The SBNews News Robot offers reliable downloading from binary newgroups. It isn't pretty, but it works.
The program sets up easily, with a dialog box opening at the initial launch for configuring your systems news host and any passwords. This application forsakes the popular and familiar e-mail client-style interface. In a world of look how sleek and cool I am application interfaces, SBNEws News Robots interface shows no evidence of design aesthetics being exercised. It's plain and purely functional. But the lack of distracting or confusing icons and bells and whistles means the applications functions are easy to comprehend, which is more important in the long run.
There was also a garish Register/Buy Me prompt that, if it's any evidence of the publishers design skills, will make you glad they didn't try to pretty this application. While we don't normally mind dealing with a nag screen, we didn't like having to wait 15 seconds every time we wanted to launch the demo version.
In our tests SBNews News Robot performed slowly but reliably. We understand that downloading groups and headers can be a slow process, but we've used other, similar applications that performed much more quickly, even for audio and video files; News Robot was slow even for text-only messages. The filters worked fine on the fly, even though the application prompted us to disconnect from downloading before applying a filter. We liked the Reject Author button, which let us remove from downloads any posts by egregious spammers (or simply annoying posters).
The nag screen and design aside, SBNews News Robot worked OK. Although it was a bit slow, its easy enough for users of any skill level. Still, the price seems a bit steep for this package. You can probably find something with more features and no cost elsewhere.