While most people enjoy access to Usenet, most never wonder what protocol they are using to access the network. Usenet primarily supports two types of connections, the web connection or through the NNTP application protocol. In most scenarios, the method you use doesn’t matter, but there comes that time when knowing the difference between this two approaches is critical. Below we look at what these methods entail and possibly help you decide which protocol is better suited for your needs.
The Web Method
By the Web, it means that the connection to the Usenet id made via HTTPS or HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL. SSL is an abbreviation for Secure Socket Layer, a technology that encrypts Internet traffic ensuring that the intended recipient is the only one who can decrypt it. Connections to Usenet via the web are typically made through a web browser.
The advantages of using the web method include:
1) Multiplatform Access
The fact that you can access Usenet via a web browser means that you can do it from any device with a full fledged web browser. Meaning you can do it from your smartphone, tablet or computer. It is also good as you can do this on any OS, be it windows, mac or Linux without the need of a unique client.
2) Unlimited Connections
Most Usenet providers will give unlimited connections if the access method is via a web device. While the inner workings of the technology might be beyond the scope of this article, it is safe to say that accessing Usenet via a web browser doesn’t use more server resources, hence the choice to offer unlimited connections.
The NNTP Protocol
The NNTP protocol is native to Usenet. The initials are abbreviations for Network News Transfer Protocol, an application protocol developed to carry out the necessary Usenet operations efficiently. Examples of these activities may include the posting of new articles, sorting through them and reading. NNTP remains the widely used method, possibly because most Usenet providers did not offer the web method until recently.
Some of the advantages of using NNTP include:
1) More Functionalities
Given the fact that NNTP is the native way to access Usenet, you can expect to get more functionalities from it compared to the web method. Options such as access to full lists of all carried newsgroups can only be possible through NNTPS clients, or at least until the web method catches up.
2) More Retention
It is not quite clear as to why, but most Usenet providers seem to offer more retention if files are uploaded using NNTP. This right here is a clear indication that NNTP is encouraged. In most cases, using the native method means that the servers will use fewer resources and compared to embedded methods like web, which might need interpreters to initiate the connection with the native system by interpreting commands for it.
Finding a Usenet provider that offers your preferred connection method is paramount to your Usenet experience. Other vendors such as Easynews knows the importance of personal preference;that is why they offer both approaches so that you can choose what suits any given time.