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How do we use Google Groups to browse Usenet groups? Specifically, if I am looking at comp.os.linux.networking, how do I go up on level to comp.os.linux?

In the old days before Google changed the interface, the elements of an Usenet group were linked and clicking one would allow us to navigate up (see the red box below). And searching just sucks: comp.os.linux groups returned one result of comp.os.linux.misc (even though there are probably tens to hundred in that branch).

I don't think a traditional Usenet agent is a viable option anymore (like Forte's Agent). I'm not sure telco's like Verizon even offer them any longer. I could not find Verizon's news server settings when searching their site.

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There seems to be no way but to manipulate the URL. The part of the URL after the last / is the group name.

So to view the com.os.linux group, you would enter http://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/comp.os.linux in the browser's address bar.

If you're using Chrome, you could add a "search engine" that allows you to go straight to a Usenet group:

  1. Right-click on the location bar
  2. Click Edit search engines Screenshot of the Edit search engines menu item
  3. In the window that pops up, scroll to the bottom, to find the Add new search engine field
  4. Use a name you will recognize (e.g. Usenet), put usenet as the search keyword, and http://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/%s as the URL (the %s will be replaced with the group name when used) Screenshot of the Add search engine form

  5. From now on, you can type usenet in the location bar and press tab. Then type the name of the group you want to view (e.g. comp.os.linux) Screenshot of the Chrome location bar

  6. Press enter. This will take you to http://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/comp.os.linux

Similar options exist for at least Firefox (called Smart bookmarks) and Opera, and perhaps other browsers (feel free to add to this answer).

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