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, Newzleech.
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 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 whats 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
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
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)
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.
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..
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,
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.
- The Type of File which is being Imported
- The Default server used(note: you can add new servers so you can toggle paid & Free)
- The NZB file from were its opened from
- 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….
NOTE: 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…