Newsgroup Picture Downloader: Full Tutorial

This howto describes how to use Binary Vortex to download pictures from newsgroups. Downloading pictures form newsgroups can be fun, educational, or just something to do. People post all kinds of pictures about all kinds of things. Beware that the newsgroups are a great "free speech" area, and you might very well encounter images of just about anything!

Table of Contents

Step #1: Download Binary Vortex
Step #2: Run Binary Vortex
Step #3: Setup your news server information
Step #4: Pick some newsgroups
Step #5: Lets do some downloading!
Step #6: View your downloading pictures

Also, have a look at the brand new Android Newsgroup Downloader. Android is a third-generation newsgroup downloader and excels at downloading large files such as movies, mpegs, mp3s, RAR archives, and more!

Step #1: Download Binary Vortex

The first thing that you need to do is to download Binary Vortex to your computer. To do this, please visit the Binary Vortex Download Page at -- do this right now! Just click the download button. Your browser should pop-up a window asking if you want to open or save the file. Click open and the binary vortex installer program will run and install binary vortex to your computer. (If you clicked save, then Binary Vortex will be saved to your hard drive, and you will have to use windows explorer to locate the program and run it)

If you're looking for great Internet Shareware and Freeware, try checking the SB-Software Products page, where you'll find everything from newsgroup downloading software to website downloaders, to image viewers and sorters! All of the software has free-to-download fully functional versions. 

Step #2: Run Binary Vortex

The Binary Vortex installer will place a link to the program on your desktop. It looks like this:

Click the icon (on your desktop), and the binary vortex program will load. It will probably present you with a shareware nag screen asking you to register. If you like, you can go ahead and register right then -- the registration page is at Or, if you like, you can go ahead and try out the program for a while before registering.

Step #3: Setup your news server information

Binary Vortex needs to know some details about your internet service provider, and that will be the first thing that you will be prompted for. Below is a picture of what the dialog looks like (click the image for a bigger view)

You'll need to know the news server name, user name, and password for your news server. You can either get these from another program on your computer (such as Outlook Express, if you have it configured for news), look in your ISP's sign-up kit (the package of paperwork that came from your ISP when you signed up), or call up and ask your ISP.

Click the "next" button when you're done.

Step #4: Pick some newsgroups

The next page will ask you to choose some newsgroups. Below is the Newsgroup screen -- click the <Add> button to add a newsgroup.

When you click the <Add> button, it will bring up the "Add Newsgroup" dialog, and it will ask you to click <Refresh> to get a new newsrc, so click the <refresh> button.

When you clicked the refresh button, it should bring up a dialog box that shows the status of the newsgroup list (newsrc). Depending on the speed of your news connection, it might go by pretty quickly. Lots of technical-looking status information appears in this dialog box -- so if anything goes wrong, you can email the author that information and hopefully he can figure out what is wrong. Here is what the newsgroup list downloading dialog looks like:

Once the download is complete, the downloading dialog box will disappear and you will see the "add newsgroup" dialog now populated with a whole bunch of newsgroups.

What you need to do at this point is to pick some newsgroups. You can enter a search term to help you find the groups that you are interested in. In this example, I enter the word "celebrities" in the search box, and it brought up a whole bunch of groups, including alt.binaries.celebrities.fake.moderated, alt.binaries.nude.celebrities, and We'll pick for now, and continue with our example. When you've picked a group that you want, click the <Ok> button.

This should bring you back to the newsgroup window, where you will see your newly added group in the newsgroup list.

Click next to proceed to the download screen. This is where the action will occur. Below is a picture of the download binaries screen.

Step #5: Lets do some downloading!

Push the <Start> button to start downloading pictures from the newsgroups. A couple of things have to happen before you see any pictures -- vortex needs to log on to the news server and download the news headers first. This should all happen automatically, and vortex should display whats going on, like "Connecting to news server", or "Downloading Headers". Most newsgroups have lots and lots of headers, so the downloading headers phase might take a while.

Did you know that there are different kinds of news downloaders, some that can download as many as four pictures simultaneously, as well as specific software for mp3 and mpeg groups? Visit and learn all about newsgroup downloading!

Here are a whole bunch of pictures of Binary Vortex downloading celebrities. The quick run that I produced using Binary Vortex to write this HOWTO guide yielded pictures from Janet Jackson, Shannon Doherty, Jay Leno, Angelina Jolie, Jenna Elfman, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kelly Ripa, and more! Binary vortex actually downloaded over ten thousand pictures in the space of just a few hours.

Step #6: View your downloaded pictures

Once you've downloaded your pictures, you're going to want to be able to view them. Binary Vortex includes a full-fledged image viewer built right in to let you view your downloaded pictures. You can really use any viewer you wish -- including shareware and freeware programs, or even the Microsoft Windows Picture & Fax viewer that is built into XP.

You can also get a standalone version of the Binary Vortex viewer in a product called SortPics. The SortPics viewer has some additional features, such as the ability to quickly categorize photos and seek out and destroy duplicate images.

Click here to go to the Binary Vortex HOWTO and FAQ listing

Click here for a brief introduction to the Binary Vortex downloader (a smaller version of this page)