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A guide to newsreaders available on Macintosh
No, googlegroups is definitively not the best way to join usenet.
There are a lot of specific applications designed for newsgroups, presenting a lot of advantages.

This branch is not a guide to the newsreader application themselves.
Below are listed almost all available newsreader for Mac, grouped by license and interface type.

This is a guide to the choice of the preferred newsreader.
symbolvalue
absent
partial support (read related page)
supported
••very good support
•••excellent support
ComparativeLicenseGUI+OS+ServerBinaryFiltersRegexUTFThreadFast
Entouragecomm••
Hogwashersharew ••••••• ••••
MacSOUPsharew ••••••••••
MT-NewsWdonation ••••••••••••
slrnfree •••••••
Thunderbirdfree•• •• ••••

freeware/shareware/demo licensed newsreader

Hogwasher (fact sheet)

MacSOUP (fact sheet)
it.comp.macintosh preferred newsreader

MT-NewsWatcher (fact sheet)
A Mac-only online newsreader, with a long Mac-history.

slrn (fact sheet)
Highly configurable newsreader, with characters (command line) interface

Mozilla Thunderbird (fact sheet)
Free, multiplatform, extensible, GUI.

Commercial newsreaders

Microsoft Entourage (fact sheet)
part of Microsoft Office

MacSOUP

Thunderbird

Hogwasher

Entourage

MT-NewsWatcher