Newshosting has built Usenet’s gold standard service over the last 20 years. Their server network is second to none in terms of speed, retention, and reliability, and the service includes an impressive set of extra features at no cost like a newsreader (Usenet access app) with integrated search capability and a free Zero-log VPN.
Newshosting carries an industry-best 4,106 days of Usenet posts across all newsgroups on its servers. Post retention is a key metric to evaluate a Usenet service. Other services might offer 75 to 1,100 days of retention, which is only a small fraction of the posts available from Newshosting.
It is also common for providers to limit or cut costs by capping their retention, meaning they only store posts for a stated (or unstated) number of days before deleting the oldest posts to make room for the latest posts. Newshosting has never expired a post made to its servers over the last 11 years and continues to add storage capacity for more retention. Their ability to continually collect, store and provide access to millions of posts that the Usenet community generates on a daily basis makes Newshosting stand out from other services.
Newshosting also has some of the fastest download speeds. They buy priority access into all major internet service provider networks to deliver the best speeds to the home. Other providers often minimize operating costs by purchasing cheap, “3rd party” bandwidth. This means users can often experience slow, inconsistent speeds due to congested bandwidth lines during peak hours.
Free 256-bit SSL encryption is included with all Newshosting plans (albeit common among most providers nowadays) to secure your connections and you can also add a VPN to every plan for $4.99 (£3.89) a month. If you choose Newshosting’s top-end plan called XL Powerpack, VPN is included for free.
Excellent Windows, Mac and Linux newsreader apps, named the Newshosting Newsreader, make it easy for beginners to search Usenet, preview search results, then download requested posts from Usenet. It's called the Newshosting Newsreader. There are advanced features built-in like NZB-import support, download scheduling, and the ability to bookmark and manually browse your favorite newsgroups -- a good feature for users who like to be hands on with their Usenet browsing.
Newshosting's Lite plan offers 50GB of data per month and rolls all unused gigabytes during any given month into the following months. Support for 30 connections should allow for speedy downloads, and it's yours for $10 (£7.80) a month.
The Unlimited plan drops the data limit, giving you unlimited monthly access, but otherwise has all the same features. It's a fair value at $12.95 (£10.11) a month when paid annually.
The high-end XL PowerPack plan lifts the maximum number of connections to 60, includes the VPN and throws in a free Easynews account with 10GB of data, enabling access to Usenet and unlimited search from your web browser. The standard price for XL PowerPack is $15.83 (£12.35) per month with annual billing.
The exclusive TechRadar Pro deal is available for $8.33 (£6.50) a month, a 58% lifetime discount. An exclusive 1 week free trial is included with 750GB of free high speed downloads. In comparison, the standard trial offers 30GB of data allowance. Both trials require entering payment details, but users are not billed until the data allowance is consumed or the number of days allowed in the trial period has passed – whichever comes first.
Signing up requires an email address (as do all other providers) and a credit card or PayPal account. There's currently no support for Bitcoin or other crypto payment methods.
The terms of service lists the usual exceptions to this rule, pointing out that the company will satisfy any law, regulation or other government request to operate the system properly or to protect itself or its users.
Every Usenet plan gives you the option of 256-bit SSL secured connections, giving you secure Usenet access. If you want to secure the rest of your internet traffic, you can add the Zero-log Newshosting VPN to your package. You will get access to VPN servers in more than 50 countries to choose from, free software for Windows and Mac, and basic setup instructions to use the service on other devices.
Our final downloads tests were also very impressive with a whopping 472 Mbps while downloading a 9.2 GB file using the Newshosting newsreader. Once our file was completely downloaded, the newsreader automatically unpacked it, then gave us a pop-up notification alerting us that it was finished. From there, we were able to click on the notification box and were taken directly to our file. All in all, the download process was easy and the fastest in terms of download speeds.
Signing up with Newshosting is straightforward, with everything presented on a single page. We chose the Unlimited plan, selected a term (1 or 12 months), entered our email address and chose a payment method (card or PayPal are the only options).
A convenient welcome page presented us with everything we needed: download links for the Newshosting newsreader, links to setup files for VPN, server connection details for setting up our own Usenet app and links to support documents if we ran into trouble.
We downloaded the Windows clients for the Usenet newsreader and the VPN. Both installed easily enough, although they added a vague shortcut for the newsreader to our start menu: 'Newshosting' for the browser, and 'Newshosting VPN' for the VPN. You’ll quickly realize which is which, but life would be easier if the installers had used a more specific name for the Usenet client.
Newshosting's newsreader looks like a rebadged version of Usenet Wire, a powerful tool with an intelligent search feature, handy bookmark system, video previewing and more. It supports nzb files and some neat touches include the ability to schedule background searches at regular intervals and automatically download the results. The free newsreader software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The VPN has a basic client with few configuration options, and supports only two simultaneous devices. But the underlying network seems to be using servers spread across 50 countries, and there's nothing at all wrong with its performance. We managed download speeds of around 35Mbps from our nearest UK server, 25Mbps when connecting to the US, performance levels which are close to some of the best specialist VPNs.
We ran a few simple tests to check retention, trying to locate and download binaries from six and seven years ago. Newshosting fetched them all, including several files that other big-name providers (Giganews, for example) couldn't find.
Newshosting is our top recommended Usenet service with the best retention, performance, and all the free add-ons. It delivers an outstanding Usenet search and downloading experience. There are a couple of wrinkles -- they don’t accept bitcoin and the VPN service, albeit free with good speeds and a lot of servers, offers a basic software interface.
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