Which NZB Downloader Should you Use?

An NZB Downloader will have you downloading Gigs of files from Usenet newsgroups in no time. These are the best choices among the many options available. 

Screenshot of hooded man behind overlay of Matrix-like numbers.

What’s the best NZB downloader?

From Usenet providers to indexers, there are often so many options that it’s hard to know which one to choose. And using a good NZB Downloader is one more critical piece of the Usenet puzzle. 

But we’re here to make your life (or at least your Usenet setup) a little less confusing. Keep reading for our picks for the best NZB Downloader. 

'NZB Downloader' Contents (select to expand)

What is an NZB Downloader?

Usenet binaries are usually separated into dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of different parts. To make these parts easier to locate and manage, you can use something called NZBs.

You can think of these as the Usenet equivalent of a “torrent” file, which is what you add to your torrent client so that it can download the content you’re trying to get. The NZB file doesn’t contain the content itself, it simply tells your software where to find it.

In the case of Usenet, that software is an NZB downloader. The downloader will locate these files using the NZB, download them, put them all back together, repair the resulting file, and even decompress it, if necessary.

Screenshot showing how Usenet works (servers with arrows between them).

NZBs make Usenet much easier.

And it does all of that automatically, so you don’t have to. This saves you a lot of time and headaches.


Best NZB Downloader

Now that you understand the basics of what an NZB downloader does, you’re probably thinking: “hurry up and tell me which one to use!”

Okay, okay. Without further ado, here are our three favorite NZB downloaders.
 

NZBGet

NZBGet is easily one of the most popular NZB downloaders – and not just because it’s free. It’s also very good at what it does, boasting great performance and top-of-the-line features. Just remember, you’ll still need a Usenet provider and a way to search for NZBs.

  • Free
  • Works in your web browser
  • Supports Windows, Android, Mac & Linux
  • Fast and uses minimal resources
  • Active development
  • Can be controlled remotely
  • Good customization features
  • Not the easiest for newbies 

Absolutely 100% Free. 🙂 

NZBGet Screenshots

Screenshot of NZBGet's web interface.

NZBGet's main interface (in your web browser).

Screenshot from NZBGet's homepage with motto 'The most efficient usenet downloader'.
Screenshot showing how to add an NZB to NZBGet.

Adding NZB files to NZBGet is a breeze. 


SABnzbd

SABnzbd has been around for a long time, and it’s got the fan base to prove it. While it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of the newer NZBGet, it’s managed to stand the test of time and remains one of, if not the, most popular NZB downloaders. And recent updates have made a marked improvement in speed.

  • Free
  • Works in your web browser
  • Supports Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Active and established community
  • Strong track record
  • Syncs well with indexers and automation software 
  • SABnzbd extension for Google Chrome (SABconnect++)
  • Not the easiest for newbies
  • Less updates than NZBGet

Absolutely Free. 

Screenshot of SANnzbd's 'add NZB' screen.

SABnzbd runs right in your web browser.


nzblord

This entry is more than just an NZB downloader. It’s also a Usenet provider and an NZB search engine rolled into one.

Rather than having a Usenet provider, a newsgroup search, and an NZB downloader, nzblord handles them all at once. Of course, if you don’t like their included search engine, FindNZB, you can always use your own.

In short, nzblord is a great option for folks who are new to Usenet or simply want a quick, one-stop shop for all their Usenet needs.

  • Easiest for newbies
  • Free trial available (look for “Register for a Free Account” in the upper-right menu) 
  • Fast and easy to use
  • Also acts as your Usenet provider 
  • No software required
  • Built-in NZB search engine
  • Scans files for malware 
  • Not free (it's a paid service) but can cost as little as $8.25/mo (yearly)
  • Free trial is very limited

Free trial available so you can try before you buy. 


edit

A Different Kind of NZB Downloader: Usenet in the Cloud?

Cloud Usenet is a new, easy and safe way to enjoy Usenet. Basically, you use an NZB downloader for newsgroups completely online. With cloud Usenet, no software or Usenet provider is needed and you can even stream your downloaded files right from the cloud, so they never "touch" your computer.  See our post dedicated to Cloud Usenet.

Conclusion

In all honesty, you really can’t go wrong with any of the above options.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use web-based tool that combines your Usenet provider, search engine, and downloader in one tool, nzblord is a great option.

But if you just need an NZB downloader pure and simple, either NZBGet or SABnzbd should fit your needs.

Which one will you choose?