Definition

Usenet

Contributor(s): Paolo Insinga

Usenet is a collection of user-submitted notes or messages on various subjects that are posted to servers on a worldwide network. Each subject collection of posted notes is known as a newsgroup. There are thousands of newsgroups and it is possible for you to form a new one. Most newsgroups are hosted on Internet-connected servers, but they can also be hosted from servers that are not part of the Internet. Usenet's original protocol was UNIX-to-UNIX Copy (UUCP), but today the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) is used.

Most browsers, such as those from Netscape and Microsoft, provide Usenet support and access to any newsgroups that you select. On the Web, Google and other sites provide a subject-oriented directory as well as a search approach to newsgroups and help you register to participate in them. In addition, there are other newsgroup readers, such as Knews, that run as separate programs.

This was last updated in April 2007

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One of the links above no longer works. It's this one:

Google maintains an archive of newsgroup contents and the ability to search it.

Clicking on it yields a server not found 404 error.
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