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LINKS AND F.A.Q ABOUT OPEN NNTP SERVERS
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(creative commons licence) 1999-2014 Sébastien WILLEMIJNS
Thanks to Chris Hoppman for helping to translate into "real" English ;)






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LATEST NEWS (FEBRUARY 2006):
============================

AIOE informs us on alt.free.newsservers the "nntp.aioe.org" betatest









WARNING:
########

  Trying to find an open nntp server takes a lot of time and money.
Especially, if you pay to connect. That is why people invite users to use
their nntp servers.


=> What is an open nntp server ?
*********************************

  An open nntp server is a nntp server which is open to all users in the world.
According to a generally-accepted statistic, confirmed by my own personnal stats, only 1% of all
news servers in the world are public access.


=> Why you can probably change of open nntp server a lot of times ?
*******************************************************************

  In the majority of cases, it is in fact some private news servers who are
bad configured, but the administrator detects unknown users and cut his news
server to foreigns users.


=> Why would you have to use an open nntp server ?
=> Why you would get the 502 error or 480 error ?
********************************************************

  Two cases:

- Your provider does not have a news server,
- You find some newsgroups that your provider will not provide for you to access
(illegal newsgroup in your country or too specific for insteresting all customers
of your provider).


=> What is the best news server (yeah, right ! good one)
********************************************************

- It isn't busy (some news admin limits access only to their country users),
- Feed regulary (quickly receive new messages),
- Feed correctly (do not lost messages :-),
- Contains a wide variety of newsgroups (note some newsgroups are empty as
alt.bite-me or others alt.balloon.pop.pop.pop),
- Contains the news groups you want ;)
- Keep messages as long as possible. Long retention time,
- You can post and read as much as you would like,
- Speed of connections to the server.


=> How do you tell if the messages you posted really sent ?
***********************************************************

- Post a small test message in alt.test
- Then after an hour look on another nntp server and see if the message is
present on that server or wait several days and look on some search engines
(after a day) such as GOOGLE GROUPS.





HOW TO FIND YOURSELF OPEN NNTP SERVER ?
=======================================



=> Specialized searchs engines:
###############################

  It's, in my humble opinion, the more easiest and stable method to find news
servers lists.


Newzbot! / JAMMED.COM


=> News servers lists:
######################

  Many personal WEB pages about open nntp servers are created every month.
To find theses pages, you should use search keywords such as "open nntp server",
"public nntp", "public news servers", "free newsgroups" or "free usenet server"
on a search engine such as Yahoo, Altavista or see annex 1 of this document.

Note web pages are not regularly updated and the list are generally outdated.

Mine is in annex 2 ;)


=> The NewsTracker (or news probing software):
##############################################

  A news probing software is a software that searches and tests for open/public
nntp servers.

  First, a news tracker captures the news servers addresses presents
on the "Path" lines of every messages.

  Here are three examples of a "Path" found in a Usenet message:
Path: news1.isdnet.net!pressimage!rain.fr!wanadoo.fr!usenet
Path: news1.isdnet.net!world-net!rain.fr!jussieu.fr!news.edf.fr!not-for-mail
Path: ext.jussieu.fr!jussieu.fr!univ-angers.fr!brainstorm.fr!frmug.fr.net!itesec!francenet.fr!usenet

  Secondly, the news tracker will test every news server names to ensure if
you can read or write and if the news servers have newsgroups you wish.

  For information, Newzbot! (see before) use his own news tracker to create his
news servers lists.


=> How to found out about open nntp servers ?
#############################################

  Read newsgroups about open nntp servers. Actually, only "alt.free.newsservers"
who specialize in open nntp servers.



HOW TO READ/WRITE NNTP SERVERS WITHOUT NNTP ACCESS ?
====================================================



=> Consulting newsgroups by the Web:
####################################

  Some nntp servers tell their users to post/read to newsgroups on a website.
This method is not the best, because you must go online to post/read to/from
newsgroups. So, I think it should be a temporary method for you to use.

  Here are some links carry newsgroups as web pages:
GOOGLE GROUPS (ex-DEJA and DEJANEWS)
  Note: the link is also a search engine.


=> Send a e-mail via an mail2news gateway (Email => newsgroup):
################################################################

  If you already have access to a read-only open nntp server, you can post
articles through a gateway who transmits every received email to a news
server.

  An example would be to send a email to fr.rec.radio@news.demon.co.uk
and then it would be posted to the "fr.rec.radio" newsgroup.

  WARNING: This method is not being used that much, because it encourages
spams posts to newsgroups.

  More information on the subject at http://forward.to/mail2news
or www.bananasplit.info


=> Some old methods:
####################

- They used to get newsgroups by Gopher, by FTP or by news2mail
(newsgroup => Email).

- Try to connect to the 1000 biggest nntp news server in the world. The list
available on http://www.top1000.org or
www.newsadmin.com list.


=> Using public news servers of big companies:
##############################################

  Some biggest companies such as Microsoft, Corel or Borland use her own news
servers with specific newsgroups for their products. These public nntp server generally
not contain general newsgroups.

  Some examples are: msnews.microsoft.com, cnews.corel.com
or forums.borland.com


=> The NNTP access code (200 or 201 codes):
###########################################

  When you connect with success on every news server, the news server sends
a transparent message precede with a number (either 200 or 201) which is
the NNTP code of access condition:

===> 200: You can post/read on the news server:
Example:
200 InterNetNews NNRP server INN 1.7 16-Oct-1997 ready (posting ok).
200 sunsite NNTPcache server V1.0.7.1a Dec 2 1997 ready (posting ok).

===> 201: You can read only on the news server:
Example:
201 MAINE VM NNTP Version 1.1.1 ready at 2 May 1998 10:53:53 (no posting)
201 DNEWS Version 4.5j, S0, posting disabled

  Most of the time a news reader software does not display this code. A way to
tell is by typing it in your web browser for example type telnet://news.readfreenews.net:119
in internet explorer address bar. It will provide you direct access,
Via Telnet, to the "news.readfreenews.net" server on port 119 / NNTP.


=> Informations, tips and hints:
################################

- Be careful of a few open nntp servers who accepts posts (code 200) and who
don't pass those messages on others servers !!! Don't hesitate to look on
others open nntp servers if your messages are well there.

- For a small subsciption per month, you can connect to a commercial
news server such as:

GIGANEWS
NEWSDEMON
NGROUPS.NET
NEWSHOSTING

Official Webpage of YAHOO Search Engine
Official Webpage of DMOZ/GOOGLE DIRECTORY Search Engine
Text who Compare commercials news servers
Same as precedent
Same as precedent
Same as precedent (VERY GOOD LINK !)

  Here are some newsgroups that provide information on commercial news servers are alt.internet.newservers , alt.binaries.news-server-comparison and alt.usenet.news-server-comparison


  Some commercial servers accept for free or for a small amount of money
a "light" account that should be great for most users... see now annex 2.












=> The best known NNTP and Winsock errors codes:
################################################

  When the news server sends you an connection error, your news reader will
display either a message or a message precede by a number which we can
separate in two categories:
- Winsock codes errors (up to 10000) are sent by the Internet network,
- NNTP codes errors (down to 10000) are sent by the news server.

===> 400: Will clearly indicate the error reason.
Example:
400 Please change your News server to be news.earthlink.net.
400 Sorry, disk full, cannot take ihave feed just now, Goodbye

===> 440: The message you want to post is refused because the news server
is read only (see 201 code above).

===> 480: The server requires you to have an account on it (with login and
password). Example:
480 User and password still required, authinfo command
480 Authentication required for command

===> 502: You do not have access to this news server.
Example:
502 You are not in my access file.
502 You have no permission to talk. Goodbye.
502 Holy DNS batman, you aren't on my list! (Diablo)


===> 10060 (WSAETIMEDOUT): The server doesn't respond after a pre-definied
time.

===> 10061 (WSAECONNREFUSED): Connection is refused. Two cases:
- They aren't news server to this address (general case),
- The news server is temporary down.

===> 10065 (WSAEHOSTUNREACH): The news server is unreached.
Generally, this error exists when you aren't connected to Internet.

===> 11001 (WSAHOST_NOT_FOUND): The host is unknow on the Internet.

===> 11002 (WSATRY_AGAIN): The host is for the moment unknown on the Internet.
Try later... :)

===> 11004 (WSANO_DATA): Generally, this error exists when you aren't
connected to Internet.

** More informations on Winsock errors codes are on www.sockets.com.
** More informations on NNTP errors codes are in the RFC 977 and RFC 1036.




=> QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
#########################

This chapter contains all questions you've asked me since several years:



Q: How to changeover to a new newsgroup provider (without seeing
messages already viewed in the outgoing provider's group listings)
A: My workaround using FREE AGENT (100% success).
- Get up-to-date: Read the messages that interest you before
changing over to your new provider.
- Setup your new user account, password and NNTP nameserver.
- Exit FREE AGENT then relaunch it
- Type 'Ctrl + A' to select all newsgroups.
- Choose "Online" and "Sample header from selected groups",
- Choose "Retrieve the most recent messages, up to the specified
number" and type "50" in "Maximum messages to retrieve", tick
"Update record of headers that have been retrieved" check box.
************** Thanks to Mike Dee to check translation ;)

Q: Can "Google Groups" be read with an newsreader as Outlook Express ?
A: No.


Q: Due to law of my country or firewall company, i cannot access port 119, do you have a solution ?
A: Yes, you can use two methods:
- the first method is to discover an NNTP server who use another port other
than 119,
- the second method, which is more complex but very effective, is to use
anonymous software as HTTPORT and SOCKS5.

*** HERE IS A LIST OF SERVERS WHO USE ANOTHER PORT OTHER THAN 119:

*** HERE IS A LIST OF SERVERS WHO USE NON STANDARD PORTS:
news.readfreenews.net (80,119,120,443,8000,8010,8080 and 9000 ports)
allnews.readfreenews.net (80,119,120,443,8000,8010,8080 and 9000 ports)
nntp.aioe.org (80,119 and 443 ports)

For this followed list, you must activate connexion with SSL (port 563) !
news.gabrix.ath.cx (May 2009)
news.mixmin.net (OK in September 2007)
news.aioe.org (OK in March 2005)
nntp3.u.washington.edu
nntp1.u.washington.edu
nntp4.u.washington.edu
nntp2.u.washington.edu
nntp6.u.washington.edu
news.ntu-kpi.kiev.ua
adler.dlrg.de
h-204-29-187-152.netscape.com
yucatan.franconews.org
news.rhein-zeitung.de
h-204-29-187-156.netscape.com
oak.cise.ufl.edu
www.rsj.de
(thanks to James from NEWZBOT for this list at the end of January 2002)

STUNNEL software gives SSL capabilities to every newsreader under Windows or Unix.


Q: I would like to post binaries for free via a server with good propagation so I won't be asked for reposts.
A: The best news-servers with good completion peer with each other. Using a lot of crossposted newsgroups, unreliable servers or ones that censor posts increases the chance that your post will be incomplete on other servers. You can use TeraNews who offer unlimited posting for free, but require a valid credit card. You could aso try a small block reseller.
************** Thanks to Tax Man to check translation ;)



ANNEX 1: Several personals WEB pages about open nntp servers:
***************************************************************


======> The reference are:
DISENTER
Brian Kraft (BHK) page
NEWSREADERS / General Info about Usenet

The Yahoo Page about open nntp servers
The DMOZ page about open nntp servers


Webpages updated recently (March 2008):
An Italian list
P.U.L.I.N
NEWSSERVERGUIDE.DE
Free News Servers
a Deutch page
TORNEVALL



A list of German servers... for German users ;)



ANNEX 2: My list of open NNTP servers:
**************************************

  Now you can see my open NNTP server list... FYI, i has only choosen servers
who almost carries French and/or binaries newsgroups, French newgroups from
these servers are regurlarly checked to ensure feed quality... but do not forget
most of these text servers carries other hierarchies (alt, de, it, es...) ;)

  As date of writing this sentence (October 2005), users choices in alt.free.newsservers for text newsgroups are "news.aioe.org" and "news.readfreenews.net"

  Experienced users can have explanations below about QoS codes displayed after every newsserver

FRENCH USERS: la version française de cette FAQ propose en plus des serveurs listés ci-dessous d'autres serveurs administrés exclusivement dans notre jolie langue ;)




Name Technical infos Comment(s)
news.mixmin.net ?????? -T2 ** #too_recent# A read-only server if you use no SSL, a read and write server if you use SSL
news.solani.org MASKIP -T4 * #too_recent#  
news.datemas.de MASKIP -T3 ** #too_recent# No access to the website to subscribe ?
news.eternal-september.org MASKIP -T4 * #too_recent#  
news.albasani.net MASKIP -T3 ** #too_recent# Two friends provide free access to all people interested in this means of communications."
news.readfreenews.net xxxxxx -T3 ***** ##### Recently closed for posting
allnews.readfreenews.net xxxxxx -T2 * ##### This is a "news.readfreenews.net" copy with less retention and no cancel/supercede filter
public.teranews.com xxxxxx BT1 * #too_recent# This server seems to BIGGULP (R.I.P) too which is always sollicited...
news.aioe.org ?????? -T3 ** ####   No authentification but only 25 posts, see his FAQ for more info...
news.gwdg.de xxxxxx -T4 * #too_recent# Another (small) feed from Germany
usenet.ath.cx ?????? -T3 * #too_recent# Only a small e-mail to register you on this server
news.ett.com.ua No time to test now No time to test now
news.teleswett.net VIEWIP ??? ?? ??????? No time to test now




  My FAQ include for most open nntp server three codes and a few optional parameters:
* First code is B means binaries or - for no binaries,
* Second code is T means text groups is available or - if not available. Almost French groups are present but most servers offers all others "text hierarchy" too,
* Last code is a number means a "uncensored parameter" number... 0 means really uncensored and 9 means censored newsserver (supercede and cancel is possible, no long crossposts with or without fu2, no spam, no nym articles, NOCEM use...)
---> THIS NUMBER WILL BE ALWAYS MY OWN "FEELING" PARAMETER !!! GENERALLY I REGULARLY FOLLOW SPAM AND HIGH CC ARTICLES PROPAGATION TO CHOOSING IT !

* If the server allows posting, MASKIP means your IP will not be included in the article you will posting and VIEWIP means your IP will be included ;)
* The number of stars is REAL retention (one star for every month retention as far as 5 stars for 5 or more months retention). Newsgroups choosen for this test are actually a french and an international group. This kind of retention is based on download articles instead of only reading headers :->
* The number of "#" (0 to 5) is server availability, it is result based from my own regular test.




  The next lines contains servers in test:

  The next lines contains small or specific newsservers (QoS can be unknown for these):
- selenium.club.cc.cmu.edu (miss an old french newsgroup) - news.isu.edu.tw (only 12 hours retention in all tested newsgroup !)
- nntp.cquest.utoronto.ca (no XHDR / seems to only display CC articles for french groups)
- news.spiderlink.net (seems to only display CC articles for french groups)
- news.unina.it (seems to only display CC articles for alt.free.newsservers)
- * news.edisontel.com (only one day retention in alt.free.newsservers !)

  The next line contains oldest beta server who will be shortly validated:
- news.cybernetik.net (illogic small lost messages / maybe it is because a small BW ?

  The next line contains server who has refused my QoS test:
- news.shared-secrets.com

  The next lines contain bad servers:
- 209.216.94.5 (bad index in ALL newsgroups i have tested !)
- news.jazztel.es (has stopped to feed french groups and keep only very old messages sic !)
- news.cn99.com (lost or filter a lot more than others newsservers)
- news.normandnet.fr (TISCALI has lost all 9/14/2004 messages in a lot of NG !)
- news.ncnu.edu.tw (22/33 messages lost 4/21/05 it wasn't spam neither high CC)
- 62.4.20.133 (35/43 messages lost 4/8/05 in fr.reseaux.internet.hebergement)
- news.f.de.plusline.net (23/24 + 10/10 + 16/16 messages lost 8-10 April 05 in f.r.i.h)
- news.newsgrid.com (no new articles since 15 days + index number corrupted)
- news.gazeta.pl (46/65 messages lost 4/19/05 it wasn't spam neither high CC)
- news.greatnowhere.com (bad feed)
- * textnews.news.cambrium.nl (bad index in 24hoursupport.helpdesk and can.politics)
- * freenews.netfront.net (55/55 messages lost 4/5/05 in alt.free.newsservers)
- * All nntpserver.com customers as teranews, bubbanews and yottanews (filter at the end of June 2005 a lot of binaries articles, do not use these servers as backup server with grabit because he can forgot articles you want they own)
- news.ipg.pt (sorry reason was lost / i track again now this server)

  FYI all downgraded servers began by a star after the table seems to be uncensored.
These next (blinked lines/closed servers) has kept here if they appears again (it has occurs) for "god reason" (i.e new IP ?):-X news.wnet.ua (seems to only display CC articles for french groups) news.code-werk.net (main part of "open-news.network.org" / no alt hierarchy :-( news.newsgrid.com (no new articles since 15 days + index number corrupted) news.usenetzone.com (free registration by web but bad completion detected) news.wplus.net (sorry reason was lost)
  The next line contain an open server who accept to lost some articles:
His sysop has requested i delete his name, it is not a serious loss...

  For every servers of this list, i compare articles numbers from a lot of well known censored and uncensored feeds, i see index and date order, i can read some paths to detect who feed this server, i regularly check his availibility and i detect retention to do not mislead me sometimes with old articles crossposted on newsgroups who have better retention than tested newsgroups

  Speed download and XPAT function availability will be never tested in this FAQ because these parameters are not QoS parameters...

  Real posting propagation for these servers can be regularly found with "test@willemijns.com" GoogleGroups request.

  To be removed from this list, write me and add in your welcome banner 7 STARS with a valid e-mail as "200 news.foo.com (posting OK) ******* news@foo.com"











What's new ?
============




(May 2009):
- Destroy some (historical) services,
- Add news.gabrix.ath.cx (SSL only)

(March 2010):
- Destroy some (historical) services.






ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
- JavaScript used to sort tables is on
MIT License.






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