Outlook Express Tips

Outlook Express Tips

How to use Outlook Express: Quickly - Safely - Effectively

Are you using good and reliable news server

As you may already know, not all Usenet servers are the same. The key items to a good server are good retention and completion rate. How to tell if your news server is a good one?

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What do retention and completion mean?

The retention simply means that the posts on the server will last longer. For you this translates into more time to download these posts so you don't have to worry that they will be gone the next day.

Completion rate on the other hand means that when a server communicates with another server and retrieves so called feeds it will catch more feeds. It needs to be hooked to a high speed connection and a number of other servers and must have a good deal of bandwidth allocated to retrieve all the post that were posted on other servers.

Again, the more posts it gets, the better. For you this means more content and more complete posts.

And this is where we get to the problem with many Internet providers.

While most of them give you some server to use, they don't provide not even nearly as much posts or groups like a dedicated service does. It may be more or less severe for your Internet providers' server but generally it is a fact that dedicated service is simply better.

How can you spot this when you read the messages?

Let's say that you want to download a certain multipart post consisting of 100 parts. If you've seen such posts you know they are numbered in ascending order. But instead of 100 parts there are only 90 and you see the "gaps" here and there. This could happen because your server didn't get all the messages.

Also you may not have many newsgroups available. Good servers can carry over 100,000 groups - it takes a lot of bandwidth to receive feeds for all of them.

So, to save the bandwidth Internet providers don't allocate too much bandwidth for their news server. This may be OK for text groups but binaries may suffer in this case.

Note that this may not be the only reason for the gaps. You also need to make sure you download as much headers from the server as possible. In Outlook Express or Windows Mail you can do this in Main Menu » Tools » Options and under the Read tab uncheck the Get (a number) headers at time option. This way you'll download all headers.

Anyway, if none of the posts are missing you'll be able to successfully join such a post into an original file - i.e. video file, mp3 file or something else.

But what if you already enabled all the options to download the headers but there are still "gaps" in the numbered sequence of the multipart posts? This is where switching to better Usenet provider helps. Better provider will give you better retention rate and better completion rate therefore giving you more choice.

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