My quick-start suggestion would be as follows:
- Buy a small block account, e.g. 10GB from NewsDemon.
- Get a binary newsgroup reader, e.g. Shemes GrabIt free version.
- Find a decent search engine, e.g. binsearch.info, also free to use.
A block account is basically a metered account that does not expire or involve a subscription, much like a pre-pay mobile phone. A small 10GB block can be purchased for around the price of a candy bar (e.g. â‚¬1.40 on NewsDemon) and gives plenty to practice with. Once you purchase a block (or subscription), they'll give you a username, password, server and port # to connect with.
The next step is to install your newsgroup reader and enter the login and server details from your Usenet provider. It will then try to retrieve a list of groups. If this works, then you're ready to go.
The final step is to find something to download on a Usenet search. E.g. on Binsearch, you would perform a search, tick what you'd like (or group of files if multi part) and click 'Create NZB'. Once you open this NZB file, your Usenet client will use it to fetch the binary content and if all goes well, you should end up with the files you're after.
Do be careful with Usenet - It's flooded with fakes, e.g. password protected files with a "Get password" link that points to pages of ads, surveys, etc. which never real the password. I'm sure 99% of software is booby-trapped, many with infections that no Antivirus product has seen, so certainly don't get any type of software there.