There are many free versions of news reader software, moreover a news reader is built into many Internet Browsers.One of the best news readers is, imo, nomadnews, that has unfortunately a protection so simple that even a kid could bypass it (which also means that you'll easily find hundreds of "ready made cracks" for it all around the web... when will programmers learn how to protect better their appz? Nomadnews' advantage is that it will automatically "reconstruct" multipart postings into one single file (which is of great use when downloading huge software applications, films, music and so on).
In fact the importance of usenet as huge repository of files, programs and ideas is so staggering that it does not wonder me that the big commercial powers of the web are actively trying to AVOID people using it.After you read the first article and move onto the next, the copy is usually discarded, so it does not take up space on your computer.In most cases, news servers are accessed using the Internet, but they can be accessed over a LAN, if such a news server exists on the LAN.Keep in mind -however- that usenet searching can be VERY time-consuming, and that some special skills are needed to perform it with an high degree of effectiveness.To access 'correctly' usenet you should use which provides a convenient user interface in order to list, track and display the articles you may be interested in.But that is a mistake: many of those that do post on Usenet are hugely informed, bright and opinionated netiziens.
A good guide for beginners is Uzi Paz' usenet access guide.
The same software also allows composing and submitting new articles, should you want to contribute (or lure or troll).
All you need to know is the newsserver machine name, which you will use to configure appropriately your software.
But fortunately, the accumulated body of information of Usenet is not lost: There are a number of WWW sites which archive and index Usenet articles.
Thus you can retrieve posts which have expired (or perhaps had not even arrived) at your local news server.
These relative proportions shouldn't have changed much.