In A Nutshell
- NZB.is is open for public registration. This is currently my top recommended NZB search engine.
- Update June 2016: I’m taking another look at NZBPlanet which has open registration. This provider appears to have improved their index.
I still use NZB.su search engine, but it is by invitation only now.
On the Usenet, an NZB file is the equivalent of a torrent file for Bittorrent. It’s a small text file that points to the media you want — for more info see my introduction to the Usenet article.
Here are my recommendations for the best NZB search engines in 2016:
The Best Public NZB Search Engine: Binsearch
If you don’t want to register on a search site, and just want a basic NZB search — try Binsearch.
This free search works well, but it only displays the unsorted parts of a binary file on the Usenet. Here’s how to use it — type your keywords, then select the checkmark next to all the parts of a media file you want. Then press the “Create NZB” button and you’ll be prompted to download the NZB file. You must make sure you select all the parts of the media file, otherwise your NZB will not work.
Personally, I only use Binsearch as a backup search. The search engines listed below make downloading much easier.
The Best Free NZB Engines
If you need a better organized, more comprehensive NZB search, try a member-only site. These sites tend to come and go, and they often close their public registrations.
Here are my recommendations:
- NZB.is: Open registration. Has fully featured index.
- NZBPlanet: Open registration, seems to be very comprehensive now. The main limitation is that you can only download 10 NZBs a day. With a premium (VIP) membership you can download unlimited NZBs along with API key and VIP only forum access.
- OZnzb: Open registration. Good index but has an annoying captcha & free accounts limited to 5 searches per day.
- NZB.su: Comprehensive index (I use this one) — but registration is by invitation only now.
- DogNZB (open for registration for short periods every few weeks — now open May 2nd)
- NZBmegasearch (a stand-alone app – here’s a guide to installing it in the cloud)
- aBook.ws (by invite only — indexes audio books)
- NZBHangout (newly open for registration but require invitation code)
- Nzbfriends.com (seems to be the same as Binsearch)
Other Usenet Tips
Before you can start downloading from the Usenet, you need to pay for Usenet access from a provider. You can expect to pay about $8-$20 per month for access. I recommend Usenetserver for Usenet access, and these are my other recommended Usenet Providers.
The Best Usenet Client: SABNZDb (free)
You’ll need an application to download all your NZB files. My recommended app is SABnzbd (for Windows, Mac and Linux).
Use a VPN
It’s unlikely that you’ll be spied upon when using the Usenet, but it still a possibility. Using a VPN is a straightforward way to conceal your IP address, and ensure your privacy. The best VPNs are those have policies that allow P2P transfers on their servers, like ExpressVPN.