What are newsgroups?

Newsgroups are Internet discussion forums where groups of users with common interests gather to talk about everything from software to comic books to politics. Unlike e‑mail messages, which are visible only to the sender and specified recipients, newsgroup messages can be read by anyone who views the group that they're posted in. Newsgroups are international in scope, with participants from all corners of the Internet.

Before you can view messages in a newsgroup, you'll need a newsreader program, such as Windows Mail. You'll use the newsreader to download messages from a news server. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer access to news servers for use by their customers. These servers typically contain thousands of groups covering a wide variety of topics. Some news servers contain specialized topics, such as news about specific technologies or information related to particular industries or organizations.