The specific Usenet indexers you use and how many you use can be a big factor in how well you complete Usenet downloads .
When it comes to using Usenet indexers, the more you use the better download results you can expect. You’ll even find some people (see Reddit) literally use dozens of indexers, including multiple paid indexer accounts.
But for most of us, time (and money) are limited, so using dozens of indexers just isn’t practical, even if you are using only free ones. After all, even free indexers involve an investment of your time. Plus, many free indexers are invite-only and not that easy to join.
So, what’s the best number of indexers to use? And which indexers will give you the best results? Here’s our take.
[+] 'Best Number of Usenet Indexers to Use' contents (select to expand)
Number of Indexers & Which to Use
In general, we recommend you spring for one of the better paid indexers and then use one to three free indexers. This represents a decent balance between time and expense for good results.
Of course, you don’t have to follow our recommendations. Feel free to check the specs on each indexer at our Compare All Usenet Indexers table (full-width version) and choose some to try.
The Devil Is In The Details
Now, we started our recommendations above by saying in general. That’s because much will depend on the type of files you want to download from newsgroups.
Some indexers cater more to certain types of files than others.
For example, NZBwolf has a heavy emphasis on erotica, while most others have an emphasis more on traditional movies and TV shows.
No Amount Of Indexers Can Save You From A Lousy Provider
Usenet pros won’t need any reminding about this, but it’s worth repeating for newbies and Usenet weekend warriors:
If you are using a poor Usenet provider, your download completions will stink no matter which or how many indexers you use.
To get the most out of Usenet, ideally you should use an unlimited monthly plan together with 1 or more Usenet block accounts.
An unlimited monthly plan does not need to be expensive.
Newshosting (generally considered the leader) has unlimited plans for only $8.33/mo, which is excellent value. For that you get 110,000 uncensored newsgroups and server farms in the US and Europe.
Cheaper plans that are still respectable are also available from providers such as NewsDemon and Usenet.Farm. See our post on the Best Cheap Usenet Plans.
Top Tip: Use NZBHydra 2
No matter which indexers or how many you use, consider using NZBHydra 2. It’s free and keeps awesome stats on how well the indexers you use are finding files. It describes itself as follows:
“NZBHydra 2 is meta search for NZB indexers. It provides easy access to a number of raw and newznab based indexers. You can search all your indexers from one place and use it as an indexer source for tools like Sonarr, Radarr or CouchPotato.”
Check the NZBHydra2 download page for the latest release. It’s currently available for Windows and Linux.
Installation is a bit complicated, but here's the best NZBHydra2 installation guide for Windows around.
NZBHydra 2 works by merging all search results from supported indexers, filtering them, removing duplicates, and then feeds these results to your Usenet downloader client NZBGet or SABnzbd. It’s also compatible with Sonarr, Radarr, nzb360, CouchPotato, Sick Beard, Watcher, et al.
- see our full tutorial on How to Use NZBGet
Perhaps coolest of all, NZBHydra 2 keeps extensive stats on searches, downloads, indexer response times, download shares, NZB ages, et al.
Over time, you’ll be able see for yourself which are the best performing Usenet indexers. You can drop the underperforming ones and add new ones which you can also keep an eye on with NZBHydra 2.
Whether you try our recommendations or choose indexers yourself, paying attention to the indexers you use can make all the difference to your Usenet downloading success (or not).
In general, if you choose your indexers carefully, you can’t go wrong with a single paid indexer together with a few free indexers. But track everything using NZB Hydra 2 and let its data speak for itself about which Usenet indexers are best or better dropped.