What is an NZB File? And How to Use Them

So, you’re just getting into Usenet, and you came across these “NZB” things. 

But just what the heck is an NZB? And how do you use them? 

Don’t worry, friends. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know: what NZBs are, how to find them, and how to use them. 

Keep reading to learn more. 


What is an NZB?

An NZB is an XML-based file that collects multi-part binary files so that they can be downloaded and combined together.

Huh?

Okay, enough technical jargon. Here’s the easy answer:

Usenet files are typically broken up into lots of parts. For instance, a 1GB video might be broken into hundreds of smaller files and uploaded to Usenet newsgroups.

In the past, people had to use newsreaders to find and assemble all of these individual (binary) files. But one day, a site called Newzbin.com came along and invented the “NZB”, which is actually just an abbreviation of their site name.

The NZB is a text file that lists all of those individual files, making them easier to find, organize and download. If you’re torrented before, you can think of an NZB almost like a magnet file. In practice, at least.

Eventually, Newzbin bit the dust. But their creation, the NZB, lives on.


NZB vs. Binaries: What’s the Difference?

While NZBs might sometimes be contrasted with “binaries” in the Usenet world, in reality, NZBs actually are a form of binary files.

They’re just organized – and accessed – in a slightly different way.

However, that minor difference actually makes NZB files a lot easier to use, which is why they’re so popular and have helped grow the Usenet scene bigger than ever.

They’re more convenient to find, since you can search for exact terms rather than combing through newsgroups. And they’re also more convenient to download.


How to Find NZBs

Search NZB.

The most common way to search for NZBs is with a Usenet indexer, also known as NZB search.
Some of the most popular NZB indexers include:

Now, most indexers do cost money. But not a lot. For instance, NZBGeek is only about $1 per month. And a good indexer makes finding NZBs so easy.

Just enter the title of the file you’re searching for and away you go. Once you find the result you want, simply grab the NZB – and it’ll be automatically added to your NZB downloader (we’ll go into that more below).

Most indexers also allow you to browse by category, new releases, and more. For the torrentors out there, it’s a lot like a torrent site, you’re just getting NZBs instead of magnet files.


How to Use NZBs

SAB NZB Download.

Now that you’ve used your indexer to wrangle up some NZBs, it’s time to download them.

All you need to do so is an NZB downloader, like SABnzbd or NZBGet. Both are free, open source, and work great.

Once they’re set up, all you need to do is feed them NZBs that you find using your indexer, and they’ll handle the rest, downloading the files to a folder on your hard drive.

You can find an easy, step-by-step guide to installing SABnzbd here.

Of course, you will still need a Usenet provider, if you don’t already have one. We recommend Newshosting. Their killer retention rates will give you access to the most NZBs, at a very reasonable price.


Conclusion: What is an NZB?

Hopefully by now you know what an NZB is, how to find them, and how to download them.

You’re well on your way to being a Usenet master. Setting up your provider, downloader, and indexer may take a few minutes when you’re first getting started, but from there, it gets really easy to use.

Any other questions that we can help you with? Let us know in the comments!

Happy downloading!

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