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.
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
- Usenet Farm
- Pure Usenet
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 will get 3 FREE MONTHS of unlimited Usenet downloads with uncapped speeds, 60 total connections (normally 30), plus a free newsreader with built-in Usenet search. A free Zero-log unlimited VPN account is also included for extra online security.
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 and fastest speeds, a free newsreader with Usenet search, and a free VPN, you will be hard-pressed to find a better value. TechRadar visitors also exclusively get 3 FREE MONTHS of unlimited Usenet downloads with no speed caps added to their account plus 30 extra SSL connections, saving you 70% on our top recommended Usenet provider.
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 an automatic 70% discount with 3 FREE MONTHS of unlimited high-speed Usenet downloads plus 60 total connections (normally 30).
- EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Get 3 FREE Months of Unlimited High-Speed Downloads + 30 Extra SSL Connections - 70% Off [Limited-Time Only]
- EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Get 1 Month of Unlimited High-Speed Downloads - 30% Off [Limited-Time 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 retention offered here — 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.
- 7 day Unlimited GB free trial, then $7.72/mo subscription (300 Mbps, 20 connections) -27% Techradar Lifetime Discount
- Or Prepaid (no free trial) for $10.58/mo
With servers in the USA and EU, Newsleecher launched in 2002 and is a well-known provider of Usenet access. It also has a widely-used desktop client, which unlike competitor apps, is not locked to a particular Usenet host.
Newsleecher's text retention is 6312 days, while binary retention is 4540 days. You also get unlimited downloads, a maximum of 500Mbps, SSL, and the SuperSearch and SuperLeech features for fast file discovery and automated download.
We tested Newsleecher on a 63Mbps connection, with a 2.1GB video file, which downloaded at an average rate of 2000Kbps, peaking at 2100Kbps.
- [$9.49 a month] Usenet access only
- [$11.99 a month] Usenet access + Newsreader
- [$3.99 a month] Newsreader only
Despite comparatively low retention, Usenet.Farm offers good speed, easy sign up, smart user interface, and a free trial. Launching in 2014, this Netherlands-based Usenet provider offers a range of bundles, from basic features to a vast 6TB monthly limit. There's also a stats dashboard, SSL support, 50 simultaneous connections, unlimited speeds, and account sharing.
With 3000 days retention, Usenet.Farm delivers under 10 years' worth of Usenet binaries. While not the smallest retention limit, it is certainly not the largest.
It is surprisingly simple to sign up to Usenet.Farm. All the process needs is an email address and payment method. While PayPal might breach any perceived privacy, this Usenet provider accepts Bitcoin payments.
We tested Usenet.Farm by downloading a 2GB FLAC file. This downloaded in minutes over a 55Mbps internet connection, peaking at 3,800Kbps.
Two main packages are provided, "Stingy" (£4.20/€4.95/$5.40 monthly) and "To the Max" (£6.75/€7.95/$8.70) with features adjusted to match the prices. A block package is also available, and there is a 10GB free trial.
Simplicity, clear privacy and no-logs policy, and simple payment options make Usenet.Farm a functional, fast, Usenet solution.
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 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.
- [$10 a month] 1 Month Plan (Unlimited downloads)
- [$7.95 a month] 12 Month Plan (Unlimited downloads plus bundled VPN)
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 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 an 80% discount available exclusively through TechRadar that gets you 3 FREE MONTHS plus unlimited access (the max you can normally get is 150GB per month) and uncapped speeds with a 30-day money-back guarantee included.
- [80% Off] Easynews (Official Promotion) Get 3 FREE MONTHS of Unlimited Access with No Download or Speed Caps + Money-Back Guarantee
Astraweb has been operating since 1997 and boasts an easy Usenet experience, with over 3750 days of retention, unlimited speed, 50 simultaneous connections, SSL, US and EU servers, and direct contact options for support issues.
We tested Astraweb on a 39Mbps connection with a 908-day old 1.3GB AVI file which downloaded at an average 2250Kbps, peaking a little over 2500Kbps. All Astraweb bundles offer the same level of features, with the monthly option £11.50 ($15/€12.68).
Various payment options are provided, including Bitcoin, and Astraweb subscriptions require just an email address for almost complete privacy.
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.
- [$4.99 a month] 5GB data
- [$9.99 a month] 10GB data
- [$14.99 a month] 50GB data
- [$14.99 a month] Unlimited data
- [$19.99 a month] Unlimited data
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. 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.
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.
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 a recently upgraded retention at no cost increase to users. While this is notable, other providers like Newshosting have 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.
- [€5,97/mo annual] Unlimited downloads + unlimited speeds
- [€7,47/mo monthly] Unlimited downloads + unlimited speeds
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