How to use Virginmedia Newsgroups with Grabit

How to use Virginmedia Newsgroups with Grabit

October 25, 2008 2:05 am 31 comments

Hi thanks for reading my article on how to use your Virginmedia (ex-NTL) connection with a program called Grabit

to get access to all the latest downloads including movies, tv-shows, music, music videos and lots and lots of other content, using a 30 year old server technology called Usenet or Newsgroups using a variety of Usenet indexing sites, such as NzbMatrix

The downside to Usenet is that it’s not free to gain access to the high speed servers with high retention times. You need at least some kind of paid subscription plan to be able to get decent speeds on Usenet, such as Astraweb, NewsDemon these subscriptions can vary in price and vary on retention times, Astraweb currently hosting accounts with up to 325 380 days, NewsDemon on the other hand has 400 Day retention

Well you’ll be glad to know that on Virginmedia You get Free Access.. Although I do have to point out that there Server retention is definitely not the best at around 7 days worth, but at least its free!!

Before we get started i would like to point out why i choose to download using my Virginmedia connection & Grabit application, why dose everyone use bit-torrent anyway? well that’s easy, because it is easy!!

My view is, I pay Virginmedia a decent amount per month for 20mb 60mb broadband, and I want to have access to the fastest speed downloads I can,

I don’t want to wait to build up friendships so I can get free invites to the top torrent sites,
I just want to look and see what’s on offer and download it.

I don’t want to rely on other people with their broadband connections in-order for me to have the best download speed i can, because that’s how bit-torrent works, you connect to lots of other people with the same files who are basically sharing them from there home computers with there slow upload speeds, and only given us around 4 or 5kbps…

now ok im not talking about everyone, im talking about the people that sets there download client (bit torrent program) to the lowest upload speed possible sharing around 5% of the entire file there downloading then disconecting leaving us with fewer people with the entire file, granted people like my self used to leave the client open with the completed file for days on end not turning of the pc at all, even if it shut down, when it re-started it would resume and i would always provide a decent upload speed to the people on the other end who’s still waiting for it to finish…

Ok now that my gripe has finished lets get started..

Step 1: Download Grabit

in order for you to use the virgin media newsgroups, you will need a program to connect to it thats why i use Grabit, there are other programs out there that will do the same job, you can even set it up through Outlook express, but for this example and my preferred choice is to use Grabit.

Step 2: Install Grabit

Step 3:

Start up Grabit, once its started you’ll be asked to input a provider for your usenet server and be asked if it requires a username and password, in the box for the usenet provider type in



news.virginmedia.com

this will be the server in which Grabit will connect to, if the box marked requires username and password is checked, un-check it, you do not require a username and password if you have a Virginmedia connection (just remember if you have no virginmedia connection or use this in work then it wont connect, best thing to do is setup remote access to your home pc for this)

Step 4:

Ok now that the Connection to the server is sorted, Click on Edit -> Preferences
This will bring up the grabit preference window, find the tab called Folders,
edit your Download Directory, you can leave the cache folder were it is.

Step 5:

Ok so now your ready to go… you can close grabit for the time being, and now its time to visit one of our Usenet indexing sites we listed above, click a link below to visit one of the sites, I highly recommend nzbmatrix, sign up and possibly leave a donation for the great work those guys do, once you’re logged in edit your profile to so only 7 days retention, and start searching for content..

  • NzbMatrix
  • Newzleech

Step 6:

Find something you like and click on it to be taken to the File description page, you will be presented with a lot of information, but what were wanting is the NZB file which holds all the data regarding the files on the SERVER, ie its name, its location, how may files there are, if there is any PAR files, (which are recovery files used if some of the files become corrupt or just don’t reach your computer properly) You can either download the NZB file by clicking on the ZIP download link, or if you are a VIP and Donated to the site, you may just go a head and click on the NZB download link, This will ask you to save a file to your computer, if its a ZIP file then click open and double click the NZB file inside, if its the NZB file alone just click open,

Step 7:

When asked “what you want to do with your file”, select open with and choose Grabit, this will automaticly open Grabit and tell you that you are importing a File.

You should end up with a Dialog box like this appear.

  1. The Type of File which is being Imported
  2. The Default server used(note: you can add new servers so you can toggle paid & Free)
  3. The NZB file from were its opened from
  4. a: Tells it to create a new folder, which will match the server from which your files are being downloaded
    b: Tells Grabit to save any incomplete files.

Click Grab to add your NZB file to its batch of things to do, you can now click on the tab BATCH if its not already opened were it will list all the files located on its particular server, once its done Grabit can check to see if any files require repairing, this can be set in the EDIT -> Preferences options, if so it will automatically use the par files included in the download (they don’t always come with it!!) to fix them, once its fixed it can then extract all the files, if they are compressed (which they nearly always are) and if selected also it will delete all the old compressed files and Par files leaveing you with a folder with all the files you wanted inside ready to use….

I hope you found this usefull and give it a try, Im currently on the highest Virgin broadband speed which is 20mb at the time of writing, my normal download speed is 2300kbps! thats 2.3mb per second….

With these great download speeds comes great responsibility,

Remember.. Virgin has its Fair usage policy, which means that after 4pm, if you download a dvd at 6pm (prime time) which is around 4.3gb in size, the first 3gb of data you download will be at your top speed, but after this Virgin will cap your speed, down to a measly 580kbps, this will last till well after 11pm that night…

The following two tabs change content below.

Marty

Web Developer
Senior Web Developer who combines passionate coding skills, strategic vision with strong hands on leadership and enormous personal drive. I create re-usable industry standard code that is used time and time again, producing outstanding results for every project I work on! I also like Classic Motorbikes, Quad bikes, Downhill Mountain biking & Learning electronics using the Arduino.

31 Comments

  • GT – that is because Virgin only have 20 days retention whereas a paid for service will have far higher retention.
    i.e. you can only access anything which was uploaded in the last 20 days

  • I can’t get it to connect to news.virginmedia.com at all! I’ve only just found this and when I enter that address into the setup wizard, it sits for a while then tells me it can’t find the usenet hostname… have they changed the address?

  • Hi, New to this – I’m using grabit and was using newsfarm.asm2.shemes.com as my server. Just moved it over to virgin media – but both that I’m using, anything older than 21 days I’m getting article not found when I try to download. I’m a VIP customer of NBZ matrix so I can access all NBZ’s.

    ANy idea why this is happeneing – newer (under 20 days old) nbz files am having no problem with at all.

  • shane

    hi , thank you for your info on how to use virginmedia. ok
    i did what you said D/L Grabit and stalled it and all that but it was shit speed well only like 600kbps max and could get only 3 threads running at one time and what was worse of all was that the 70% of all the D/L where damaged and unrepairable i mean all the files even Quick Par could not fix them i was really pissed as the the D/L where blu-ray all like 20+GB this went on for a week then i thought fook it and throw grabit in the bucket and found another reader(altbinz) easy to set up and yes it works 100% no more damaged files and i have it set to 50 threads and have had no prob.. yet and the speed not to bad either at about 5 to 6mbps not as fast as the torrent site i go to but i dont have to seed it back, if anyone wants to try the reader i am using you can get it here http://www.newsgroupreviews.com/alt-binz-guide.html it free

  • Very informative, thanks for your article. I’ve never downloaded via Usenet before but I’ve always seen adverts of it but never got around to actually try (didn’t feel like subscribing), but now that i discovered that i could have tried it ages ago I feel a bit silly :-P

    I’m so far really impressed with the speed, it’s like having a good seeded torrent but it doesn’t impair your network performance as much compared as a torrent of a similar download speed (must be the multiple tcp request of the swarm i guess)

    There’s 2 questions I have though:
    Is there any way to encrypt the downloads? the server at 119 doesn’t support ssl and as ugly privacy is getting in uk i like to keep all my network traffic encrypted if possible. Maybe somebody knows how to encrypt it through ssh tunneling or so?

    the second question is what’s the maximum amount of connections that the server supports? I’ve seen different opinions from around 5 till 20 so i’m not too sure of which settings i should use of if it matters that much really (it means parallel connections, right?)

    by the way i’m using this as a client http://sabnzbd.org/ in a Linux environment
    is multi-platform and it works really well, thought you might like to try it

    cheers and thanks again

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.