Usenet Guide – What is an NZB and an NZB Indexer?

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Usenet / Newsgroups
  2. Picking a Usenet Provider
  3. What is an NZB and an NZB Indexer?
  4. NZB Download Tools – SABNzbd, NZBGet
  5. Automating Media Downloads (Sickbeard, Couch Potato, Headphones)
  6. Pros, Cons and FAQ

3. What is an NZB and Where to Get Them

In previous parts of our guide we have discussed how files are split into “Articles”. Back in the old days of usenet, you would have to go into Newsgroup categories and download headers which are basically like the subject line of the article and then attempt to find all the articles relating to your file to download.

Messy_storage_room_with_boxesThis was messy.

Eventually programs came along which attempted to automate the process. You point out a file you want and it attempts to download the articles with similar headers. This worked pretty good but was still prone to errors if articles weren’t named nicely.

Today, all you need is an NZB.

What is an NZB

9GVQBuyAn NZB is an XML based file which has a list of all the articles that are needed to complete a download for a file. The NZB file is typically built either by users/community members, the person who uploaded the files, or automatically by software through complex regex filtering.

Once an NZB file is built, that is all that is needed for a user to identify all the articles and retrieve the data. This is not done manually! Software tools have been produced to greatly simplify this process so that all you need to do is feed the software the NZB file and it takes care of the download and any complexities involved itself. We’ll get to that in part 4!

NZB Indexers

But where do you get the NZB file?

There are tons of websites out there that are called “Indexers” which are dedicated to the creation and categorization of NZB files. Most of these are done automatically but a number are community-driven, kind of similar to a torrent tracker.

dog6Modern day indexers are incredibly organized. Files are split into major categories such as Movies, TV, Music and then even further broken down into SD vs HD or categorized into genre. Most indexers also make use of Movie, TV and Music scrapers to pull down information and reviews about the media creating a great all-in-one feel of search/browse/download tool.

Getting into a good NZB indexer however can be tricky and require some patience.

Once upon a time, there was Newzbin (which is actually where the term “NZB” comes from). It was the king of indexers and there was little point of any other. The NZB scene went years and years untouched by government and most thought it was untouchable since the sites did not serve any files themselves. But, Newzbin got raided by police and shutdown. Then all the secondary sites that people scrambled too also got shutdown.

That leads us to modern day indexers. There are many of them, and they keep their memberships locked to a certain number in hopes of staying out of the public eye.

The best way to get into a private NZB indexer is to keep watch on this site for news, or to follow Usenet on Reddit at:

Top NZB Indexers

Without going into an exhaustive list, below you will find links to some of the most popular indexers, as well as links to some of the top indexers with open registration.

Top Indexers (Closed Registration)

  • – $10 lifetime registration for VIP status. Has some unique features like watchlists.
  • – $8/yr for VIP. Feature rich newznab based indexer
  • – Long running newznab indexer with no VIP requirements.

Top Open Indexers (Accepting Registrations)

Public Unmanaged Indexers (No Registration Needed. Unmanaged Service)

Want More NZB Indexers?


Check out this great maintained list at


Next: NZB Download Tools – SABNzbd, NZBGet

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