: News Readers

UseNet Newsgroups

Newsgroups, or UseNet, are a collection of computers which allow users to exchange public messages on many different topics. These messages are similar to e-mail, but are transmitted by special software, called a newsreader, which is separate from the e-mail system. They are intended for public discussions rather than personal communication. If you have ever used a computer bulletin board service (BBS) or the public discussion areas of commercial online services (e.g. CompuServe's "forums"), you will find that UseNet strongly resembles both of these.

Newsgroup names generally contain two or more parts, separated by periods. As you read from left to right, the various parts of the name progressively narrow the topic of discussion. The first part of the name indicates the top-level hierarchy to which the newsgroup belongs. The standard "Big Seven" top-level hierarchies are:

  • comp
    for discussions of computer hardware and software (e.g. comp.sys.mac.apps, for Macintosh application software)

  • misc
    for discussions which don't fit anywhere else (e.g. misc.kids)

  • news
    for discussions about UseNet news itself: news administration, creation of new newsgroups, news statistics, etc.(e.g. news.admin.policy)

  • rec
    for discussions about "recreational" topics: sports, movies, hobbies, etc. (e.g. rec.sport.baseball, rec.travel, rec.autos.antique)

  • sci
    for discussions of science-related topics (e.g. sci.physics)

  • soc
    for social and "cultural" discussions relating to various groups of people (ethnic, national, religious, occupational, etc.) (e.g. soc.culture.german)

  • talk
    for high-traffic, "noisy" discussions of controversial topics (abortion, religion, guns, etc.) (e.g. talk.politics.soviet)

Using NETDOOR's newsgroup server

To read UseNet News you must configure your News Reader to connect to news.netdoor.com.

Please see our Recommended Software page to find the best news reader for you.

If you think there might be a problem with the configuration of your news reader, you can view the settings of all the major news readers here.

*Note: There is a 5 gig limit per month, per user on newgroups access.
Please contact our support department if you have any questions about your account.