Best Usenet Providers Of 2014

The Best Usenet Providers Of 2013

In a Nutshell

  • For inexpensive, uncensored Usenet access I recommend Astraweb
  • For browser-based Usenet access with good customer support I recommend Easynews
  • For robust Usenet access, with a built-in search and video previews, I recommend Usenetserver
  • For block accounts (i.e. backup accounts), I recommend NewsgroupDirect

To achieve Usenet nirvana, I recommend using SabNZBd as your Usenet client (see my The Best Usenet Clients article), and a open Usenet index (see The Best Usenet Indexes). The Sabnzbdfox add-on for Firefox also makes downloading easier.

The Details

Created in 1979, the Usenet is one of the original distributed networks. Still in wide use today, the Usenet now contains a enormous amount of media and messages! Usenet users upload every type of media file in existence (movies, TV shows, music and e-books). In it’s 30 year history, no one has ever been sued for downloading anything from the Usenet.

In 2004, a site called Newzbin started indexing the files available on Usenet and created the NZB file format. A NZB file is the Usenet equivalent of a torrent file. Basically, a NZB file that just contains a pointer to files available on Usenet.

To get started with Usenet, you need to pay for Usenet access from a provider. You can expect to pay about $10-$20 per month for access.

Advantages of Usenet:

  • Encourages users to download (leech)
  • Direct downloading as opposed to waiting for seeders
  • Uses the full bandwidth of your internet connection
  • Uses SSL to encrypt data being sent to your computer

There are four main features to look for when choosing a provider:

  • Data Retention (how far their Usenet archive goes back — usually around 200 days)
  • Monthly Transfer (the amount of data you can download each month — varies from 5 to 50 GB)
  • Connections (the number of simultaneous connections you can make at a single time through your account — around 10 is fine for most people)
  • Secure Connections (you may want a provider that provides SSL connections, so you can’t be snooped on)

Our recommend Usenet providers:

Best Value and Uncensored: Astraweb

Astraweb is based in Singapore, and they are one of the few remaining independent Usenet Providers, meaning they do not draw from the Readnews, Giganews and Highwinds databases. Astraweb offers 1,550+ days of binary retention along with 1,095 days of text posts, and 256-bit SSL with 20 connections.

Astraweb doesn’t monitor their connections, so they are one of the only uncensored Usenet providers, however, this also means they are vulnerable to spam postings. Personally, I use them as my Usenet provider because they are uncensored.

Note that the “Unlimited Usenet” accounts from Astraweb are speed limited. If you want no speed limits, try their Unlimited DSL service.

Link: Astraweb ($10 per month, or special — $15 for two months)

Easiest To Set Up, Best For Tablets and Smartphones: EasyNews

Easynews is a great service for those getting started with Usenet. Their service is particularly easy to use because all your reading and downloading is done through a web browser — there is no need to download a newsreader program. Easynews has been in the business for a long time, and has built up a reliable backbone of server farms. They also have one of the top forums for troubleshooting and tech issues in the industry. Their customer service is unrivaled as well. However, if you want to download hundreds of gigabtyes of data a month, perhaps you should look elsewhere. They are also extremely strict about takedown notices from lawyers.

Note that you can install a newsreader program and use it with your Easynews Free Usenet Trial account too – there’s no need to sign up for a separate service.

Link: Easynews ($10-$30 per month )

Unlimited Access With No Frills: UsenetServer

Usenetserver is a good choice if you want a reliable, no-frills Usenet service and you are comfortable using NZB files to initiate downloads. Usenetserver offers great header retention (1568 days), good download speeds, and allows SSL connections. I tested their service for a month, and I found the service fast and reliable.

Link: Usenetserver ($10 per month)

Best All Inclusive Package: Newshosting

Newshosting has perhaps the best Free Usenet Trail Accounts. They allow 30 GB download limit on their trial accounts, and they give you access to the same service as a regular account. This includes access to their newsreader that has a built-in index search, and the ability to preview videos if there is a message with video attachments. They offers SSL connections.

Update: The top tier plan from Newshosting is now linked with Easynews. This means that customers who subscribe to the Newshosting top tier plan will be able to login to Easynews and download files using the simple web interface.

Link: Newshosting ($10-$12 per month)

European-Based Usenet: UsenetBucket

Added Feb. 2014:

UsenetBucket is an XSNews provider in the Netherlands. They have good prices and good download speeds. Also, they accept PayPal.

Cost:  € 4,95 ($6.80 U.S.) per month

Link: UsenetBucket

Comments

  1. Atreid says

    What about all the DMCA takedowns? These days, providers like Astraweb and Newshosting (actually pretty much all of them) are equipped with automatic removals for DMCA requests… More and more posts are being removed from those servers and they are rendered useless…

    The only good article you could write about Usenet servers would be titled : “Best Usenet server Safe Heavens against DMCA takedowns”… Anything else is meaningless…

    • GreyOne says

      The Usenet has been met with some challenges lately (like the closure of the indexing site nzbmatrix.com), however it is still alive and well. My friends tell me they are able to download as easily as before.

  2. DarkStar says

    I Agree Atreid…News-servers are screwed! Almost all the good movies have mysterious parts missing and the pars to fix them are screwed too..Really ticking me off…I am moving to another way till there is some uncensored newsgroup out there..has to be one…I will find it :)

  3. Josh Rubin says

    Easynews still rock. Best provider I’ve used. Had my easynews account for about 10 years now and I’ve tried a few others and they suck, bad.

    They still have the websearch, you can still zip multiple binaries for a single download and you can now export to nzb to use nntp.

  4. Akanksha Gupta says

    i m making a school admin system project.in this project i m creating a unique id with the help of class,sec,gender.id is created.i want with the help of id i creating a QR code.and this qr code show in same page in textbox.and qr code save in folder not in database.i m making a project in myeclipse 8.6. so please give a code or idea.

  5. Me@Home says

    DO NOT USE EASYNEWS! They are a sleazy bunch and are experts at bait & switch scams. For example, their advertisements promise 1700 days of retention through NNTP (i.e., through a usenet binary download client such as Forte Agent). But the retention is actually closer to 600 days. When I complained, they said that if I use an NZB indexing service then I can access the older files. Hey, when Forte APN and Giganews promise 1700 days of retention, there isn’t any fine print!!! I can see the older files through my usenet binary download client with their services, and I don’t need to use some third-party indexing service to get what I supposedly already paid for with my so-called “premium service with SLEAZYNEWS.

    • Mikitukka says

      Another person spreading crap on the internet.

      I’m currently downloading a file from easynews web access that is over 1300 days old!

      Maybe its just you don’t understand how these things work. Like when my wife gets angry at the computer for not doing what she wants……. yeah its the tools that are the problem!

      I stumbled across this site as I too am sick of incomplete downloads. Its getting worse and worse and I believe a new alternative will rise soon to fill the gap.

  6. says

    I have used astraweb for several years, and I was always very happy. However, they had some server issues about a year ago, and had to “rebuild”. Ever since I have found more and more incomplete binary files where even with par files, they cannot be completed. I ended up using a backup service to “fill the holes”, but paying two monthly fees is expensive. I also pay $10/MO for a VPN service. I too believe the automatic DMCA take-downs are killing the usenet. The law specifies a rigorous process for proving ownership and requiring take-down. I don’t understand why usenet providers are caving so easily, other than out of fear of litigation. I recently cancelled astraweb, due an extremely high incomplete rate. Giganews is the Lexus of providers, and I have used them in the past. When I add up the two services I have been using, plus the VPN server cost, the Diamond service is almost a wash at $35/mo.

    • GreyOne says

      I find Giganews signup process confusing, and it has so many offers you have to decline, and other gotchas that I cannot recommend.

  7. Maria says

    Now if you didn’t affiliate link attached three times per every single line of text you added, you might have been more credible.

    • GreyOne says

      I’m one of the few credible and impartial people writing about this topic. The affiliate links allow me to continue to research.

  8. RonaldMl says

    Hi to all members on this community i am thanks to the administrator of this forum for approve my account i am sure here i got better knowledge thanks again. My name is Ronald.

  9. RealDealJim says

    I found this site after looking for a better usenet provider because any content more than a day or two old on my current provider is usually unavailable/removed. I tried to download something a year old- none of the options worked. What’s the point of advertising 1100+ days retention if everything has been deleted? So I was happy to find this article…until.. I realized Astraweb is the usenet provider I already have giving me all these problems!

    • GreyOne says

      Your situation does sound annoying. I’ve used Astraweb myself for two years now without problems — only on occasion will a media file will have missing blocks. I use Sabnzbd with Astraweb, and NewsgroupDirect as a backup. Perhaps you need to add a supplemental service like NewsgroupDirect that fills in some missing blocks of your downloads.

  10. Henry says

    Many of these problems for usenet should not apply if the usenet user is using a index(s), has one or more block accounts (using different backends) and has a automated system setup (ie. SB/CP/NZBDrone/XDM/…) that is running 24×7 with NZB Client (sabnzbd/nzbget/…). This way they grab the post before takedown issues and also the index will filter out a lot of viruses/spam/password post.

  11. says

    Hi ,I have been with many but Bintube.com for 10.99 you get the easiest NZB reader ,and one you can watch as it downloads,and it repairs files ,a nice indexer ,and a provider with no CAP download 100GB in a month I they wouldnt mind (I never have downloaded so much)download as much as you want it is 10.99 a month for Provider,Reader,Indexer(all you need and you can use any other site you can get into ,they offer 3 other sites Binsearch, NZBindex google groups etc(I have found some great free sites and inexpensive right here on Greycoder
    They have just a Newsreader for my guess is $59.99 ,
    When they have an excellent one for free part of the package for $10.99 its worth trying
    Mar

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