Quick Start Guide

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Follow these steps for a quick setup of the latest free version of Alt.Binz (0.25.0). Read the rest of the Guide for more detailed descriptions of the user interface, Setup menus, etc.

Download and install Alt.Binz

  • Download the latest version of Alt.Binz from here.
  • Extract the rar file to a new folder using a program of your choice (e.g. WinRAR, ExtractNow), move the folder to wherever you want to run Alt.Binz from (e.g. C:\Program Files), and create a desktop shortcut (right-click on alt.binz.exe, choose Send To > Desktop (create shortcut)).
  • No further installation is needed - just launch Alt.binz from the shortcut, and we're off!

Set up your server connections

Qg Setup server.PNG

  • Click the Setup button on the main toolbar, then go to the Servers page of the Setup window.
  • Enter your server details in the Server properties boxes: Name (any label of your choosing, e.g. 'MyMainServer'); Address (actual server address, e.g. news.giganews.com); Port (default is 119 for nntp); Number of Connections (maximum number of threads for this server).
  • Check the Select Group box if your server requires entry to a group before downloading.
  • If your news provider supports SSL connections, check the SSL box and make sure you enter the correct port number (e.g. for Giganews this is either 563 (nntps default) or 443 (https default, useful if your ISP throttles nntps traffic)).
  • If you're using a pay service, check the Server requires authentication box, and enter your login details (Username and Password).
  • Click the Add as Primary button. Your server will now appear in the server list with a checkbox beside it. Double-click on any server in this list to bring up its properties, then save any changes with the Apply button.
  • Click OK to exit the Setup screen, and test whether your server connection is working by clicking on Connect in the main toolbar.
  • In the bottom pane of the main window (hide/reveal via the small arrow on the bottom right of the status bar), you should see a list of your server connections, and a status message for each under the Action column: if all is well, this should read 'Connected & Authenticated'.
  • Repeat the steps above to add any more primary servers. Backup servers for each primary server can also be added with the Add as Backup button. You can enable or disable servers on the fly by checking/unchecking them in the server list.
  • If all is well, disconnect the server and continue with setting up.

Set up Alt.Binz folders

Qg Setup dwnl.PNG

  • Enter your preferred download directory in Setup > Download > Default download folder.
  • Alt.Binz will create subfolders within this download folder based on NZB/root node names by default, uncheck the option if desired.
  • At this point, you may wish to change the temporary folder used by Alt.Binz from its default: Setup > Miscellaneous > Temporary folder.

Set your connection speed

Qg Setup conn.PNG

  • Setup > Connection > Maximum download speed (enter in kB/s).
  • When connected, you can throttle your download speed (as a percentage of your specified maximum speed) by right-clicking on the bottom left of the status bar (set at 'No limit' by default).
  • Leave the Proxy settings on the next page disabled for now (if you can). Don't worry about the Scheduler page for the moment, either.

Set up download processing options

Qg Setup nzb.PNG

  • Go to Setup > NZB and make sure all of these options are checked (they should be by default): Import as Paused: PAR2 Recovery Files, NZB Files, Sample Files.

Qg Setup nzb2.PNG

  • On Setup > NZB#2, check the options for Move small PAR2 file to front of queue and Sort by subject while importing. Leave the other options unchecked for now.

Qg Setup par2.PNG

  • Now go to Setup > PAR2, enable PAR2 Checking, then PAR2 repairing. With these options active, Alt.Binz will automatically download the required number of PAR2 repair files to fix missing or incomplete downloads (but only if these are paused in the download queue first).
  • Check Clean up after PAR2 repair and Delete small PAR2 file if you want Alt.Binz to tidy up after processing.

Qg Setup unrar.PNG

  • Go to the Unrar page, check Autounrar to enable the options, then check Unrar to a different folder and specify your output directory.
  • Further subfolders can be created in this directory by checking either or both of the Create subfolders based on ... options. Choose one of these and leave everything else as it is for now (you can come back and enable the other clean up options after you've tested a few downloads).
  • Click OK to exit the Setup screen.

Test basic functions

  • There are many more customization options available in Setup, but for now just test the basic download, PAR2 checking and Autounrar functions.
  • Click on any search engine tab, search for a file set to download, right click on it in the search list and select Add to queue. Alternatively, open an already downloaded NZB file by clicking on the NZB button in the main toolbar and navigating to the file.
  • Go to the Download Queue tab, and expand the file list by clicking on the + sign. Typically, archive files will be marked as Queued (i.e. ready for download), while PAR2 repair files will be marked as Paused (i.e. will not be downloaded unless needed for repair).
  • Hit Connect to start the download. Among the first files to be downloaded should be the PAR2 info file; as soon as this is done, a new entry will appear in the PAR2 tab list.
  • Expand this entry to follow the progress of the PAR2 checking and repair. Any problem files will be highlighted, and Alt.Binz will attempt to repair these by unpausing repair files from the queue. You can test this by deleting one of the archive files from the queue before it downloads. Once all files are checked/repaired, they'll be extracted to your destination folder.
  • Watch the progress bar on the PAR2 tab to monitor processing: when it reads Unrar100.PNG, you're good to go.
  • Open your destination folder to make sure everything has worked as planned. If not, go to the Log tab: this should provide you with detailed information about your download and any processing actions. Look for any error messages, and return to the Setup window to correct them.