UsenetServer review

A worthy offering for the more experienced Usenet fan

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Although not as easily accessible or user-friendly as some providers, this is still a highly capable Usenet service that puts a premium on performance and security.

For

  • Fast download rates
  • Puts security first

Against

  • Data options are limited
  • Not for the beginner

UsenetServer is a proven and popular Usenet service which has attracted a lot of interest over the years thanks to its low prices and unlimited downloads.

Compared to other Usenet offerings out there, this one is far more practical, but you need to do a lot more things to get it to work. Unlike some competitors, it doesn't have an easy-to-use browser to facilitate convenient searching for relevant content. 

Instead, you need to feel comfortable working with NZB files, but of course, that won’t be a bad thing if you’re a keen techie. Although it’s slightly more complicated than other services, you still get all the rest of the good bits: ample retention and lots of speed.

Although UsenetServer is more techie-focused than other providers out there, that’s not to say it completely sacrifices the user experience. UNS Global Search, which is a core feature of the platform, is an online tool that lets you search for content easily. Not only is it fast and relatively simple to operate, but it can also narrow down searches so you find the right files.

Performance

Retention is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to choosing a Usenet service. Luckily, this offering doesn’t disappoint, providing over 3,000 days of binary retention and 1,095 days of text retention. To give you some idea of how that stacks up, quality providers such as Newshosting and Astraweb also sport 3,000 days of retention. 

With a 99% completion rate, the service works well with other Usenet providers, both big and small. Using the platform, you’re able to access a global network of over 100,000 newsgroups. This number has grown substantially in recent years, and there’s nothing to suggest that the trend won’t continue into the future.

Of course, if you’re going to download and share loads of files, speed is essential. UsenetServer’s underlying network infrastructure is highly capable – it connects to over 800 established broadband providers, so should provide plenty of oomph in terms of performance.

Security is an important consideration as well. In this regard, every member is provided with a 256-bit SSL connection, which seems to be the norm for most Usenet providers. If you want to go further, you can access the company’s own VPN service. The latter offers 70 servers in 17 countries, and this software works on Windows and Mac devices. You’ll be happy to learn that it doesn’t log or monitor your data traffic.

Data options

It doesn’t compromise on price, either. The cheapest plan (and it’s a pretty basic one) starts off at $3 (£2.40, AU$3.90), but it offers just 10 connections, no SSL and lasts for three days.

Next up, you have the $14.95 (£11.95, AU$19.40) monthly option, which gives you 10 connections and SSL (with a 10GB or 14-day free trial, whichever comes first). If you want a 3-month plan, you’ll be faced with a $39.99 (£31, AU$50) bill. There are separate plans available if you’d like to benefit from the VPN service, costing between $11.99 (£9.60, AU$15.50) and $30 (£24, AU$39).

Final verdict 

Overall, UsenetServer is a capable newsgroup service. You can find and download files quickly, and it’s always good to see plenty of retention. The security focus is another positive aspect, as you obviously wouldn’t want to put your personal data at risk.

But it’s important to remember that this is a more technical platform than some, so it won’t be suitable if you’re uncomfortable with managing complex files. Whatever the case, you can use the free trial option to see if it meets your needs.

UsenetServer are offering an exclusive 65% on annual plans for TechRadar readers. This includes:

  • Unlimited downloads
  • Uncapped speeds
  • Secure and anonymous access
  • 20 SSL-secured connections
  • Free VPN included
  • Includes free access to the UsenetServer Global Search feature, which allows you to run searches on Usenet and find content for download

Get it here for $7.95 per month.