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AntiFirewall allows you to connect to news servers around the world even if you are behind a firewall which blocks access to the NNTP protocol (e.g. at your job). In addition to that, AntiFirewall hides your IP address from the news server, allowing you to read and post anonymously; so it is also effective anonymizing software for newsgroups. Note that you may not be able to connect to the news server operated by your provider (ISP), because your IP address will be different from what your ISP expects it to be. In that case, use a public news server or create an account with a commercial news access provider. You can also find a lot of information about Usenet, tutorials, software and providers at www.smr-usenet.com.
To start using AntiFirewall with news, do the following:
1. In the main window of the AntiFirewall program, click the Create New Connection button. A wizard dialog will appear.
2. On the first screen of the wizard, you will just need to wait until the program automatically finds a good proxy for your location. When it finishes, click the Next button.
3. On the next screen you will need to select Usenet News (NNTP) from the dropdown list and enter the address of the NNTP (news) server to which you want to connect. Newsgroup names after the address are not supported. Port number is optional (enter it only if it is required by the NNTP server; the standard port, 119, will be used by default). E.g.: msnews.microsoft.com or msnews.microsoft.com:119. When you finish, click the Next button. (Note that there are no fields for user name and password here. If your news server requires authorization, enter these details in the appropriate settings in your news client).
4. On the next page, enter a name for the new connection. The name can be anything that will be easy for you to recognize later; you can enter the same address you entered on the previous step or anything else you like. That name will be shown in the drop-down list of available connections on the main AntiFirewall window. Do not leave the field blank. When you finish, click the Next button.
5. Now AntiFirewall will try to test the newly created connection. If there are problems, read the explanations carefully and follow the instructions. If the problem persists, make sure to check the address of the server: a mistake in the name, a space or an extra dot may be responsible for the problem. Also try re-creating the connection with a different proxy server (click Try Another Proxy button on the first page of the wizard).
6. Once the connection has been tested successfully, you will see its parameters on the main window of AntiFirewall. On the left it shows the address of the news server, and on the right, in the area titled "Your computer", the address of the local virtual server created by AntiFirewall on your computer. The virtual address will look like "127.0.0.1:7003". Now you must launch your newsreader program and enter that address into it as the address of your news server; be careful to enter both the IP address (it will always be 127.0.0.1, pointing to your own computer) and the port number (in this example, 7003, but in your case it will be different). Different news clients have different rules for entering the port number, some may require that you separate the IP and port with a colon (:), others may have a special field where you enter the port number; in any case, make sure you enter it correctly, as it won't work otherwise. (Details for Outlook and Forte Agent are in the Support section)
7. That's all. When you connect with your news client to the local address provided by AntiFirewall, you can download the list of all groups on the server, subscribe to groups, read and post messages anonymously.
If you want to edit an existing connection, select it in the drop-down list at the top of the main AntiFirewall window, then click the Change settings button. You will go through the same wizard steps as described above and have an opportunity to change anything you entered earlier. If you want to use a different proxy server for tunnelling your data (e.g., if the current one seems too slow), then on the first screen of the wizard (where the program chooses a proxy) you can click the Try Another Proxy button and AntiFirewall will search for a faster proxy.
Troubleshooting and Public News Servers. The fact that AntiFirewall anonymizes your connection may have a side effect. If your regular news server uses your IP address for identification purposes when it decides whether you should be allowed to log on (which is usually the case with your ISP's news server), then you won't be able to log on, since your real IP address is now hidden by AntiFirewall. On the other hand, if your news server asks you for a password (in other words, if the server doesn't use your IP address as an ID), then everything will work as usual.
Instead of your regular news server (or in addition to it) you can use a public news server. The best place to look for them and to learn more about them is NewzBot, http://www.newzbot.com
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