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List of Free Newsgroups

by Ticara Gailliard

Since the early days of the Internet, users have turned to newsgroups as a means of staying current on specific areas of interest. Whether it be political interests or personal hobbies, newsgroup topics vary widely. Some newsgroups charge a fee to receive messages from the group, but countless other newsgroups remain free of charge. The activity level and topics of interest among these vary, but most people can find at least one free newsgroup of interest.

Google Groups

Google Groups is one of a number of specialized Google ventures. With Google Groups, users can search through Usenet newsgroup archives back to 1981. In addition to searching for newsgroups to read, join and comment within, users have the option to create their own group. With group creation, the group owner and managers have the authority to remove disruptive members if necessary. Google Groups features categories such arts and entertainment, society and humanities and business. Google Groups uses text advertisements to support costs and allow users to access newsgroups for free.

Maxabud

A newer site, Maxabud offers an aggregated collection of free, public Usenet newsgroups. The site shows the most popular searches for free newsgroups in addition to user-voted popular groups. This site also allows users to search through both free and commercial servers for groups or search for a newsgroup based upon the desired subject. Servers listed on Maxabud include those that are active, ones that allow open posting and those that disallow posting from non-authorized people.

Open Directory Free Server Listing

The Open Directory Project, in partnership with AOL Search, collects the names of free public servers across the web, including foreign-language newsgroups. Several of the newsgroups listed come in only read-only format, while others may require free registration to access the stories within. These groups give access to newsgroups such as rec.* and alt.* via web-based searching or browsing.

Newzbot

Newzbot aims to collect and archive all free, public newsgroups available. In existence since 1995, Newzbot allows access to non-local groups through the use of public servers so that you can read that newsgroup. It allows users to search for groups based on factors such as content, longevity, speed and rating. Users may also suggest new servers that aren't listed to be added to the website.

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