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Best Usenet providers of 2020

Best Usenet providers
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Usenet newsgroups have been around since the dawn of the internet as the very first online social network. Newsgroups remain very much alive today and are active with many users because they provide for a more private and secure meeting ground than today’s social media sites and forums.

When choosing a Usenet provider, you should go with one that has a large archive of posts which is called “retention”. The deeper the retention, the larger the archive of posts you have access to and the better the experience. Choose a provider that is clear about how much retention it offers, grows its retention daily, and never expires posts from its servers.

The best Usenet services out there not only provide access to recent posts, but also to years of high quality newsgroup post archives. Many providers intentionally limit their retention. They may do so in order to save on storage costs or because they simply can’t scale their storage capacity. Whatever the reason, such providers offer access to a fraction of Usenet history, often without stating how much retention they actually maintain.

For example, the difference in the number of posts available with our top choice  like Newshosting that has over 11 years of post retention and a lower quality provider who limits their retention to only 1 year of posts is a difference of over 140,000,000,000 posts. This is massive in terms of the content you will be able to access. 

Premium providers also continue to invest in their storage capacity to offer more and more retention over time, effectively never expiring articles posted to their servers. Other providers often let the oldest posts expire at unpredictable times, so you never know when posts you want to download will vanish from their servers.

So with all that in mind, here are the best Usenet providers that we could find:

Best Usenet providers - at a glance

  1. Newshosting
  2. Eweka
  3. Easynews
  4. Giganews
  5. UsenetServer
  6. TweakNews
  7. Astraweb
  8. NewsLeecher
  9. Supernews
  10. Pure Usenet

1. Newshosting

#1 rated Usenet provider by TechRadar

Retention: 4113 days | Newsgroups: 120,000+ | Maximum connections: 60 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes

TechRadar Exclusive 750GB free trial!
Industry-leading binary and text retention
Fastest and most reliable access
Free newsreader with search
Free Zero-log VPN
No support for Bitcoin payment

[58% Off] Newshosting (Official Promotion) - Get 750GB free downloads then get up to 58% Off TechRadar's #1 Rated Usenet Provider 

Newshosting is the best Usenet provider as tested and vetted by our experts. If you want a strong all-rounder of a Usenet service, then look no further than this provider. 

Newshosting operates multiple US and European server farms and provides access to 120,000 newsgroups. All plans include unlimited downloads and a high-quality newsreader software with Usenet search and file previewing built-in, making it easy to find articles posted to newsgroups

Newshosting runs its own servers globally and has the fastest, most consistent download speeds. Newshosting also provides access to over 11 years of binary and text retention -- the most available from any Usenet service provider. With this level of retention, which also grows daily, you get access to hundreds of billions of posts on Newshosting’s servers compared to a fraction of what’s available elsewhere.

Low retention Usenet providers often only temporarily store files posted to Usenet and discard them after a certain number of days or even earlier if those files aren’t requested by enough users. Newshosting, instead, keeps a copy of every article posted, regardless of how old it is or how many users are requesting them. This means you will always get access to a complete and growing database of Usenet posts.

 

Through the exclusive TechRadar promo, you can grab a 750 GB free trial that includes the newsreader and a free (albeit rudimentary) Zero-log VPN account for extra security. After your free trial, you will also get a 58% lifetime discount applied to your account.

Newshosting tested the fastest during our download speed tests. It buys priority, premium routed access into all major ISP networks whereas many other providers often buy cheaper traffic routes that can get overcrowded during peak traffic times. 

It also passed our tests in retrieving old binaries we could not find on other Usenet servers. Are there any negatives at all here? There’s very little to complain about, save for the VPN client being a little basic and for support being only in English, but this doesn’t actually reflect on the core Usenet service you get.

Newshosting is well priced. Considering you get access to the most retention, fastest speeds, a free newsreader with search and a free VPN, you will be hard-pressed to find a better value. You can test it for yourself with a 750 GB free trial with unlimited speeds, exclusive to TechRadar visitors, which is the best Usenet free trial offered anywhere.

Get the best overall Usenet provider 2019
Newshosting tops our charts for quality, and the price is good. That's largely thanks to the EXCLUSIVE offer we've managed to get just for TechRadar readers - and it's a goody. Sign up with one of the links below and bag 750GB worth of downloads for FREE, then automatically get a 58% lifetime discount applied to your account!

2. Eweka

Independent server clusters with exceptional retention and completion rates

Retention: 4103 days (growing daily) | Newsgroups: 125,000 | Maximum connections: 20 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes

Unlimited GB free trial
High-completion servers with lengthy retention (4103 days)
Fast download speeds
Free newsreader with search
EU servers only

[27% Off] Eweka (Official Promotion) - 7 Day unlimited GB free trial, then 27% off + Free High Speed Upgrade

Eweka is an independent Usenet provider that runs its own data centres throughout Europe. During our testing, Eweka delivered comparably high completion rates, meaning we were generally able to find posts on their servers that were not found elsewhere. This makes Eweka a good option for either primary or secondary Usenet server access.

Eweka operates its own trans-Atlantic Usenet backbone that provides fast and reliable speeds regardless of your location. Our own speed tests showed that we were able to get the full 300 Mbps download speed offered with our Usenet plan.

There’s a lengthy 4,103 days of retention offered here (growing daily) — close to the best you can get anywhere. High retention is an important feature because it determines how many Usenet posts you get access to. Providers that have low, limited retention will delete older posts to make room for newer articles that are posted to Usenet. This means if you are looking for an article that was not posted to Usenet within their retention holding period, it will not be available on that provider’s servers.

There’s plenty more to like with Eweka, including the fact that the service performed well when it came to our completion and retention testing (grabbing old files). You also get free access to the Newslazer newsreader, a helpful software that includes a Usenet search tool, among other features like file previews, nzb imports and auto-downloading.

The Official TechRadar offer gives you a 7 day free trial with unlimited downloads and a free newsreader to give the service a whirl. If you want to subscribe after your free trial, you will get a 27% lifetime discount applied if you signed up for your free trial through TechRadar.

(Image credit: Easynews)

3. Easynews

#1 for Usenet search with fast and accurate results

Retention: 4106 days (and growing) | Newsgroups: 100,000+ | Maximum connections: 60 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes

Exclusive 75% lifetime discount + free trial
Fast and accurate results with file previews
Works on any mobile or desktop device
Easy-to-use, no software needed
English-only support
Basic VPN software

[75% Off] Easynews (Official Promotion) Unlimited Access- Get 7 Day Free Trial, then 75% Off

Easynews is an exceptional Usenet service -- it has the fastest, most accurate search technology and provides Usenet access from any web browser on any device including mobile. This is a dynamic, hassle-free way to do things, and the Usenet search interface is well designed and easy to use.

Retention rates are well over 11 years, currently 4,106 days and growing on all text and binary newsgroups. The Big Gig Plan also gives you a bundled Zero-log VPN service (albeit with a rather basic client) plus unlimited NNTP Usenet access for free.

File previews are included with your search results. Depending on your query, there may be quite a few results returned, and this is a helpful feature for pinpointing specific posts. You can also apply filters like file type, extension, newsgroup, and even file size.

Pricing starts from $9.98 per month to $29.94 per month, depending on the monthly bandwidth you need. There is also a 75% lifetime discount available exclusively through TechRadar that will get you unlimited access with a 7 day free trial included.

(Image credit: Giganews)

4. GigaNews

A comprehensive Usenet solution

Retention: 2,367 days | Newsgroups: 110,000 | Maximum connections: 50 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes

Fast and secure service
VPN included with unlimited plans
Not cheap
Overkill for some users

GigaNews is amongst the most expensive Usenet providers, but its price reflects the sum of its parts. Alongside access to newsgroups – naturally – a $24.99 (£19) per month Diamond subscription gets you the use of GigaNews' own Mimo Usenet browser and search engine, SSL access to its servers, and the pro version of Golden Frog's multi-faceted VyprVPN service.

Whatever you're using it for – and even if you're doing something else online entirely – the extra layer of privacy offered by a quality VPN has to be reassuring.

GigaNews' server availability is another plus, with multiple redundancy on US and EU servers owned and run by the company itself. The real question, however, is whether you plan to use all of the features GigaNews offers. If you're looking to Usenet access for the conversations this is absolutely overkill, and for binary downloads it's still rather expensive, but if quality is your top priority, then it’s a good choice.

5. UsenetServer

One of the best values for unlimited Usenet access

Retention: Up to 4106 days (and growing) | Newsgroups: 100,000+ | Maximum connections: 20 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes

Low-priced unlimited Usenet packages
Among the best retention and speeds
Usenet search engine included
Free Zero-Log VPN available
Free VPN not included with monthly plan
No Bitcoin support

If you want a dependable Usenet offering with a good core service, then look no further than this affordable provider. All plans offer unlimited downloads from multiple US and EU servers, great speeds, and high binary and text retention. There’s also an NZB search engine that you can use for free with your account to find posts and create your own nzbs.

UsenetServer gives you among the best retention rates with 4,106 days and growing across all binary and text groups, 99% article  completion, and no restrictions on data limits or download speeds.

You get a maximum of 20 connections, which is less than many services. That said, in testing we found UsenetServer to offer 240+ Mbps download speed performance levels anyway, so this likely won’t matter.

What may matter for beginners is that UsenetServer doesn’t include a newsreader, but it does have good tech support and step-by-step setup guides for some of the most popular clients. It also comes with a Usenet search engine that lets you run unlimited searches and create nzbs to send to your Usenet client.

 While it does provide a bundled Zero-log VPN for extra security, the Windows client for the latter is not as well designed as other clients out there. If you’re an experienced user who knows what you’re doing, all this is likely moot because you’ll find your own way around the service just fine anyway.

The other strength here is that this is a wallet-friendly provider, particularly the annual plan that has the Zero-log VPN service is bundled in. You can also get an exclusive 60% lifetime discount on your account through TechRadar.

6. TweakNews

Fast, independent news server with Exclusive Lifetime Discount

Retention: Up to 3400 (recently upgraded by 900 days) | Newsgroups: N/A | Maximum connections: 40 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes

Exclusive lifetime discount for TechRadar visitors
Speedy performance
Free newsreader with search + VPN access
High completion
Retention could be higher
No Bitcoin support

TweakNews is an independent Usenet provider that offers outstanding completion rates, solid features, and good prices, making it a good option for an unlimited access plan. One interesting point to note is that you get a free newsreader with search and file preview functionality built-in as well as a free Zero-log VPN -- a great overall value.

We found performance to be impressive with fast download speeds, and it was also good to see that the included VPN managed a commendable turn of speed. In fact, it was comparable to a good specialist VPN provider and had VPN servers available in more than 50 countries.

On the downside here, you can get more retention from a European service provider elsewhere. Eweka, for example, will get you 4,103 days compared to TweakNews’ 3,400 days. We also found that the tech support was on the sluggish side.

In terms of cost, there’s plenty of flexibility. If you sign up for annual billing, you’ll get 42% off for the lifetime of your account exclusively through TechRadar. If you prefer month-to-month billing, you can still get a 23% discount, which will also apply for the lifetime of your account.

(Image credit: Astraweb)

7. Astraweb

Two servers for the price of one…

Retention: 3,000+ days | Newsgroups: 90,000 | Maximum connections: 20 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: No

Impressive retention levels
Two servers (in US and Europe)
Question marks over customer service
Outdated UI

Astraweb is another of Usenet's big mainstays, having run since 1998. Sign up and you're actually gaining access to two distinct services – its download servers in the US and the Netherlands are run as separate companies, and one server may contain files that the other does not. Essentially Astraweb gives you a main server and a backup server for the price of one.

Users have reported that its quality has declined over the years. Whether or not you believe this is up to you, but Astraweb's longevity in the market does earn it some brownie points, and it does not resell its services meaning you should see a consistent download rate from its servers.

Retention is one of the highest we've seen at over 3,000 days, with a claimed 99% availability. Seeing as the 1% that's missing could be the one critical part of a binary you need, Astraweb – even with its dual servers – is probably best used with a block account on hand.

You can get unlimited downloads for $10 per month.

(Image credit: Newsleecher)

8. Newsleecher

All-in-one Usenet service

Newsreader with search
Up to 500+ Mbps download speeds
14 day free trial
Newsreader only available with top-end plans
Only 14 GB allowed with free trial

NewsLeecher may be one of the lesser known Usenet services out there, but it provides a great underlying Usenet service and has a capable newsreader complete with an integrated search engine.

In terms of Usenet access, the service really delivers with unlimited downloads, no download throttling, and servers in Europe and the US. Retention is also over 11 years and growing, putting them among the best in terms of their article archive size.

On the downside, you will have to pay a little extra if you want both Usenet access and access to the NewsLeecher software. For that, the cost comes to $11.99 monthly, which isn’t eye watering considering that some standalone Usenet services without a newsreader can cost as much as $15 or more per month. NewsLeecher Usenet-only access comes down to $9.49 per month. If you want access to the newsreader only, it will cost you $3.99 monthly. All 3 options come with a 14 day free trial with up to 14GB of access.

(Image credit: Supernews)

9. Supernews

Keeping Usenet simple and slick…

Retention: 2357 days | Newsgroups: 110,000 | Maximum connections: 30 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes

Servers in US and Europe
Theoretical 100% completion rate
Not as much retention as some rivals
Isn’t the cheapest provider

Supernews is a veteran Usenet provider having been in operation since the mid-90s, and it has servers across the US and Europe. You get 2,357 days of binary retention and 5,021 days of text retention, and access to over 110,000 newsgroups.

What’s more, Supernews keeps multiple copies of articles across its network, and the firm claims that this helps to ensure a 100% completion rate.

And on the performance front, you get unlimited speed, with the provider guaranteeing that your connection won’t be throttled in any way, shape or form.

Supernews keeps things pleasingly simple when it comes to plan choices, as well, because there’s only one: a straightforward unlimited plan with a monthly fee. It’s not the cheapest subscription around, but this is a quality service, and you get a three-day trial to test it out first. Also note that with the TechRadar Pro offer in place at the time of writing, you get your first month at half price.

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(Image credit: Pure Usenet )

10. Pure Usenet

Affordable, easy-to-use Usenet service

Unlimited downloads for as low as €3,09/mo
7 day, unlimited GB free trial
Recently upgraded retention
3,100 days binary and text retention
12 connections max

If you are looking for low-priced access to EU Usenet servers, Pure Usenet won’t disappoint. They own their own European server farms and provide unlimited downloads with no speed throttling for as cheap as €5,97 per month.

Pure Usenet currently offers 3,100 days of retention, which was recently upgraded by 1,100 days at no cost increase to users. While this is notable, other providers like Newshosting have close to 1,000 days more retention and server locations in both the US and EU.

That said, if you are looking for only EU server access and can max out your speeds with 12 connections, which should generally not be a problem for most users, take a look at Pure Usenet, particularly considering the low price they offer for unlimited access.

You can try out Pure Usenet free for 7 days with unlimited downloads.