How-To: Access Free IPv6 Usenet Servers

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the successor to the currently used IPv4. Outside of geek circles I seldom hear of people talking much about IPv6. Unfortunately IPv6 hasn’t enjoyed broad deployment for reasons beyond the scope of this post. Several large web destinations exist today that allow access over IPv6 but they also available over IPv4. It wasn’t until some tinkering in my free time with IPv6 that I realized there are free Usenet servers available only to IPv6 users. If you’re like me then your internet connection is of the IPv4 type putting the IPv6-enabled internet out of reach. Lucky for us a simple solution exists called tunneling.

In this ‘how to’ I’ll explain how to get a simple tunnel set up on a Windows 7 machine to access three free IPv6-only Usenet servers. I’m using a 32-bit clean install of Windows 7 Starter with no major changes to the OS other than disabling UAC and not having installed any virus scanner. Both are no-nos for production machines. I’ll be using gogoNET’s free tunneling software and the open-source SABnzbd+ Usenet client. Other options exist for both but the basic concepts will be the same.

As always, make sure you back up your machine before attempting this because I am not responsible for any disasters by following these directions. Lastly, don’t use this information to do anything illegal or abuse the generous providers giving away these free services.

Part 1: IPv6 Client Setup

  1. Direct your browser to gogo6‘s website. You will need to register with gogo6 (its free) via their Ning-based social network.
  2. Once you’ve created the account and logged in to the above download page you’ll need to download the appropriate “gogoCLIENT – Basic version” (either 32 or 64 bit) for your platform. Ignore the other downloads on that page.
  3. Run the “gogoCLIENT – Basic version” file you just downloaded. You’ll need to agree to the license to continue the installation.
  4. Don’t change any options on the “Choose Components” screen. Click NEXT.
  5. Don’t change the Destination Folder on the “Choose Install Location” screen unless you know what you’re doing. Click INSTALL.
  6. During the install Windows 7 may pop up a “Would you like to install this device software?” dialog box when its time to install the gogoTUN tunnel driver. It is up to you whether you choose to click the box next to “Always trust software from “gogo6 Inc.” — I did. Then click INSTALL. It may take a few minutes to complete on slower machines.
  7. On the final screen leave the box ticked next to “Launch the gogoCLIENT utility” and unclick “Show README.” Then click FINISH.
  8. You will now see the gogoCLIENT Utility on your screen.
    screen1
  9. Click CONNECT without changing anything.
  10. If everything went correctly you should see a successful connection message similar to the one below.
    screen2
  11. To be sure everything is working correctly navigate in an IPv6-enabled browser like Firefox http://ipv6.google.com. If you see the Google search page with an animated Google logo then you’ve succeeded in connecting to your first IPv6 website. Congratulations!
  12. For more advanced users: You can obtain credentials from gogo6 that can be put into the client which gives some benefits but I’ll leave that to the reader to figure out.

Part 2: Installing and Configuring SABnzbd+ Usenet Client

  1. As stated earlier, I’m going to use SABnzbd+ but you’re welcome to use the Usenet client you prefer.
  2. Go to the SABnzbd+ download page and grab the latest beta version of the Windows Installer.
  3. Once downloaded, run the setup file. You must agree to the license to continue. Click I AGREE.
  4. I dislike icons on my desktop so I untick the “Desktop Icon” option on the Choose Components screen. Click NEXT
  5. Don’t change the Destination Folder on the “Choose Install Location” screen unless you know what you’re doing. Click NEXT.
  6. Then click INSTALL on the “Choose Start Menu Folder” page.
  7. On the final screen untick “Show Release Notes” and click FINISH.
  8. A browser window should come up with the address: http://localhost:8080/sabnzbd/. This is how SABnzbd+ is accessed. Bookmark it in your browser.
  9. Click CONFIG.
  10. Click SERVERS
  11. Fill out the first server as below:

    Host: newszilla6.xs4all.nl
    Port: 119
    Username: < Leave Blank >
    Password: < Leave Blank >
    # Connections: 2
    Timeout: 120
    X Enable
    O SSL
    O SSL
    O Optional

    Where X is a ticked tickbox and O is a black tickbox.

  12. Click TEST SERVER. If the server is working and you filled in everything correctly this should pop up a box that says “Connection Successful!” If not, then recheck all your settings. If everything is fine then move on to the next step and read the note below about free servers.
  13. Click SAVE CHANGES.
  14. A new blank box should be next to the box you just filled out. Fill out the second server as below:

    Host: news.ipv6.eweka.nl
    Port: 119
    Username: < Leave Blank >
    Password: < Leave Blank >
    # Connections: 2
    Timeout: 120
    X Enable
    O SSL
    O SSL
    O Optional

    Where X is a ticked tickbox and O is a black tickbox.

  15. Click TEST SERVER. If the server is working and you filled in everything correctly this should pop up a box that says “Connection Successful!” If not, then recheck all your settings. If everything is fine then move on to the next step and (if you haven’t already) read the note below about free servers.
  16. Click SAVE CHANGES.
  17. The third server requires a free login. Open a new tab in your browser and navigate to: http://www.xsnews.com/ipv6/. Click the link that says “deze pagina” and type in your email address. This should result in you getting an email shortly with login credentials.
  18. Go back to the tab with SABnzbd. A new blank box should be next to the two boxes you just filled out. Fill out the third server as below:

    Host: reader.ipv6.xsnews.nl
    Port: 119
    Username: < Put the user name you just got in your email >
    Password: < Put the password you just got in your email >
    # Connections: 2
    Timeout: 120
    X Enable
    O SSL
    O SSL
    O Optional

    Where X is a ticked tickbox and O is a black tickbox.

  19. Click TEST SERVER. If the server is working and you filled in everything correctly this should pop up a box that says “Connection Successful!” If not, then recheck all your settings. If everything is fine then move on to the next step and (if you haven’t already) read the note below about free servers.
  20. Click SAVE CHANGES.
  21. Note: Usenet servers tend to be as reliable as their cost. If these free servers are down then give it some time and hopefully they’ll come back up. At this time, only newszilla6.xs4all.nl is working for me. If you can’t wait then you can always buy an account over at GigaNews.

That should do it for the basic configuration of both IPv6 and SABnzbd+. There are many more things that can be done with some time and Google by your side. Now find or make a NZB file from http://binsearch.info and upload the NZB file to SABnzbd and watch it download over IPv6. It won’t be very fast but it should give the average user a taste of IPv6 and Usenet. There are some great Linux distro NZB files only a few clicks away so knock yourself out.