Usenet NEWS works as a client/server system. The user runs a program on their local computer (or host) known as a Usenet NEWS client. The client handles the user interface and takes advantage of the capabilities of the local computer. The client translates user requests into commands for the Usenet NEWS server, which follows nntp (network news transfer protocol) rules for distributing postings.
The ITS Usenet NEWS server has the name news.psu.edu. Clients that connect to this server access the special Penn State newsgroup hierarchies. They will also have access to a number of Bitnet LISTSERV conferences that have been subscribed by the server. Clients typically require some installation, including designation of the server address, gateway address, client system IP number, and client system name.