This document will provide you with an introduction to all of the features of PenTeleData's Usenet service in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) format. For anyone who is interested in exploring the Usenet (newsgroups), this is the beginners guide for you.

I already have a newsreader installed. How do I make the appropriate changes to connect to the new PenTeleData Usenet server?

I have a list of newsgroups on my screen. Now what?

Simply scroll through the list of available newsgroups and look for groups which may be of interest to you. When you find a newsgroup you would like to browse, simply double-click on the title of the newsgroup and your newsreader software will ask you if you would like to retrieve a list of available posts from that particular newsgroup. Answer "Yes" or "OK" to this question. After this process is completed, you will see a list of the available posts in the newsgroup you’ve selected. To read a particular post, simply double-click on it.

How much can I download from the PenTeleData Usenet server?

Based on the type of PenTeleData account that you have purchased, your monthly download limit may vary. You are permitted to download Usenet data, up to your limit, once a month. (Usenet Data: Any data that is transferred from the Usenet server to your computer. This includes all headers, text, binaries, or any other attachment that you download.) Your usage counter reset date is specified on the "Usenet Transfer Statistics" webpage. Any unused Usenet transfer data from your allotted monthly download limit, for the current monthly usage period, will not be carried over to the next month.

You can view your current transfer limit and your counter's reset date by logging in to our Usenet Transfer Statistics page. To access this page, you must first log into our "Account Management" page by surfing to www.ptd.net. On the right side of the page, click on “Account Management.” After you have logged in, click on "Usenet Transfer Statistics" to view your Usenet Transfer Statistics report. You can also access the account management page directly.

Information regarding the monthly Usenet transfer limit associated with your specific account is also available.

What is a "moderated" newsgroup?

Moderated newsgroups are usually discussion forums which are regulated for content by a certain individual. Unlike non-moderated newsgroups, where postings are not censored and basically anything goes, you can be held responsible for your comments if they are posted to a moderated group. All moderated newsgroups will contain the word "moderated" in the title of the newsgroup (i.e. alt.computer.consultants.moderated).

How do I download a file attachment from a newsgroup?

Simply select the post which contains the attachment you would like to download and issue a command to your newsreader to download the file. In most cases, you simply need to double-click on the post which contains the desired attachment and your newsreader will save the attachment to your hard drive automatically. Please refer to the "Help" menu within your particular newsreader software for more information.

What happens if I reach my download limit while I am in the middle of downloading something?

If you reach your allotted monthly download limit while in the middle of downloading a file, your current download will complete but you will not be able to access the newsgroups or download any more data until your current monthly usage cycle is completed.

What is Usenet? Newsgroups?

Newsgroups (also called Usenet News) can be thought of as message boards / discussion forums which are stored on a central server and are available via any ISP which offers newsgroup access. When a post is made to a newsgroup from a user on a particular ISP, the post will “propagate” to every other ISP in the world which offers newsgroup service, via the Usenet network. This means that users may post messages and files to a specific newsgroup and these posts will be made available to anyone in the world who has newsgroup access with their ISP. There are thousands of newsgroups currently available which cover a wide range of topics. Also, there are newsgroups available which contain only binary files, such as movies, pictures, and sounds, which can be downloaded to your PC via the use of a Newsreader program.

My newsreader is now installed, set up, and open on my screen. How can I see a list of available newsgroups?

By default, your newsreader software will prompt you to download the list of available newsgroups upon completing the initial setup.

I have another question about newsgroups which was not answered here. How can I get additional help?

You can call our Technical Support Department at (800) 281-3564 to speak with a technician. Technical Support will attempt to answer any PenTeleData Usenet related question not covered here. You can also email your questions to support@corp.ptd.net.

For more online information regarding Usenet, we have provided links to various Usenet information sites below. Please note that PenTeleData does not offer support on these links. They are simply provided as a convenience to our customers.

General Usenet FAQ Part 1:

General Usenet FAQ Part 2:

FAQs for particular newsgroups:

Information about Moderated Newsgroups:

I was trying to download a multi-part file from a newsgroup and I noticed that some sections seemed to be incomplete. Why?

Occasionally, when someone uploads file attachments to a newsgroup, the file will not be intact when it reaches the Usenet server for various reasons. In these circumstances, you will still see the file but it will be listed as incomplete by your newsreader. We strive to make as many binary attachments available as possible but there will always be exceptions beyond our control. If you really wanted to download the file, but it is incomplete, you can always post a message to the original poster and request that they "re-post" the incomplete file(s).

Does PenTeleData censor newsgroup access?

PenTeleData does not censor newsgroup access for our customers in any way. We leave it up to the customer to decide which newsgroups are appropriate to be read or downloaded. Be aware that since newsgroups are not censored in any way, there may be groups and topics which are inappropriate for some users.

Does PenTeleData have its own newsgroups?

Yes. We currently have three newsgroups which our customers may access. The newsgroups are:

prolog.ads (Have something to sell? You can place classified ads in this group which may be viewed by other ProLog customers.)

prolog.general (This group is used for general inquiries and discussions regarding your ProLog service.)

prolog.help (Have a question about your service which you would like to discuss with other users? Use this group to post your technical inquiries for others to view and respond to.)

Who do I contact if I would like to add a newsgroup to PenTeleData’s group list?

Simply send your newsgroup request to support@corp.ptd.net and have the subject of the message: NEWSGROUP REQUEST or just click the following link: request newsgroup.

If the requested newsgroup is available on our server, we will gladly add the group for you. Please note that it may take several days for posts to appear in newly-added newsgroups.

What type of account must I have to access newsgroups on the PenTeleData Usenet server?

Any PenTeleData Dial-up, High-speed Cable, High-speed DSL, Individual Usenet Account, or Commercial Usenet Account is permitted access to the PenTeleData Usenet server.

I do not currently have an account with PenTeleData but I would like to access your Usenet service. Is this possible?

Yes. PenTeleData offers a product called an "Individual Usenet Account." This allows an individual without PenTeleData internet access to connect to our Usenet server from another online source.

How do PenTeleData newsgroups work?

Using a piece of software called a “newsreader,” a user connects to the PenTeleData Usenet server and can then download a list of available posts (which are called “headers”) within newsgroups of interest. The posts themselves can contain text messages and/or binary files which your newsreader software will decode after the post is downloaded. Once you have found newsgroups which are of particular interest to you, you can use your newsreader software to “subscribe” to them. Subscribing allows you to quickly be able to access the newsgroups that interest you most instead of having to wade through the many thousands of available groups each time. Any time you want to see the most recent postings in your subscribed groups, simply retrieve the new headers for those groups.

How do I log into newsgroups?

First, you will need to install newsreader software. Next, you must configure your newsreader to connect to PenTeleData's Usenet server. Instructions on how to make the appropriate changes to your current newsreader software.

What server name and login/username info do I need to access the PenTeleData Usenet server?

Our Usenet server name is: usenet.ptd.net

Standard accounts (Dial-up, cable modem, and DSL) must use their complete PenTeleData email address as their username (i.e. Username: johndoe@ptd.net ) and the corresponding password in order to log into the PenTeleData Usenet server.

If you have an "Individual Usenet Account" or "Commercial Usenet Account," you must use the Usenet login and password which was assigned to you in order to log in to the PenTeleData Usenet server. Please ensure that you are using your "complete" login including "@ptd.net" (i.e. Username: news00000005@ptd.net )

How do I access newsgroups if I do not currently have an email address associated with my Full Access PenTeleData account?

Since all PenTeleData Full Access accounts are allowed to have five email addresses, we suggest that you contact our Customer Service department at (800)281-3564 to add a Full Access email name to your account. If you want news access but you do not want to receive email through this newly created email box, you can lower your disk quota limits on that mailbox to the absolute minimums by clicking "Mail Quota Settings" on PenTeleData's "Account Management" Webpage. Click HERE  to access the "Account Management" Webpage.

If your account does not currently include Usenet server access, you can still purchase an "Individual Usenet Account." 

If you signed up for High-speed Cable through your local cable company office, or High-speed DSL service through your telephone company, please contact them directly to add an email address to your account.