock what this online communication network has in store for you.

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