January 1st, 1983 is considered to be the birthday of the internet. This is because prior to this date, computer networks didn’t have a standardized way to communicate with one another.
Today we have the ability to get online in the palms of our hands. Years ago, this was not the case. You might not be aware, but the computing power you have inside a smartphone once took up several rooms full of computer processors all connected together by wires and requiring an obscene amount of power to operate.
What’s changed even more is the way we use the internet. Social media has ruled for nearly the last two decades as the default method for sharing information over the internet. But, were you aware that there existed a network that could do the exact same thing before the internet?
Usenet was created in order to share data in 1979 and is still in use today. In fact, Usenet networks are actually much faster and safer than social media platforms.
Here, we’ll explore the why and how Usenet is utilized in many different industries.
What Exactly is Usenet?
Usenet, at its basic function, is a public bulletin board system or BBS. Essentially, Usenet is a larger-than-life collection of discussions and topics that anyone can access. These discussions often come in the form of newsgroups which are considered great because anyone can post to the discussion.
At the end of the day, Usenet is similar to a chatroom with capabilities of safely sharing and downloading files. And, all of it exists on a network apart from the internet.
How Does it Work?
Usenet is its own entity. Though you can access Usenet through the internet, it has its own method for communication known as Network News Transfer Protocol or NNTP.
You can access Usenet through your normal web browser, but the best way to access Usenet is to use Usenet software. This technology will give you the best Usenet experience and allow you to navigate a massive amount of text with ease.
Once you’re inside Usenet, any user can search through the newsgroup listings to find the discussions they want to read or comment on, or files they want to download.
What is Usenet Used For?
Aside from satisfying the urge for humans to share and absorb information, Usenet is largely used by companies to share information in a much faster and secure setting.
Users on Usenet share a wealth of knowledge, from instructional How-to diagrams that range from simple remote control operation to complex diagrams on how to fabricate devices on 3D printers.
If you’re into philosophical discussions, Usenet has a host of these as well, all ranging from innocent questions about life to flaming debates about the existence of God. No matter what you’re into, chances are Usenet has a newsgroup discussion going on right now that will enable you to learn (or contribute) a thing or two.
Some industries taking advantage of Usenet networks include but aren’t limited to the following list:
- Marketing companies
- Industrial Business
- Engineering Firms
- Scientific Research Facilities
- Government Entities
- Digital Content Creators
Each of these industries contains professionals who utilize Usenet for its faster and safer connection, but primarily to access the wealth of information available on the vast amount of newsgroups found throughout the Usenet network.
Becoming Usenet Savvy
Usenet is far from artificial intelligence. While Usenet at first glance might seem like a playground for tech geniuses and everyone from the nerdy to the geeky, it’s really a place for everyone.
Once you find your way into the newsgroups that you’re interested in, Usenet becomes a cinch to navigate. It’s also good to note that if you’re used to the image-saturated internet, Usenet is completely the opposite.
Though you’ll be able to download images, videos, and other files, and open them offline, Usenet is largely text-based, and this is what keeps out many younger users who would rather be scrolling on Instagram.
Usenet was around before the internet, and it’s here to stay. With the attractive nature of higher speeds and its safer network, it’s only a matter of time before more people begin taking advantage of Usenet platforms.