Newsgroups list articles you can read. Newsgroups, in turn, are listed on news servers (also called news hosts). A news server is a computer containing newsgroups and the articles posted to them. News reader programs such as Free Agent and Netscape News use the Internet connect you to news servers.
Free Agent dumps all newsgroups, from all available news servers, into one long list, and you can see them all. In my opinion, it's a much better arrangement than that taken by Microsoft and Netscape. With those programs, before you can select a newsgroup you must pick a news server. No choice is involved the first time you use Netscape News, because you have only one server. You can add more. Servers appear as folders, and newsgroups on a server often are organized into subfolders.
When you add news servers to Netscape News, you can see more newsgroups and more articles. As you browse the Internet, you'll occasionally learn the names of servers you can add. You just tell Netscape News the server's name. Like a newsgroup name, a server's name is divided into parts separated by dots (secnews.netscape.com, for example).
Main Newsgroup/Usenet Page
Main FAQ Page
Main Internet Primer Page
Bob Fahey's Home Page