TweakNews review

A flexible Usenet service with some nice bonuses

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Our Verdict

TweakNews is a solid Usenet option, and while weaker than rivals on some fronts like retention rates, it’s affordable and a reasonable choice for the less tech-savvy.

For

  • Fast and easy-to-use
  • Free newsreader services

Against

  • Retention rates aren’t the best
  • Pricing structure is somewhat fragmented

There are Usenet providers right across the globe, but many of them are located in Europe. And that’s certainly the case with TweakNews – the company is based in the Netherlands, and it’s an affordable Usenet service that claims to put quality first. 

TweakNews also emphasises its flexibility, offering the user a wide array of block and flat-rate accounts, which also boast good performance levels, retention and privacy options.

Performance

When it comes to performance, retention is very important. With TweakNews, you get 2,500 days of binary retention, which refers to the amount of time data is kept. It doesn’t matter if you’re downloading files that are a few days old or ones which have been around for months – the platform aims to max out your broadband connection.

Completion rates are also crucial, and you’ll find that most high quality providers aim for close to 100%. TweakNews offers a rate of 99.9%, although it’s worth noting that this rate can change (as is also the case with retention). So after signing up, you may end up with higher rates at some point in the future.

This is also a fast Usenet service. Depending on the plan you choose (which we will discuss in more detail later on), you can get speeds of 1Mbps up to unlimited. There are no limits on the amount of content you can download across all subscriptions.

Newsreader compatibility

If you’ve never experienced a Usenet service, then setting it up, finding content and acclimatising to the user interface can be quite a tricky process in some cases. You don’t have to worry here, as there’s a free newsreader service included with the platform. Free to use and compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux devices, UsenetWire provides you with a quick and easy way to find the content you’re looking for.

The great thing about this newreader is that it’s suitable for both Usenet beginners and experienced pros. Easy to set up and use, the software offers features such as auto searches, auto downloads, auto repair and auto decompression. You can download the client from the company’s website.

You can use the SABnzbd newsreader service too. It’s an open source, server-oriented platform that provides an easy-to-use web interface. TweakNews describes it as a more advanced program sporting a built-in search function. It also offers an automatic repair feature if any issues are picked up.

Security and pricing

As is the case with most Usenet providers, all accounts come with SSL encryption. And whenever you download and transfer data, your identity is kept completely anonymous. That means you don’t have to worry about third-parties accessing your download history. There aren’t any advertisements here either, keeping the user interface nice and clean.

The flat-rate options are paid in monthly periods – you can pay by one, three, six or 12 months – and they’re targeted at users who intend to do a lot of downloading, offering unlimited usage. The cheapest plan costs €2.50 (£2.15, $2.70) for one month, and for that you get your speed capped at 1Mbps and four threads. If you plan on maxing out your connection, the unlimited speed Ultimate plan is the best choice. That’ll set you back €12.95 (£11.10, $13.80) for one month, or less if you commit to a longer subscription. 

Block accounts – which offer a set amount of data, rather than a monthly subscription – start at a 10GB block for €2 (£1.70, $2.10), running up to 500GB which will set you back €45 (£39, $48). All block plans boast a maximum speed of 100Mbps.

TweakNews also offers a free trial allowing you to test out the service, and you can use it for 10 days or 10GB worth of data, whichever comes first.

Final verdict

If you’re looking for a Usenet provider based outside the US, then it’s worth checking out TweakNews. There are more powerful providers out there, providing better retention rates for sure, but you’re still getting solid core features here, not to mention reasonable pricing. The free newsreader services included are also a definite boon.