Simplify Usenet Downloads With Binverse And Win A Premium Account


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Most people have heard of Napster and perhaps you’ve even heard of Limewire and other peer-to-peer file sharing networks. What doesn’t get as much press is the fact that peer-to-peer networks were and are used for perfectly legal file sharing as well. And file transfers can be pretty fast. The problem with sharing files on these networks is that someone on the other end has to be online and sharing that file, and if they decide to shut down for the night, you’re just out of luck. The alternative is Usenet and software like Binverse.com.

Binverse Search

With software from Binverse, anyone can connect easily to newsgroups on Usenet and download files from servers. You know, the computers that stay on all night, even if John in Massachusetts has a big test tomorrow and needs to go to bed. Perhaps, I should take a step back, though, and introduce Usenet to the uninitiated.

What Is Usenet?

Because it hasn’t had the same media attention as some of the peer-to-peer networks, you may be wondering, “What is Usenet?” Usenet doesn’t have a hip name like Limewire or Napster because it’s been around far longer, like 15+ years longer. Binverse has a pretty decent explanation of Usenet.

Usenet is a global network of servers hosting discussion groups called “newsgroups”. Each discussion group is dedicated to a specific topic. Members post and download messages to newsgroups just like many other forms of Internet discussion groups.

Unlike traditional Internet discussion groups, newsgroups allow members to post and download messages containing discussions or messages with attached files such as pictures, videos, or any other type of file.

About Binverse

If you’re not exploring Usenet newsgroups already, you’ll want to get up and running quickly. Sadly, that’s easier said than done with newsgroups. There’s way too many to sift through and once you’ve found a file you’d like to download, it’s split across sometimes hundreds of messages. If you wanted to download a 3GB file, for example, you would need to download each part from all of the 200 or more messages, put them all back together, unzip the files, etc. This is where Binverse comes in. The software dumbs down the process while offering some pretty handy tools. In the previous example, Binverse would download, rebuild, unzip, and organize everything for me. I’ve spent about a week downloading files with Binverse and I’ve come up with a some of my favorite features.

Power Search
Earlier, I mentioned that there are far too many news groups to be able to sift through them all. With Binverse, you can search through all of their news groups for what you seek. Better still, if you have found better results in certain news groups, you can limit to just those. In the screen shot I used for this post, you can see some adult files that were a result of my search. With the search customization, I can filter those out to more quickly get to the content I’m looking for. To make it even faster, you can sort the search results, too.

File Genius
File Genius is pretty awesome. There are newsreaders that are designed to help you read newsgroups and do a fair job of putting attachments back together for you and downloading. When I downloaded the first few files, without File Genius, it felt familiar. Then I tried with File Genius and I found that it did a much better job. On top of showing me all the included files, it gave me a single download button and when it was done, it extracted my files neatly into a folder named after the archive. I never sat around wishing for File Genius, but now that I’ve used it, I wouldn’t want to download from Usenet without it. It’s just plain convenient. On the other side of the coin, I had a hard time dealing with how Binverse stored files that I downloaded without File Genius. They were sorted based on the news group name. For some people, that might be convenient, but for my downloads, it just made things hard to find.

Previews
With Binverse, you can preview photo, audio, or video files directly in the newsreader. Photos don’t take all that long to download, but videos can be another story. With the preview feature, you can get a sneak peek at part of the video long before downloading the whole thing. Anything that saves me time is a blessing.

Speed
It can be pretty frustrating to recognize the need for a file, find it online, and then spend three days downloading it. I’ve used BitComet pretty regularly in the past to download torrents and would often find that I had to wait days for the last 5% of a file or it would just download slow through the whole file. With Usenet, download speeds are only limited by the server and your own connection speed. Unlike other newsgroup services, Binverse doesn’t seem to throttle the speed at all.

Privacy
You don’t always want people to know your business and what you’re downloading. Binverse protects your privacy by offering free SSL encryption with every account. It’s more secure from prying eyes, and even though ISPs say they don’t throttle your account for heavy downloading, a lot of them do. Let them guess if you’re downloading files or just watching Hulu.

For all that’s offered, the pricing is pretty decent and the service and software are bundled, making this the easiest Usenet solution I’ve found.

Win A Binverse Account

I mentioned pricing, but you have a pretty good chance of winning a Premium Binverse account right here in a couple easy steps. To try the service, Binverse gave me an account with unlimited features and a 50 GB cap. I can take as long as I want to eat up that 50GB and the three additional accounts they’re letting me give away are the same as mine. I’ve downloaded a lot in the last week and I still have 37 GB left for high speed downloads.

All you have to do to enter is share this post on Facebook. To let me know about your entry, you can add me on Facebook and tag me in your post or you can just send me a link to your post. As long as I can see it, it’ll count. I’ll pick three winners via a random draw on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM MST.

Here’s the fine print we all know and love: I must be aware of your entry for it to count. Only one entry per person for this contest. Nobody in my immediate family can enter (sorry Dad). Winners will be contacted via Facebook and will have to provide an email address to get an account set up. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries from Facebook accounts I deem to be fake.

Enter now and with any luck, you’ll be oohing and aahing at File Genius next weekend.

MP3-2000 Music Search Site Review


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Although the following is a sponsored review, as always I strive to provide an honest opinion of the product reviewed.

I’ve reviewed some sites in the past that allow you to search for all kinds of things, but what if you’re just looking to download mp3s? There’s a site for that, too, and it’s called MP3-2000.com.

Home Page

Download Music For Free

The site works in a few ways. If you’re looking for free music downloads or just wanting to purchase tracks, you can browse music by the most popular downloads, newest added, or most recently searched. If you know the artist or song, you can click on a letter of the alphabet at the top of the screen to browse for it or you can search for it by name using the search box. I performed several searches with mixed results, starting with a few local bands. Having no luck with the local bands, I moved on to some just barely more known music like Bigod 20, which surprised me with a few results.

Bigod 20 - The Bog - Playing

Once you’ve found the track you’re searching for, a few options are presented within a couple tabs. In the second tab, you can obtain a link to share the track’s page with others. In the first tab, you can play the song right in the page or download it right from the source. In addition, there are links to purchase the track or turn it into a ringtone and if there’s more tracks from the same artist, they’ll be listed below. As well as all the links, an area for comments is provided and even lyrics if they’re available.

Buy Music Cheap

For those wanting to purchase the music they find, a couple options exist. The first is the ability to buy the song or album from mp3sales.ru. I did a little searching on the safety recommendations for mp3sales.ru and didn’t find anything alarming. Curious, I also checked their Legal Info page to see how they’re handling licensing. It looks like they are fine according to Russian laws. You may have to check your local copyright laws if you’re outside of Russia, though. mp3sales.ru offered the Bigod 20 tracks at €0.10 per track or €0.80 for the whole album, which is great compared to the $0.99 I normally pay per track elsewhere. Some browsing around gave me the impression that this pricing was pretty standard for most of the music selling on that site.

The ringtone link took me to a page offering up to 15 ringtones per month, but it was at a cost of $9.99/month. I’d didn’t sign up to get a hands-on experience with it, but if you have, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Conclusions

MP3-2000.com is probably the easiest site to download music for free, with advanced searching, related tracks, and instant downloads in most cases. Functionally, my only complaint would be the suggestions of other music I might like because it was way off. If you’re concerned about the legality, you’ll want to remember that you’re bound to the laws in your own jurisdiction, so do your research.

General Files Provides Advanced File Searching


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Although the following is a sponsored review, as always I strive to provide an honest opinion of the product reviewed.

There are a lot of online sources to help you find files online, but many of them are limited to only a few upload sites and don’t remove old links. Others put really annoying sponsored links up that look like regular results to get you to click on a paid link. This week, I was asked to review a file sharing search site called General-Files.com. It promises a cleaner search of more files with a bunch of features.

Home Page

Finding and Downloading Files

There’s not really a lot to finding files to download online. Generally, you search and something will come up. The problem I’ve had in the past is that I’ll search Google and half of the results are other file search sites that generate a fake hit for sponsored links. In this case, however, I skip Google and head to General-Files.com and search for my file. The search is pretty quick and returns just what I’m looking for in most cases. Some people will use sites like this to download movies for free, which can be illegal in some cases. Others will visit hoping to download free music, which comes with the same legal concern. This is not the case all of the time, though. Many artists will share their music online for free and it’s perfectly legal. I often use a site like this to find fonts, clip art, a viral video or image, or any number of things. The possibilities are virtually endless as this site includes results not only from Uploading, MegaUpload, RapidShare and many others, but it also returns direct links to files from around the web.

In addition to searching for what you know you want, you can also choose from their lists of Most Downloaded, Most Commented and Most Rated, as well as Hot Files and the Latest uploads. Just use common sense when you download random files. Finally, when you’re ready to download a file you can click right out to the site that hosts the file and begin your download one file at a time, or you can queue them up to download all at once.

Additional Features

For those who want to be more involved in the social process, you can vote for files on a five-star scale, comment on files, and even report some of the less savory content out there. You can also send a Good Report to indicate that the file is generally good, virus free, or erotic in nature. Reporting bad content warns others against downloading it and comments and votes help guide the “Most” and “Hot” lists mentioned above. It’s the same concept as liking and commenting on Facebook posts. And speaking of liking on Facebook, each file’s details page includes a Like button so you can help others find it, too.

Alerts

One of the features I nearly overlooked is the Alert option. Alerts are turning up everywhere these days. From Facebook push notifications on your iPhone to Google searches, alerts are a popular way to find out right away when something happens. On General-Files.com, you can set a search alert to let you know via email when someone uploads a file matching your search criteria. This feature will be invaluable when you’re searching for a hard-to-find file.

General Conclusions

With any file hosting site or search, you need be aware of what you’re downloading. General-Files is a little more helpful in this regard when the reporting features are used. The clean, ad-free and fast search along with compiled lists and alerts make this file search stand out heads above the others I’ve come across. It’s in my bookmarks and should have a place in yours if you find yourself searching for files often.