Here are my updated recommendations for the best Usenet Provider:
Newsdemon is a reliable, independent provider with great download speeds.
I have an article that discusses all the Usenet backbones here.
I do not recommend these providers:
- UsenetBucket (poor customer service, clunky interface)
- Astraweb (doesn’t respond to emails, poor customer service)
- Giganews (overpriced for the service offered)
Using Usenet Backup Providers
Power users of Usenet usually make use of two providers — a main provider and a backup provider. Why? Because sometimes, a file might be missing from the main provider, so the backup provider will fill in the missing file. The backup account can be a block account if you like. Block accounts are charged by the GB downloaded — there is no monthly fee.
For your backup account to be effective, you need your backup provider to pull from a separate Usenet backbone.
Here are my recommended combinations of providers:
- This is a good combination: NewsDemon (Usenet Express plus evolving independent sources) + Tweaknews (European provider)
See instructions here on how to add the backup provider in SabNZBd.
The Details: The Best Usenet Providers
Created in 1979, Usenet is one of the original distributed networks. Still widely used today, the Usenet contains an enormous amount of media and messages! Usenet users upload every type of media file (movies, TV shows, music, and e-books). In its 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. An NZB file is the Usenet equivalent of a torrent file. An NZB file that 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
- It uses the full bandwidth of your internet connection
- It 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 — 1200 days is average, around 2100 days is the longest you can get)
- Monthly Transfer (the amount of data you can download each month — varies from 5 GB to unlimited traffic)
- Connections (the number of simultaneous connections you can make at a single time through your account — around 10-15 is fine unless you have a 100Mbps connection)
- Secure Connections (you may want a provider that provides SSL connections, so you can’t be snooped on)
Unlimited Usenet Access With No Frills: NewsDemon
NewsDemon is a good choice if you want a reliable, no-frills Usenet service and are comfortable using NZB files to initiate downloads. NewsDemon offers retention of 3808+ days and good download speeds with servers in the UK and US. They accept bitcoin for payment. Full details here.
Link: NewsDemon ($7.60 per month)
The Best European-Based Usenet Providers
Many people prefer using European providers because they offer alternative Usenet feeds and can be used to fill in missing binary files. However, note that these providers comply with file takedowns (via NTD) requests, too.
Tweaknews: Comprehensive Provider In Europe
Tweaknews is a Dutch Usenet provider with some of the fastest connections in Europe. This provider charges €7 euros or $7.99 USD per month. For this, you get 40 SSL Usenet connections, with 2500-day retention. A VPN and search engine are also included.
Tweaknews offers a 10-day free trial. Using the trial account, you can download at 20 Mbps (2.5 MB/s) using 8 connections — up to a limit of 10 Gigabytes.
Tweaknews also offers block accounts, and these are quite popular. For example, their “100GB Block Package” costs only €13 (euros). However, please note that the download speeds for the block account are capped at 100 Mpb/s.
I’ve been testing them for several months, and I’ve found their service to be reliable. From my office on US east coast, I generally get a download speed of 97 Mbps (11.4 MB/s). The company says they offer a maximum rate of 800 Mbps (100 MB/s).
- Headquarters: Netherlands
- Server locations: Netherlands only
- Backbone: Highwinds (Omicron Media)
- Retention: 2500 days
- Connections: 40
- SSL connections: Yes
- Download limit: unlimited
- Max. Speed: uncapped (except for block accounts)
- Price: €7 euros or $7.99 USD per month (for a yearly subscription)
- Payment types: Credit Cards, Paypal, iDeal, Giropay, Direct Debit, SOFORT Banking
- Trial: 10 days (with 10GB limit)
- Block accounts: Yes
- Account sharing: No
- Link: Tweaknews
XS News: An Independent Usenet Backbone
XS News is my recommended independent European Usenet provider. This tier-one service started in 2006 and offers a truly independent Usenet feed.
XS News is based in Lijnden, The Netherlands, and all their server are located there.
They offer 30 connections for € 8.20 euros (about $9.70 USD) per month with a yearly subscription. Their retention time is 1100+ days.
- Headquarters: Netherlands
- Server locations: Netherlands
- Backbone: Abavia
- Speed: 800 Mbit/s (or 100 MB/s)
- Connections: 30
- SSL Connections: Yes
- Retention: 1100 days
- Downloads: uncapped
- Price: € 8.20 or $9.36 USD (per month for a yearly subscription)
- Payment types: Credit Card, Bitcoin, Paysafecard & more
- Trial: 14 Days
- Block accounts: Yes
- Account sharing: Yes
- Link: XS News