Two grad students at Duke University, Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott founded Usenet in 1979 in North Carolina. The original purpose of the system was to exchange information among users by connecting different computers using UCCP. The first Usenet consisted of three machines. Usenet is basically a decentralized global bulletin board system that allows users to post and receive content and media online. The discussion groups or "newsgroups" are organized hierarchically by almost every imaginable topic.
The term "Usenet" is a blend of the words "user" and "network". The network consists of News Servers that store the media and content, and the client computers. Information flows on a peer-to-peer basis from News Server to News Server so that client computers can access any information available on Usenet world-wide. It is important to note that the peer-to-peer communications are only between the host news servers, and not between the servers and the users. The connections between servers and users are dedicated client-server connections with a trusted network, and can be encrypted, which is what makes them faster and potentially more secure than other technologies. On Usenet the "Network News Transfer Protocol" or NNTP is used to create, store and retrieve files.
The core benefits of Usenet are:
The minor drawbacks include: