Help with Newsgroups

Accessing Newsgroups

Before you can read or participate in any newsgroup, here is what you must have:

  1. You need a news server normally provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The news server must include the newsgroup called "can.rec.boating". Get the news server details to set up your software, then subscribe to "can.rec.boating". If they don't have "can.rec.boating", ask them to add it!
    • Then you need news client software that reads and writes newsgroup messages in much the same way you read mail. I recommend Mozilla Thunderbird. It also reads news feeds (RSS).
    • Subscribe to the newsgroup in your news client software, by clicking this URL: news:can.rec.boating. You may also subscribe by selecting "subscribe" from the news client menus.
  2. Web browser access:

Newsgroup messages

News messages are known as articles or posts. Once you are connected to the news server, your news software can download messages to read offline. Your ISP will only store a specified number of articles in a group - ask them to keep articles longer if they disappear too fast. You go adrift unless you ask!

Get started with Usenet and Canadian groups:

Newsgroup Names

Some regional newsgroups begin with can (Canada), ont (Ontario), ott (Ottawa), etc. Usenet world-wide newsgroups begin with news, rec, sci, comp, soc, talk, and misc. Most news software has a search tool to help you.

Top of Page

Advertising in Newsgroups

Never post ads in discussion groups unless the newsgroup's FAQ specifically allows it! Posting ads in newsgroups intended for discussion brands you as a spammer and news administrators may delete your posts, block your account or even block your entire ISP.

Search the newsgroup names for "forsale" to find groups that allow ads.
Examples:,,,,,,,,,, vic.buysell,,,, (moderated). Top of Page

Subscribing to Newsgroups:

There are options that allow you to download all your mail as well as unread news articles in newsgroups that you have previously selected. This will save enormously on connection charges, since you can read and answer mail and news offline, then send them all at once when you reconnect to fetch a new batch of mail and news.

Before you can do this however, you must first subscribe to some newsgroups, then select from the list for downloading. (Note that when you read a newsgroup from a hyperlink, it is automatically added to your subscribed list.)

  1. Select SUBSCRIBE from the FILE menu. The first time you do this, the default window under the ALL tab will not fill until the entire newsgroup list is downloaded. (Once downloaded, this list can be searched offline.) You can also select the SEARCH tab and type in a word like sail or forsale to search the newsgroup names. In each case, you can click on the dot in the SUBSCRIBE column for any newsgroups you wish to read.
  2. To download your selected newsgroups, select OFFLINE from the FILE menu. In the latest browsers, the next choice is SYNCHRONIZE. Select SELECT ITEMS if you wish to change your download selections. You can also set the options to send your unsent messages (good idea) and to work offline after it's done (if you wish to disconnect as soon as you have downloaded the messages). Now select OK and downloading will begin.
  3. When done, you may disconnect and read your messages offline.