What is the best Usenet provider for Australians currently? It's a tricky one, with so many different options available. While some might say, cheapest is best, it's not always the case.
We look at other factors that help distinguish the best from the rest, with retention rate, number of concurrent SSL connections, server location, port speed and of course pricing/trials.
Usenet has been around for years, with some providers being in the business for well over 20 years now. For those in the know, it's one of the safest and fastest ways to download content without leaving a trace.
Compare that to torrenting which leaves your public IP exposed unless of course you're hiding behind one of these VPN providers (recommended).
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The Best Usenet Providers To Consider
Newshosting is a tier one Usenet provider, buying all of their bandwidth directly from major ISPs providing the fastest possible download speeds. It is one of the strongest Usenet backbones available, operating dedicated server farms in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands.
They also have one of the best retention rates available at 4346 days, and have never expired a post.
All Newshosting plans come with a free Newsreader to access and search Usenet posts, an option to add a VPN, and 30 or 60 connections.
There are three monthly plans available – Lite ($10), Unlimited ($12.95) and XL Powerpack ($15.83). There is also a 14 day or 30GB free trial.
Usenet Server features unlimited downloads and unlimited search with free access to a Usenet search engine, as well as 20 connections per account. Based in the United States, they operate several server locations in both the United States and Europe.
They have one of the longest post retention periods of 4346 days, and strict spamming policies, with a $500 per hour clean up fee if users post spam.
The best Usenet Server plan is its 12 month plan, which comes with 5 months free and a VPN included, for $3.99 per month. Alternatively, there is a 3 month plan for $8.95 per month, or a monthly plan for $14.95, both of which come with a 14 day free trial.
Refreshingly, Supernews offer just one plan in either a yearly or monthly subscription. Every account comes with unlimited Usenet access as well as unlimited bandwidth, 30 connections, 24/7 support and a three day free trial with 10GB of usage.
Supernews were one of the earliest Usenet providers, founded in 1995, and have servers in both the US and Europe. They do not monitor which newsgroups users access or which files they download, and never sell user information to third parties.
They offer 3 years of binary retention and 17 years of text retention, and make multiple copies of every article with every article available at unlimited speed, regardless of age.
Supernews costs $5.99 per month or $74.25 per year.
Every Fastusenet account comes with a custom GrabIt Newsreader with free unlimited search, worth $25 a year, allowing users to easily search and access Usenet articles.
Fastusenet also have a web newsreader, which offers much of the same functionality as a newsreader but is accessible through internet browsers, and is available as an app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.
Other features include a server network covering 22 locations in America, Europe and Asia, 50 connections and 4346 days of retention.
There is a 14 day, 15 GB free trial and monthly subscription plans ranging from $2.95 for 6 GB of downloads to $6.95 for unlimited.
Austin, Texas based Giganews was founded in 1994, and is also the owner of Usenet provider Supernews.
As a result, Giganews shares some of the same features, such as 17 years of text retention from over 100,000 news groups (around 9000 TB of content). Multiple copies are made of each article, with a 100% article completion rate.
Giganews own and operate their entire server network with clusters in Virginia, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. A VPN is included in each account along with 50 SSL encrypted connections.
There are two unlimited plans ($10.99 or $19.99) and three limited plans ($4.99, $9.99 or $14.99) available, all with a free 14 day 10GB free trial.
Unlike some providers, US based Usenet does not come with a newsreader but provides support for third party options. It does provide unlimited access and unlimited speeds, although it does not specify its servers’ locations, or if they operate them themselves.
It provides 15-30 connections as well as strong retention periods, with 3 years binary and 17 years of text, as well as a 99% article completion rate. Support is via an online form and FAQ section.
There are two plans available, both with a 5 day, 10GB free trial. The $7.45 plan comes with 15 connections, whilst the $9.99 plan comes with 30 connections and SSL encryption.
There are two types of plan on offer from Europe based Tweaknews, monthly plans or block subscriptions.
Block subscriptions come with a fixed amount of data with no expiry date, and maximum download speeds of 100 Mbits. There are 5 blocks available ranging from 10GB for €2.00 to 500GB for €45.00.
Monthly plans are available in three speeds and three timeframes, with the Unlimited plan coming with unlimited speeds and is €9.07 per month when bought for 12 months.
Connections range from 30 to 60, and there is 3400 days of retention as well as a free newsreader with search, and a free VPN with the Unlimited plan. Support is limited to some articles and an online form with the promise of a five day reply.
Like Tweaknews, Thundernews also offers monthly plans and block plans which don not expire or require a subscription. There are six monthly plans available, each with varying amounts of bandwidth.
All come with 50 connections, 4346 days binary retention and 99% article completion, SSL encryption, live support and access to both US and European servers.
The cheapest plan is $4.99 per month for 30 GBs and rises to $9.99 for 250 GBs. There is also an unlimited plan for $8.99.
Standard block plans can only access one server and do not have SSL encryption, but there is the option to add it. There are 6 blocks available from 25 GB for $2.99 up to 1000 GB for $59.99.
Netherlands based Eweka is a high quality Usenet provider, owning and managing their own self built network, with a data centre in Amsterdam and PoP (Point of Presence) locations in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London.
They also manage their own trans-Atlantic fibre connected backbone, routings and IP addresses. This allows Eweka to offer probably the fastest, most secure and stable Usenet network currently available.
They also offer speeds of up to 300 Mb, 8 to 20 connections, SSL encryption and 4342 days retention and 24/7 local customer support.
There are two prepaid plans and one subscription. The prepaid plans are either €7.50 or €9.60, depending on connections and speed. The subscription is €7.00 per month for 300 MB/s and 20 connections, with a 7 day trial.
Another Netherlands based Usenet provider, XSNews provides access to over 200,000 newsgroups, substantially more than most providers.
However, its retention rate is lower than some providers at just 1700 days, but it does also provide SSL encryption across the network and a 99.5% article completion rate.
Plans are slightly complex and feature a choice of prepaid, subscriptions, and blocks for multiple time frames.
Prepaid and subscriptions start at €3.75 per month (when bought for one year) for speeds up to 1 MB/s and 8 connections, and rises to €7.50 for 30 connections and unlimited speeds. Blocks are available in 100, 500 and 1000 GB sizes and cost €14.95, €59.95 and €89.95 respectively.