Network News Transfer Protocol

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The Network News Transfer Protocol or NNTP is an Internet application protocol used primarily for reading and posting Usenet articles, as well as transferring news among servers. It was originally developed by Brian Kantor at the University of California, San Diego with Phil Lapsley from the University of California, Berkeley. Other contributors included Stan Barber from the Baylor College of Medicine and Erik Fair of Apple Computer.

Usenet was originally designed around the UUCP network, with most article transfers taking place over direct computer-to-computer telephone links. Readers and posters would log into the same computers that hosted the servers, reading the articles directly from the local disk.

As local area networks and the Internet became more commonly used, it became desirable to allow newsreaders to be run on personal computers, and a means of employing the Internet to handle article transfers was desired. Because networked Internet-compatible filesystems were not yet widely available, it was decided to develop a new protocol that resembled SMTP, but was tailored for reading newsgroups.

The well-known TCP port 119 is reserved for NNTP. When clients connect to a news server with SSL, TCP port 563 is used. This is sometimes referred to as NNTPS.

The protocol remains in widespread use, and as of 2005 efforts are underway to produce an updated standard. The IMAP protocol can also be used for reading newsgroups.

See also: News server.

External Links

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