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Forte Agent is the newsreader of choice for most of the Usenet regulars using Windows.  Agent is flexible and powerful.  Go to to get Agent.  It is the best $29 you can spend.  They offer a 30-day free trial.  They also offer Free Agent for absolutely free (described below).Follow these links for tips and discussions on the most common Agent topics:

  • Associating Winamp (or your favorite player) to launch MP3s from within Agent .
  • More Agent Tips - a collection of Agent tips
Free Agent 
Excellent starter.  Free Agent gives you some idea of what life could be like with a "real" newsreader.  Make sure you visit the site Installation and Usage Guide for Forte Free Agent.
Outlook Express 
Popular and widely distributed, but not very good for binaries.  See the Sub-FAQ.
Gravity - loved and cursed.  Does some things well.  Available from Tucows and other such shareware sites.  The Microplanet site has closed down.  Nomad News - Free. Usenet News Browser & Automated Retriever for Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP. Originally created by DMP Software sometime around 1999. Includes yEnc decoding.

Netscape - almost worthless for binaries.  If you have to use it in a pinch, read this (Section 1, #7).  You will also need to download a decoder if you don't have Winzip.