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Dave's Beginners Guide to the Internet

What are Discussion Boards and Newsgroups?

Discussion boards (which are often called message boards) and newsgroups in general both accomplish the same task. They each have general topics, and visitors can post messages about those topics on them. Anyone who has access to the board of newsgroup can read and reply to a message, which again, will be able to read and replied to by anyone else with access.

Discussion boards are usually read through a web browser, while newsgroups are usually read through a special program called a (newsgroup) reader. I prefer discussion boards on the web to newsgroups because I find them easier to use.

Some popular web sites that have discussion boards include and If you want access to a newsgroup (like alt.something or comp.something) and don't have or don't want to set up a reader you can access them through the USENET newsgroup section of

(Some people with the technical know-how set up message boards on their web sites. An alternative to setting one up on your site is to setting one up on a free server like and linking to it from your web site.)

Caution: Be careful when reading e-mail. Most email that looks like its from a bank, credit card company, mortgage company, eBay, PayPal, etc, is actually a criminal trying to rip you off or steal your info.

To stay safe, NEVER click links in an e-mail message that takes you to a page that asks for ANY INFORMATION from you. Instead, go directly to the site. For example, if you want to check on your eBay account, open your web brower and type If you'd like to learn more about protecting yourself from this crime, go to Google and search for "phishing."

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