Firstload is your Usenet-Access! Professional downloading since 1979.

1979 – The Year of the Revolution

Usenet – Facts and Figures

Free Firstload Software

Customer Information

A contract period between 1 week and 6 months will automatically commence after the trial period, which may be subject to certain restrictions based on the preferred payment method. Please view the "Our Packages" page for further information. During the 14-day trial period you can revoke your registration in written form (email, fax, etc.).

FAQ (Frequently asked questions)

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1. The usenet

1. What is the difference between usenet and the world wide web?

Usenet, integrated today in the internet - is older than the World Wide Web. In contrast to the rest of the internet, Usenet has its own standards for sorting data and transfer. Since there was no user-friendly software available till now, Usenet was practically an insider secret of the computer-wizes.

Its particularity lies in its organisation: Usenet consists of tens of thousands of thematically sorted newsgroups. Authorised users can upload("post") their own files regardless of their file type. Firstload now offers a comfortable user-friendly software which enables easy search and download of desired contents.

2. What sort of content can be found on usenet?

Every topic imaginable can be discussed with other users on usenet. Content of your choice (open source, images,..) can be downloaded.

3. What is allowed on usenet?

Freedom of speech, just as within the internet, is the fundamental idea behind usenet. Every user can up- and download content of his or her choice, there is no censorship whatsoever. Every user has to decide for him- or herself how to use this freedom.

4. Why haven't I heard of usenet before?

Despite its attractiveness, Usenet has stayed an insider product, mostly because of the lack of a proper software to browse the enormous amount of data. The Firstload software has changed this premise. The specialised media advertised the advantages of the Usenet for years.

5. How do you guarantee full anonymity?

We install your Firstload account on an exclusive personal level. There is no possibility of any kind for third parties to have insight into your account usage. The logging of your IP address is technically ruled out and for billing purposes we only measure your download volume, guaranteed.

6. Are there any alternatives to Firstload?

Some ISPs provide their customers with an usenet-access not comparable to Firstload, as they only allow you limited access to usenet data. Other Providers normally shun the technical complexity of maintenance the sheer amount of data brings about. In terms of usenet completeness and ease-of-use, Firstload is unrivaled.

7. What are the technical requirements for using Firstload?

There are only minimal requirements. In order to use Firstload, you just need internet access. You'll get optimal performance over a DSL connection.

You can also use Firstload through a proxy server. Our software supports Socks4 and Socks5 proxies, alike.

2. Questions regarding the signup process

1. How secure is my data?

Naturally, all of your personal information is protected by a 128bit encryption and transferred only via secure SSL connection.

2. What costs other than registration fee are to be expected?

None. There are no hidden costs at Firstload. With package prices starting from € 9,90 per month, everything is included. There are no traffic or download fees and you can stay online as long as you want. However Firstload is not a substitute for your current internet connection (this includes the costs of the connection).

3. Is there a minimum age to register?

The minimum age to register with Firstload is 18 years.

4. What steps are to be taken when encountering registration problems?

Usually registration, as well as login to the members area, work without any problems; as soon as your registration has reached us, we promptly send you an email with your login credentials. If you don't receive this email within an hour, please check:

  • your spam folder: it might be overly restrictive, in this case you might have to manually mark our email as "not spam"
  • your email address: please doublecheck the address you provided for typos and make sure it has the format "xyz@xyz.xy" In case you discover a mistake, please call our support under +43 (1) 353 05101.
  • your mailbox: it might be over quota, in this case you might have to manually delete unnecessary emails in order to receive our email
5. I forgot my password, how can i retrieve it?

In the upper right hand corner of the Firstload homepage, you can find access to our members area. Right beneath the login form, there is a link through which you can have your password resent to your email address. Alternatively, just click here: http:// www.firstload.net/remail.php.

6. My email or postal address has changed, where can i update my account accordingly?

Please send a short email to our support team, providing the old and the new data, as well as your FST-number (which identifies you in our database). We will then promptly update the relevant information.

7. My account data gets rejected during the signup process, why does that happen?

Please check first whether you chose the correct country during signup.

We are checking the bank account number for its existence using a special software. Sadly, not all banks take part in this centralized checking process. Therefore, it is possible that a valid account gets rejected because it cannot be found in the system. In this case, we ask you to send a short email to our support team at support@firstload.net, so we can manually create your account.

3. Questions regarding billing and contract

1. What are your billing details?

This differs from package to package and is depending on your preferred payment method. Please refer to the "Packages" section of our homepage at http://www.firstload.de/packets.php for further information.

2. Is there a monthly payment option?

This differs from package to package and is depending on your preferred payment method. Please refer to the "Packages" section of our homepage at http://www.firstload.de/packets.php for further information.

3. I have self-upgraded my package, why is there no more right of withdrawal?

Please note that the right of withdrawal is inapplicable when self-upgrading your package, as additional traffic will be provided for you as soon as you do so.

4. How can I terminate the free test account?

Simply send an email containing your user name (fst number) to support@firstload.net

4. The Firstload client

4.1. Download volume

1. Why has my download volume not been recharged yet?

The download volume is renewed one month after the last renewal. This date may or may not coincide with the first day of the calendar month.

For example, if you have upgraded to a new package on March 15th, the download volume will be renewed on April 15th. If you brought forward your download volume on March 20th, the next renewal of the download volume will take place on April 20th.

4.2. The Free Flatrate

1. What is the Free Flatrate?

Our flatrate is an additional free of charge service to our customers. You can simply activate it by clicking on the corresponding "Free Flatrate" button in the Firstload client. Once the flatrate is activated, traffic will no longer be deducted from your download volume. In return, download speed will be limited to 2 MB / sec. When Flatrate is activated, you have unlimited volume downloading at a limited download rate.

You can only use this feature if you still have unused download volume.

2. What advantages are there in using the Free Flatrate?

With flatrate enabled, the transferred data volume will not be deducted from your regular download volume.

4.3. The Bonus Balance

1. What is the Bonus Balance?

Our bonus balance is an additional free of charge service to our customers, which is restocked through promotional campaigns in irregular intervals. You can activate it easily by clicking the ""Download Mode"" button in the Firstload Client, provided you currently have bonus balance at hand.

2. What advantages are there in using the free bonus balance?

With download mode set to "Bonus", you can download with full speed, without having the transferred data deducted from you regular download volume. Furthermore, bonus balance does not expire.

4.4. Configuration tutorials

1. What proxy settings do i need to enter?

Basically, usage of a proxy server is optional. In case you need to use one, enter the settings as provided by your ISP. We support HTTP-Proxy as well as SOCKS4 +5.

2. How do i have to configure my router?

Just like with any firewall, the ports 80, 119 and 443 have to be open for outgoing TCP connections, as well as for incoming packets from those ports. You might also want to activate port forwarding to the machine you are using our software with. For further settings, please refer to your router's manual to eliminate any configuration problems. Try to disable any dispensable security settings to restrict the problem area. You might also reset your router to factory settings to eliminate any interferences.

4.5. Search, Repair and Extract

1. How can I get better search results?

You can filter the results by adding more keywords from your intended result (e.g. song title and artist name).

Additionally, you can select the language of the results by clicking on the radio buttons next to the language flags. Depending on media type, you can further limit the search, e.g. by file size.

As new files get added to usenet each day, a good practice is also to use our client's "Live Search" to continuously search for specific items.

2. Some files appear to be corrupted, how can i repair them?

Since usenet is a global discussion forum and originally only contained text contents, binary files can sometimes be corrupted during upload. Therefore, it is possible that some archives are broken and cannot be completely unpacked without user intervention. In order to avoid that issue, usenet postings usually contain .PAR or .PAR2 files. By using those files, the QuickPar application can repair / restore the missing or corrupted .RAR files.

Download QuickPar from your member area. In the QuickPar application, activate the option "Associate with PAR2 files", and "Repair automatically". After that, you only have to double click on any .PAR or .PAR2 file in order to open it.

3. How can I unpack ZIP files?

In order to extract ZIP files (i.e., files with the .ZIP extension), please execute the following steps:

Steps to extract one single ZIP file:

  • In order to extract a ZIP file, please click on the ZIP file with the right mouse button.
  • A context menu will pop up. Choose "Extract files" from the context menu.
  • In the ZIP dialog, you can choose the folder in which the application will store the extracted file(s). By default, the application will suggest the place in which the ZIP file is located.
  • Click on the "Ok" button in order to extract the file(s).
  • The file(s) will now be extracted to the folder you have chosen.

Steps to extract several ZIP files to one large file:

  • Please select all ZIP files.
  • Click on the selected ZIP files with the right mouse button.
  • A context menu will pop up. Choose "Extract files" from the context menu.
  • In the ZIP dialog, you can choose the folder in which the application will store the extracted file. By default, the application will suggest the place in which the ZIP file is located.
  • Click on the "Ok" button in order to extract the file.
  • The file will now be extracted to the folder you have chosen.
4. How do I handle flac files?

Flac is a high-quality audio compression method that needs to have its own codec installed. Please use VLC in case your audio player encounters any problems.

5. Why do some files require a password when extracting?

Since usenet was originally a discussion forum only, sometimes files get uploaded which require a forum name or the like as a password. However, as these are mostly irreproducible, we recommend that our users don't download these files at all or give them a negative rating, respectively.

4.6. Connection issues

1. The Firstload client does not reach the server, what can I do?

If you have installed a firewall or a virus scanner, please be sure to unblock the connections necessary for Firstload. This pertains to the Windows-internal firewall as well as third party programs like Norton, Avira, etc.

Specifically, outgoing connections to port 119 must be activated.

You can find out whether your Firstload client can reach all necessary servers by clicking on the "traffic light" icon in the lower right corner of the client. A popup window will be displayed. In this window, click on the button labeled "Diagnostics". If all "traffic light" icons are set to green after that, then all necessary connections can be established. If one or more "traffic light" icons are red, then this connection might be blocked by a firewall or virus scanning software.

BEFORE PERFORMING THE FOLLOWING STEPS, PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR COMPUTER WILL TEMPORARILY BE VULNERABLE TO VIRUS OR WORM ATTACKS. If you are unsure about this, please consult a trained professional.

In order to determine whether your Windows-internal firewall blocks one or more of the necessary connections, please follow the instructions below:

  • Quit your Firstload client
  • In the Start Menu, click on Settings > Control Panel
  • In the Control Panel, click on "Network and Internet Connections" (Windows 7), or "Windows Firewall" (Windows XP).
  • Under Windows 7, now click on "Windows Firewall".
  • Here you can now switch the entire Windows firewall off or on.
  • Turn off the firewall

Now you can test the connections in your Firstload client:

  • Start the Firstload client
  • Click on the "traffic light" icon in the lower right corner of the client

If all "traffic light" icons are green now, you now have ensured that the Firstload outgoing connections are blocked by the Windows firewall.

PLEASE MAKE SURE TO REACTIATE YOUR FIREWALL AFTER THIS TEST. AS LONG AS YOUR FIREWALL IS DEACTIVATED, YOUR COMPUTER IS VULNERABLE TO VIRUS OR WORM ATTACKS. If you are unsure about this, please consult a trained professional.

In case your firewall blocks the Firstload client, please create an additional firewall rule to allow data traffic on ports 80 and 119 for outgoing connections.

2. The connection drops temporarily, what can I do?

If the connection to the news or authentication server works some of the time, but sometimes breaks, most probably the root of the problem is poor connection quality on part of your internet service provider. Specifically, your internet service provider might have trouble connecting to our news farm at newsfarm.firstload.de. This might have to do with a router misconfiguration or other technical issues on part of the internet service provider.

Please clarify the issue with your internet service provider's support team.

3. The connection suddenly slows down, what can I do?

If the connection quality changes over time, most probably the root of the problem is poor connection quality on part of your internet service provider. Specifically, your internet service provider might have trouble connecting to our news farm at newsfarm.firstload.de. This might have to do with a router misconfiguration or other technical issues on part of the internet service provider.

You might want to perform an online speed-test to clarify.

Please clarify the issue with your internet service provider's support team.

4. The client cannot reach the authentication/news server, what can I do?

In some rare cases, a faulty download blocks the Firstload client process.

Please send us the Firstload configuration files for further analysis and then delete them. In order to do so, please execute the following steps:

  • Open a Windows explorer window.
  • In the address bar on the very top of the explorer window, enter the following text (without quotation marks): "%AppData%\Firstload".
  • Hit the enter key on your keyboard.
  • In the Firstload configuration folder, please mark all contents including files and subfolders, e.g. by pressing Ctrl-A on your keyboard.
  • If possible, pack all these files into a ZIP file and send them via email with a short explanation of the problem to support@firstload.de.
  • Delete all these files and folders.

Next, in the Firstload client, please delete all active downloads. To do so, please execute the following steps:

  • Start your Firstload client.
  • Click on the "Download" button to access the download area.
  • Mark everything in the "Active Downloads" area.
  • Click on the red "X" icon on top of the "Active Downloads" area to remove all active downloads.

In addition to this, you can switch to the alternative port (443). To do this, please click on the "Options..." button, then "Settings..." and the "Advanced" tab. There you can activate the option "Use alternative port (443), and save the settings by clicking on the "Save" button.

5. I cannot get a connection to the server, why is that?

This error message can have different reasons: your account has expired, been terminated or locked, there might be a technical issue or your firewall or router's security settings might prevent our software from reaching the usenet server.

Also, please check whether you have entered a proxy server, as some proxies are not intended to cover usenet queries.

If the above does not work, please send an email with detailled information about your system configuration (operating system, antivirus software, firewall settings) to support@firstload.net.

6. I have installed the Avast virus scanning software, and the Firstload client does not work anymore, what can I do?

The Firstload client can sometimes encounter issues with the Avast virus scanning software. If this is the case, please execute the following steps:

  • In the Firstload client, click on the "Options" button, and then on "Settings..."
  • In the dialog that opens up, select the "Advanced" tab
  • Activate the option "Use alternative port (443)"
  • Click on the "Save" button to save your changes

Alternatively, you can change the settings of the Avast virus scanning software. To do so, please execute the following steps:

  • Click on the Avast icon in the Windows taskbar
  • Click on "Mail Shield"
  • Click on the "Expert Settings" button.
  • In the dialog that opens up, deactivate the "Scan newsgroup messages (NNTP)" option
  • Click on the "Ok" button to save your changes

This should solve the issue. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

4.7. Error messages

1. I cannot login, what can I do?

Please make sure to enter your username (FST number) and password in correct spelling and case, and without inadvertently adding a blank character. The password only contains lower letters (a-z) and digits (0-9). One good way to ensure the correct spelling is to enter the password manually, since Windows often adds a space character upon copying to the clipboard.

Should the problem still persist after that, we you can always request a new password at http://www.firstload.net/remail.php.

2. When I start the Firstload client, I get the error message "Critical error". What can I do?

This issue arises if the Firstload client software can not locate the download folder upon startup (for example if it is located on a USB stick that has been removed from the system).

In order to solve this problem, please execute the following steps:

  • If your Firstload client software is running, please close it.
  • Prepare your Firstload user name (FST number) and password, which you received in your welcome email.
  • In your Windows explorer, please localize the Firstload configuration folder (under Windows 7, this is "C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Firstload"). You can also enter "%AppData%\Firstload" (without quotation marks) into the location bar of the Windows explorer.
  • Remove this folder.
  • Start your Firstload client software.
  • Enter your Firstload user name (FST number) and password, which you received in your welcome email.
3. The operating system complains that the download filename is too long. What can I do?

In Microsoft Windows, there is a limit to the size of a file and path name (i.e., the sum of the sizes of all parts of a file path, plus the size of the file name itself).

In order to circumvent this problem, please execute the following steps:

1. In Microsoft Windows

  • Open your Windows explorer
  • Navigate to C:\
  • Create a new folder by pressing the right mouse button in the files and directory listing, and afterwards clicking on "New.." > "Folder"
  • Name the new folder (with as short a name as possible, e.g. "FL")

2. In the Firstload client software

  • Open the settings dialog by clicking on "Options" > "Settings..."
  • Choose the "Basics" tab
  • Right beside the "Download folder" textbox, click on the "Browse" button
  • Choose the folder which you just created (e.g., "C:\FL")
  • Confirm the dialog by clicking "Ok"
  • Save your settings by clicking "Save"
4. I am getting a "File no longer found" error message, why is that?

Currently, the standard retention period on usenet is approx. 650 days. The file might have already been physically deleted to make room for newer data while the index is still pointing to it. Please sort your search results by date to find more recent posts.

5. I am receiving the error message "Firstload.exe is not a valid Win32 application", why is that?

This indicates a problem with the software installer file. Please delete it and try to download it again from here; this should fix the error.

6. I am receiving a "Winsock" error, why is that?

Normally, restarting our software should solve this issue; if you receive the same message continuously, please contact support@firstload.net, attaching a screenshot of the error message.

7. I am receiving a "FILE.COULD_NOT_OPEN_WRITE" error, why is that?

This indicates a problem with missing write permissions in your download folder. Please log in to your windows system using an account with administrator rights or change your download folder to one where your current account has write permissions.

4.8. Miscellaneous

1. The image preview doesn't work, what can I do?

It is possible that a firewall or virus scanner blocks the image preview.

In case you have a firewall (including Windows firewall) or virus scanner activated, please make sure that all outgoing connections necessary for the Firstload client are enabled. This pertains to the Windows-internal firewall as well as to third party tools such as Norton, Avira, etc.

Specifically, outgoing connections to ports 119 and 80 have to be enabled.

2. I can not use the preview function, why is that?

To use the preview for video and audio files, you will need "VLC Media Player". This software is free, open-source and can be downloaded here.

3. Where can I download the Firstload client?

You can download the Firstload client in your member area. Please access the member area by logging in on our homepage with your login credentials. You can also download the client at http://www.firstload.net/client/.

You can get more detailed informations in the "Firstload Ikarus Manual" which you can access directly from here.

4. How can i distinguish legal from illegal downloads?

There is no reliable way to do this, as every user can post files to the newsgroups and the overall amount of data is simply too huge to monitor. The responsibility for usage of downloaded files lies with you.

5. Where can I check my current volume usage?

You can easily see this in the Firstload client software. At the bottom right corner near the "traffic light" symbol, you see how many MB are remaining on your account. Alternatively, you can also log into your member area with your account number (FST number) and password. There you can also check your current data volume.

6. What is RatDVD?

RatDVD is a video compression format that allows for the compression of full DVDs including menus and bonus features. You can find free RatDVD software here.

7. Can I run Firstload on a Macintosh computer?

Yes, we offer client software for Windows and Mac OS X operating systems (starting with version 10.7)

8. How can I read text newsgroups?

You can use the Firstload news servers with a news reader of your choice. For text newsgroups, we recommend the free software Thunderbird.

Plsease enter "newsfarm.firstload.de" as a news server, and "fstXXXXXXX@firstload" as your user name (where XXXXXX is your account number / FST number). Please make sure to use the password that you were sent with your welcome email.

5. Questions regarding the Firstload support

1. What about that ticket number?

You automatically receive a ticket number for each email you send to our support team. This ticket number will automatically be sent to your email address. In case you did not receive this email, we have not received your email, or there is another issue. In this case, please refer to our phone support.

2. I cannot reach the support team by phone, why is that?

Our phone support hours are: Mon-Fri 9am-9pm. the number is +43 (0) 720 699 623



To download files from the Usenet you need a client software