Here are my updated recommendations for the best Usenet Providers of 2017:
- I recommend using a provider like Newshosting (speedy, reliable, servers in US, Netherlands, Germany). $10 per month.
- For better coverage, most people use a second provider on a different Usenet backbone — for example a Dutch provider such as XS News
- If you need a European block account provider that accepts Paypal I recommend UsenetBucket
The nzbFox add-on for Firefox also makes downloading easier.
The Details: The Best Usenet Providers
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 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. 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 — 1200 days is average, around 2100 day 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)
Here are my recommended providers:
Best All Inclusive Package: Newshosting
I’ve been testing Newshosting for a couple of years. It’s a reliable and speedy service, supported by decent custom service.
Newshosting has one of the better free Trial Accounts offers. They allow 30 GB of downloads on free trial, and they give you access to the same SSL 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.
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)
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 a retention of 3250 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)
European-Based Usenet Providers
Many people prefer using Dutch providers because they offer alternative Usenet feeds and can be used to fill in missing binary files. However, note that these provides comply with file takedowns requests too though.
- XSNews — this is a reliable Dutch provider, it’s one of the fastest in Europe, and offers a tier-one independent feed
- Pure Usenet — this is an expensive provider in the Netherlands that offers a Highwinds feed. They accept many international payment methods including iDeal, Bitcoin, Paysafecard, credit cards
For Dutch block accounts:
UsenetBucket is an XSNews provider in the Netherlands. They have good prices and good download speeds. But most importantly they accept PayPal and Bitcoin for payment (very few European providers accept Paypal). They also have a English language website that is well-written and easy to understand. Cost: € 4,95 ($6.80 U.S.) per month