Confirmed issue with Avast Antivirus...
We've been getting reports from Avast users that Avast can conflict with Newsbin's working files. If you are seeing your downloaded files getting stuck and stored with .nb! extension, it could be that your virus scanner has the file locked and Newsbin can't rename it to the destination filename. Users who configure Avast to ignore scanning NNTP have fixed the problem. Running Newsbin on an alternate port could solve it as well, if your news server supports it.
Tech Support Issue of the Day...
We're getting more and more strange support requests from people unable to connect to their server or, intermittent problems with the connection dropping out while downloading files. What we've found in many of these cases is that an anti-virus program that monitors Internet traffic (specifically email) is conflicting with Newsbin. The workaround is to configure your server to run on an alternate port. Many servers support port 80 for non-SSL and port 443 for SSL. Give this a try if you are having connection problems and, if it clears up then, you can either keep running like this or, look into configuring your AV software to stop interfering. The procedure for changing the server port is in the Newsbin Online Documentation.
Virgin Media Server Issues...
There is ongoing discussion in the Newsbin Forums about corrupted posts on Virgin Media news servers. If you are a Virgin Media subscriber, you may want to consider signing up with one of our recommended premium news services listed on our UsenetTools site.
November 30, 2009, 11:00 a.m.
News Server Issues...
We are receiving ongoing technical support requests regarding issues with three different news services. If you are using any of the following servers, you need to contact them about the issues because we have no control over it.
eweka.nl -Connectivity issues due to a power outage in their data center in Amsterdam.
giganews.com - Completion issues
newshosting.com - XFEATURES compatibility issues.
There is a workaround for the newshosting issue. If you are running version 5.54, you can turn off XFEATURES by clicking the Servers button and click the "Disable XFeatures" checkbox.
Giganews has acknowledged their issue and they are working on the problem.
Eweka has no estimate for when their problems will be resolved.
November 16, 2009, 10:00 a.m.
Issue with 64 bit installer on Windows 7...
We believe we have isolated a problem with the version 5.54 installer that only affects 64 bit Windows 7 machines. The symptom is that Newsbin will run fine if you launch from the installer but, cannot access its configuration file if you launch from a standard user account after installation. The easy workaround is to right-click the desktop shortcut and choose "Run as Administrator". We are looking into a fix to the installer now.
If you have seen this issue on a different system, please let us know through our technical support form.
Thank you to all who reported their issues and helped us isolate the problem.
November 12, 2009, 12:05 p.m.
Windows 7 Observation with 5.54...
We've noticed a number of people having problems with Windows 7 and the configuration file. They'll add servers or groups and it won't save. If you exit Newsbin, right click the shortcut that starts Newsbin and "Run as Administrator" and it then starts working, you have a permissions problem. There are two ways to handle this, always "Run as Administrator" or fix the permissions on the NBI (configuration) file. The vast majority of users don't see this and we're not clear why some people have this problem. If you have seen this problem, we'd like to know if it occured after a clean install or, if it is due to using a configuration file from a previous install. You can contact us through our technical support form.
November 10, 2009, 7:00 a.m.
Server Maintenance this morning...
Access to the Newsbin Control Panel, Internet Search, and key registration may be unavailable a couple of times during the next hour. It shouldn't be down for more than a couple of minutes. If you are having lingering issues after an hour, please contact us via our Technical Support Form
October 15 , 2009, 9:45 a.m.
Version 5.54 Final Release...
The current production release is now Version 5.54. This is a free upgrade for registered users of Version 4 or above. A one time conversion of your stored header files will be performed the first time you access each group.
Some significant changes since 5.53 are:
There are many other fixes, changes, and new features that are too numerous to list here. The entire 5.54 development history is still available on the Beta Page as well as in the release notes that can be viewed upon installation.
To upgrade, just download and run Version 5.54. It is available for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems and will automatically upgrade and retain your current settings.
October 12 , 2009, 1:00 p.m.
Inexpensive News Service Offering...
Supernews has been around as long as we have. Our first news server account was with them back in 1995 when Newsbin was just a toy we were fiddling with. Supernews is still alive and well and is now offering Unlimited Usenet access for $11.99 per month. This includes SSL, up to 30 connections, and 350 days of retention.
We plan to make version 5.54 the production release this week.
Version 5.54 Release Candidate
This version had performance and reliability improvements over Version 5.53. It also allows you to set your first time group access based on days instead of guessing how many message you want to download. A summary of new features since 5.53 and download links for the 32 and 64 bit versions are on the beta download page.
More is not always better when it comes to connections
With many news services supporting more connections, our technical support issues have increased. Most are reporting slower download speeds when they max out their connections.
Based on our experience, most people will get their full datarate with less than 10 connections! Only those with high-latency connections like over satellite or, if they are many hops away from their news server may see a benefit from more connections.
Our suggestion is to start out with 4 connections and then slowly increase until you consistently maintain your full datarate advertised by your ISP. Some people will not see their full datarate if their Internet provider is limiting Usenet access. Also, we've seen antivirus scanners slow download speeds as well. We have some potential workarounds in this Troubleshooting FAQ.
Version 5.54 Release Candidate Available
Version 5.54 is ready for wider use before we make it the new production release. A summary of new features since 5.53 and download links for the 32 and 64 bit versions are on the beta download page.
Free Internet Search Day has ended!
Internet Search was free for the last 24 hours. If you missed it, we'll do it again sometime, just watch this MOTD.
If you did take advantage of our Free Internet Search day and are now hooked, you can sign up for our search service and pay either $2.50 per month for 300 searches per month or, signup for our unlimited search plan for $5.00 a month. Sign up through the Newsbin Control Panel when you are ready. Your login information was sent to you when you bought your key.
Free Internet Search Day is ON!
Newsbin Internet Search is FREE today! Click on the Search tab within Newsbin and make sure it is set to "Internet" to make use of the free searches.
The Free Search Day is for all registered users running version 5.42 or above, and will continue through to 8:00am EST tomorrow morning, August 15.
If you don't know what our Internet Search service is, information is available here.
Free Internet Search Day Tomorrow...
We periodically give away a free day of our Internet Search feature so people can play with it more (and hopefully get hooked on it). We are giving notice a day early for all those who missed the last one.
For all registered users running version 5.42 or above, Internet Search will be free from 8:00am, August 14 through 8:00am August 15, EST.
If you don't know what our Internet Search service is, information is available here.
Possible Post Corruption Reports...
We've had a couple of reports of corrupt downloads from VirginMedia news servers. If you use Virgin and your level of corrupt downloads has increased significantly, this might be a factor.
If you want to try a different server, we have several recommended news services that offer free trials.
Free Month of Internet Search...
|For a limited time, we are offering one month of Newsbin Internet Search FREE to NEW Giganews Subscribers who sign up on our referral.|
To receive your free month, you must be a registered Newsbin user and be a new subscriber to Giganews, having followed one of our referral links. After you meet these requirements, send us your Newsbin key and Giganews username (please no passwords!) and we will turn Newsbin Internet Search on for one full month.
Use the Newsbin Technical Support Form to send this information. Your Internet Search will be turned on within 24 hours.
Giganews Announces 50 Connections...
The Giganews Diamond Plan now allows 50 simultaneous connections. They report that people with high-latency connectivity will benefit from more connections. The reality is, most people will get their full datarate with 10 connections or less. There is no benefit to running more connections than needed to max out your bandwidth.
If you are on a high-latency connection and cannot obtain your full datarate with Newsbin's max of 30 connections, you can set up a second server entry, enable "Slave" mode so headers won't download from it, and set an additional 20 connections to get the max of 50 if you have a Giganews Diamond plan. If you don't have Giganews and think you want to try this, please sign up through this link so we get a few bucks if you decide to stay with them.
We are performing server maintenance this morning between 5:30am and 7:00am EST. There may be intermittent issues purchasing a key, using Internet Search, or registering Newsbin in this time period.
If you are having issues outside this timeframe, please let us know through out Technical Support Form.
Common Support Request...
A common support request we receive are from people reporting username/password errors when connecting to their news server. In the Logging tab, the message will look something like this:
502 Bad username and/or password
If Newsbin was working fine then this message starts popping up, it's not a Newsbin configuration problem. Many news servers will report a username/password error for reasons other than the information being wrong. Usually it is due to a credit card expiring and they were unable to bill you for the next month. It can also be due to you hitting some account limitations. The solution is to check with your news service provider and make sure your account is in good standing.
If you have just reconfigured Newsbin and you get this error, make sure you are using the login information given to you by your news service provider and not trying to use the login information you may have receive from us to access the Newsbin Control Panel. That will not give you access to a news server.
More details about this error and potential causes are in this Troubleshooting FAQ.
Antivirus and Firewall Software Conflicts...
The most common support issue we receive is due to antivirus or firewall software either blocking or interfering with Newsbin. If you are having problems downloading, the first thing to do is click on the Logging tab within Newsbin and look for errors. A 10060 or 10061 error is almost always a firewall blocking Newsbin.
With the release of Newsbin version 5.53, more antivirus software has been conflicting a different way. If the AV software is configured to scan incoming NNTP data (which is lumped under email in some scanners), it could induce download errors. So far, we have confirmed reports of this happening to people running Avast, Ashampoo, and Malware Bytes. There are several solutions that have worked for everyone reporting the issue.
1) Configure the AV software to ignore the NNTP data stream.
2) Turn on SSL if your news server supports it.
3) Switch to an alternate port if your news server supports it.
This forum thread shows a report of the problem and an explanation of why it is happening.
Giganews Special for Newsbin Users...
Giganews has agreed to extending their 50% off special to include all their unlimited plans for the first two months of service. They include a 14 Day/10GB trial so you can give them a try and if you choose to cancel before the trial is over, you don't pay a dime.
Click here to sign up. We get a few bucks when you sign up so you're helping us, too.
Version 5.53 Released...
We have released Version 5.53. It is an incremental release over 5.52 that offers better performance, reliability, and some new functionality. A brief summary of improvements include:
More information and the download links for both the 32 and 64 bit versions are available in the Release Notes. This is a free upgrade for registered users.
Possible Conflicts with Anti-Virus Software...
Anti-virus software has always had the potential to impact Newsbin's performance but there are two conflicts that have been reported recently:
1) Avast Anti-virus can interfere with compressed header downloads. The report and resolution are discussed in this Forum Thread. While this report was specifically with Avast, it's possible that other AV software could cause similar problems. The solution is to turn off the "Scan inbound news" or equivalent setting.
2) If your AV software is scanning the Newsbin download folder, it can temporarily prevent Newsbin from completing processing of the temporary .nb! files it creates. The latest beta version will retry instead of failing now but, this can lead to many files in a "paused" state accumulating in the Download tab. If you see this happening, consider configuring your AV software to either ignore the download folder or, ignore .nb! files explicitly.
Version 5.53 Beta 7 Available...
We are ready for wider testing of the current beta release of version 5.53. This has many performance and reliability improvements over version 5.52. It also has built in header compression compatible with Giganews servers. A complete list of changes along with the download link are available in the Release Notes.
Newsbin Development Notes...
Quade has been examining high speed downloading on his test server and was downloading at a sustained speed of 100 mbps with Newsbin. He has made changes to disk access to the temporary .NB! files to make it more efficient for the growing number of people with faster connections like FIOS.
He's considering adding a speed test mode where Newsbin will download but, not write the data to disk. This would let you isolate whether speed bottlenecks are network or disk related.
The next beta that comes out will also have changes to the NB! rename routines. We've noticed through our technical support requests that virus scanners sometimes interfere with renaming
the NB! file to the real file name. The new code will re-try the rename for up to 8 seconds.
The Truth about Simultaneous Connections...
Contrary to popular belief, more is not better when it comes to the number of connections you configure Newsbin to use to talk to the news server. I just proved this theory today while at the data center performing server maintenance. I plugged my laptop into a 100mbps ethernet jack and was downloading at 60mbps with 10, 8, and even 4 connections. I upped the connections to 15 and my speed actually dropped to 40mbps.
There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to the number of connections you run and each machine/network is different. Your best bet is to experiment because if your Internet provider or news service provider caps per connection or if you have alot of network latency, you may really need more connections. Start with 3-4 connections and then increase connections until you get the full speed that your Internet connection provides, and no more. This will optimize system resources, be kinder to the news server, and possibly eliminate the "too many connections" error that people sometimes get when they run the max connections allowed by their news server.
If you are wondering why I "only" got 60mbps, I attribute that to an I/O bottleneck using a slow 5400rpm laptop drive. A desktop should've hit 80-90mbps. You'll never get 100mbps on a 100mbps line due to protocol overhead.
Server Maintenance Complete...
If you didn't noticed any problems then, we picked a good time to do this. Everything should be back to normal now. If you notice any strange issues registering Newsbin, performing Internet Searches, or in ordering a key or Search subscription from our website, please contact us through the Technical Support Form.
We are performing server maintenance this morning, there may be periods of time where you cannot register, perform an Internet Search, or purchase a key between 6:00am and 7:00am, EST. If you are having issues outside of this timeframe, please contact us through the Technical Support Form.
Common Technical Support Requests...
Possibly our most common technical support request is from people who cannot get a connection to their news server. Usually it is due to an invalid (or missing) news server address or, a personal firewall is blocking Newsbin. If you click on the Logging tab (Status tab prior to version 5.5x), there should be more details on why you aren't connecting.
We have a list of troubleshooting tips specifically for this issue in our FAQ.
Achieving your best Datarate...
One of the most frequent technical support issues we receive are from people who aren't achieving the datarate they think they should be getting while downloading with Newsbin.
While there are many possible reasons for this, the first place to look is at the bandwidth limiter feature of Newsbin. If the background of the datarate gauge at the bottom of the screen is yellow then, your bandwidth limiter is turned on. The settings are under Options/Network and you can toggle the bandwidth limiter using the Speed Limit/Full Speed button on the toolbar.
Other reasons include networking issues, your Internet provider purposely slowing your connection, or even antivirus software slowing things down. We have a list of troubleshooting tips in our FAQ.
Assembling Incomplete Files...
The Version 5.5x series takes a different approach to how incomplete posts are handled. In previous versions, an incomplete post (any multi-part post that is missing some parts, indicated by an "I" in the box to the left of the subject) would sit in the Download list indefinitely waiting for manual intervention or, for the missing parts to be downloaded. To assemble the file, you would right-click on the file in the download list and select the Assemble Incompletes option.
Now, Newsbin will only allow incomplete posts to accumulate if they are less than 2 days old. Incomplete posts older than 2 days are unlikely to become complete so, Newsbin will automatically assemble them. You can still manually assemble a file newer than 2 days using the option in the right-click menu. Any file that was assembled from an incomplete post is saved with the filename in all capital letters.
Advanced users can adjust the length of time Newsbin will allow incomplete posts to stay in the download list by a special setting in the configuration file. Information about this is in the Advanced Usage section of the Newsbin User Guide.
As news servers gain more and more retention, the traditional method of downloading post headers to find content on Usenet is becoming more cumbersome. People have turned to NZB files available from a number of Usenet search sites and even some news services.
To help accomodate this trend, we have built many options into Newsbin for processing NZB Files. Starting with version 5.52, NZB file options are independant of the regular Filename Options applied when downloading from headers. If you are using or planning on using NZB files, you can read about all these options in our Online Help.
Newsgroup Article Numbers Pass 32 Bit Threshold...
We are starting to get reports that the article numbers on some servers are larger than a 32 bit number can represent. Of course alt.binaries.boneless is the first one to hit the threshold. If you are running a version prior to 5.52, you will have issues downloading headers from boneless or, very soon, any other group that goes over this number.
When you upgrade to Version 5.52, be aware that the "NZB Files" option has totally changed. If you download using NZB files, all downloads will go into the same folder until you set these new options. Details about the new options as well as the download links for the 32 and 64 bit versions are in the Release Notes. Both the 32 and 64 bit versions support 64 bit article numbers.
Version 5.52 Released...
We have officially released version 5.52. If you haven't tried one of the release candidates, be aware that the "NZB Files" option has totally changed. If you download using NZB files, all downloads will go into the same folder until you set these new options. Details about the new options as well as the download links for the 32 and 64 bit versions are in the Release Notes.
Giganews Announces 50% Off Sale...
For a limited time, Giganews is offering 50% off their Diamond and Platinum unlimited accounts for the first 3 months of service for new customers!
If you sign up through this link, you are also supporting us because we get a few bucks back on your subscription.
Version 5.52 Release Candidate Available...
This version has new functionality for people who download using NZB files. The "NZB Files" option has totally changed so you will need to go there and set it up before you start downloading. Details about the new options are in the Release Notes.
We have also fixed a couple of issues in 5.52:
Version 5.51 Released...
This is the same as Release Candidate 4, just rebuilt as the final release version. It addresses some issues that came up in 5.50 and should be more reliable for people with intermittent connectivity issues. Details about the changes are in the release notes that are displayed after you run the 5.51 installer.
Version 5.51 Release Candidate 4...
This version will turn into the final release unless some new issues are uncovered. Details and the download link are in the release notes. There is also information about this release along with a link to the 64 bit version in this forum post.
Version 5.51 Release Candidate...
We've made a number of tweaks to address some less common issues people have been experiencing. It now behaves better for people with unreliable Internet connectivity and has a number of small bug fixes. Details and the download link are in the release notes. There is also information about this release along with a link to the 64 bit version in this forum post.
The issues reported the other day with Easynews and newzleech.com seem to have been resolved.
We are testing a version 5.51 that behaves better for people with unreliable Internet connectivity. We also found that AutoPAR is having problems with some split file sets over 4GB in size. We'll make it available soon.
Two Issues Reported Today..
1: We have had a number of reports from customers of Easynews indicating problems downloading. Newsbin is rejecting files queued for download from Easynews' server. We think there might be an issue with corrupt data coming from their servers. Discussion of this issue is ongoing in this forum thread.
2: The NZB search site, newzleech.com, seems to be returning binary garbage in their NZB files.
Version 5.50 Production Release
We have released version 5.50, it is now the official production release in both 32 bit and 64 bit executable formats. The online documentation is being updated but the functionality is largely similar to 5.42.
Version 5.50 will perform a one time conversion of your stored headers the first time you access each group. After that, you should see improved load speeds and decreased memory usage. Version 5.50 is also more stable with large download lists and the AutoPAR feature is faster and more reliable than 5.42.
Version 5.50 Release Candidate 3...
We plan to turn this one into the final release unless someone uncovers a showstopper bug. The download link is in the Release Notes. If you have a 64 bit Operating System, you can download a 64 bit version of NewsBin here.
NOTE: If you have not previously run a 5.50 beta, a one time conversion of your stored headers will be performed.