Difference between NNTP access and “Web access” to Usenet?

What is the difference between NNTP and Web access to Usenet?

Basically the difference is that NNTP access requires you to use a standard newsreader software application, while web access only requires you to access a website in order to access Usenet.

NNTP access is sometimes called “raw” access to Usenet because technically what you are paying for is a username, password, and server address from the Usenet provider.  A standard newsreader software application, like Newsbin, or Newsrover needs that account information to connect to the newsgroups and allow you to download/upload.  Your entire NNTP service is essentially those 3 pieces of information, which allow you to connec to the providers network, which then gives you access to everything on Usenet (newsgroups, articles, binaries, etc.)

Web access, on the other hand does not require standard newsreader software.  The most popular web access to Usenet is available through Easynews.  The Easynews web access gives you the ability to download/upload from Usenet using any web browser.

The traditional way to access to Usenet is with a newsreader via NNTP.  NNTP stands for “Network News Transfer Protocol”.  This is the foundation for transferring news articles and files between news servers.  NNTP is, itself, actually quite old, dating back to the mid 1980’s.

Many providers, such as Easynews, have started offering “web access” to Usenet in recent years in an effort to making accessing, browsing, downloading, and uploading on Usenet easier for individuals.  Although, in all honesty, using a newsreader with NNTP access is quite easy itself.  Newsreader software applications have come a long way in the last few years with added functionality such as the ability to import and download directly from an NZB file.  Still, web access can be enticing because it can offer streaming, fast search, ease of use, and portability sometimes not found with NNTP and newsreaders.  For example, Easynews web access will work on your mobile device.  Other providers with web access will allow you to stream directly from Usenet (i.e. music, videos, etc.).  Some providers actually go a step further and “pre-fetch” articles and binaries and then make them available via web access.  This way you don’t even have to download binaries or RAR files and assemble them.

Providers that do offer NNTP access will typically have less expensive plans.  This is because it is a “no frills” type service.  On the other hand, providers that offer web access will often be more expensive.  Web access can also be limited when it comes retention amounts.  Web access can also impose tighter download limits or bandwidth limits, while traditional NNTP style access will often be unlimited speed and/or unlimited downloads.