Open Usenet Server

See also: Open Usenet Servers | Usenet | Server

If your ISP has terrible binary retention, or you want to increase your completion rate, then open news servers may be what you are looking for. An open news server is any nntp server in the ether that will let you use it. Sometimes they are open on purpose (to stress test the server), but quite often, they are only accidentally open (ie. they are misconfigured). That is a sticking point, because if they are open on purpose you can leech away, but if they are only accidentally open then your use of them may be considered hacking in some jurisdictions. Be warned; though I have never heard of any prosecutions of this. Most admins admit they made a mistake and just close the server like it should have been from the start.

Where to find them? Some sources that come to mind are,, Failing that, there is old faithful, If instead you want to do the legwork, and hence find a server that is not being hammered because it is on a very public list, then there are a couple of options. Either do a brute force scan of the net looking for open nttp servers (port 119), or trawl through usenet-post headers looking for the servers in the path. (There are programs available to help you do this. Just google for them.)

Now that you have a large list of candidates, you need to feed them into a program that checks it is open to you (ie, open to your IP, and does not need a user/pass), and carries the group that you are after.

Pick the results with the largest retention rates, and if you are on broadband, speed, and put them into your binary news reader that supports multiple servers. eg. Newsbin. Note that you have to repeat the collection ritual quite frequently as most open servers do not stay that way for long (occasionally you stumble on a keeper though).

If that sounds like too much work, then it might be worth going to a for-pay server. There are lots of great things to download from a full feed, so it is quite often worth the money. To get you started on finding for-pay servers, try:

Of course, if you are too lazy to collect open servers, too cheap to pay for a server, and can’t find what you want on p2p networks, then don’t forget IRC. It is pretty much a given, that if it exists on the internet anywhere, then it exists on IRC. P2P apps are johnny come lately, and do not come close to rivalling irc yet. The only reason irc is not more popular, is because it has a medium learning curve and does not have a gui.

TakeDown.NET -> “Open-Usenet-Server