Finding the right Usenet (opens in new tab) provider can be tortuous. Considering things like retention, completion, speeds, SSL, and of course price and lead to an overwhelming avalanche of facts and figures.
Sunny Usenet (opens in new tab) offers a simplified option, promising all the features you might need with a lower price than its competitors. But does it live up to the expectations that it sets?
Registered in 2011, Sunny Usenet features a polished website designed to persuade you to sign up. While other Usenet service providers simply present their features and a sign-up button, this is a professional sales website.
There is a curious element to this, however.
If you have used several Usenet providers, once you've signed up you might notice that Sunny Usenet's member's area strongly resembles that of Pure Usenet. While no official connection is listed both providers share a business address and nameservers according to WhoIs.com.
On the plus side, if you've used one service, you'll find your way around the other pretty easily.
Thinking of using Sunny Usenet? It offers everything you would expect from a Usenet provider, such as good retention with 99.99% completion, SSL (opens in new tab), simultaneous connections, unlimited speeds, and good English language support.
These features are available in all three bundles from Sunny Usenet, although the specifics will depend on the price point.
Set up for Sunny Usenet is straightforward. After signing up, the instructions for all major newsreaders are listed in the member's area. If you run into any problems, a couple of support options are available, along with a detailed FAQ page.
In terms of retention, Sunny Usenet delivers over 11 years' worth (4100 days) of the Usenet archive, all the way up to today. This is with 99.99% completion, which means that almost every piece of data (save that removed following a copyright claim, or malware) that was uploaded in that 4100-day period is available intact.
More significantly, this represents a considerable increase from the 900 days' retention Sunny Usenet offered previously.
While this isn't the complete Usenet (it started in 1985) it is enough to find almost all of the data you need. In most cases this will probably be media or software, but in some rare cases you might require a Usenet provider for engaging in discussion groups.
If you're new to Usenet, however, looking back over 4100 days of your favourite discussion topic might be somewhat time consuming. Sunny Usenet's fast servers enable easy searching, so you'll find what you need in no time.
Security and privacy
Need a secure connection? SSL/TLS connections are part and parcel of the modern internet, and Usenet is no different. While you can still connect to Sunny Usenet if you don't require SSL encryption, the Usenet provider offers a pair of SSL ports for secure connections via your chosen newsreader.
In terms of personal and data privacy, Sunny Usenet records quite a bit. Their privacy statement (opens in new tab) notes "first and last name, email address, phone number, username, zip code and country, payment method information" are all logged when you sign up or update your details. While the clarity is welcome, it is worth noting that although Sunny Usenet doesn't record your Usenet uploads and downloads, it does share information with "our corporate affiliates, parents or subsidiaries…"
It also operates a copyright infringement policy (opens in new tab), where it provides the information required to register a DMCA takedown.
Usenet services tend to be pretty fast. After all, it's part of the package. Sunny Usenet doesn't disappoint. Over the course of testing, several files of different types were downloaded on a 55Mbps connection, with good results. One 1.3GB download of an 879-day-old file was downloaded in under 10 minutes, peaking at 3,000Kbps and maintaining a speed over 2,500Kbps for much of the download.
Searching, too, is lightning fast. The old file mentioned above appeared in a list of around 100+ files, and indicating a well-maintained index database. SSL is reliable, too.
In short, we were unable to find any faults in performance from Sunny Usenet.
If you're interested in signing up for Sunny Usenet, it offers three bundles with a 7-day trial attached.
Sunny 20 (opens in new tab) is the basic package, setting you back a mere €3.79 a month (£3.45 and $4.40). This gives you 20Mbps, 30 simultaneous connections, 3,800 days retention, and free SSL.
Sunny 60 (opens in new tab) boosts things with 60Mbps, 35 connections, and 4100 days retention, and free SSL. This costs €5.79 (£5.29 and $6.75).
Finally, Sunny UNL (opens in new tab) is €7.79 for a monthly subscription (£7.10 and $9.05), with unlimited speed, 40 connections, and the usual 3,800 days retention and free SSL.
Annual packages are also available, giving you a 20% discount if you pay for 12 months of access upfront. Further, selecting auto-renew gives you an additional 20 connections.
Payment options are flexible. Credit cards are accepted, along with iDeal, PayPal, and even Bitcoin. If you're not satisfied with the service or simply don't need it, there is no complicated cancellation process. There isn't even a lack of information to make you feel that cancelling is too much hassle. Sunny Usenet simply provides a "Cancel Account" link for you to click when you've had enough.
It's pretty difficult to get Usenet service provision wrong. Simply identify a server, replicate the data to the desired retention limit, and provide multiple connections with optional SSL and reliability. Sunny Usenet manages to do all this well while throwing in a surprisingly low price that does seem to be one of the most competitive around.
Throw in a free trial and there's very little to complain about here. The 40 simultaneous connections might be less than some competitors, but the retention is excellent, there's an unlimited option, and Sunny Usenet is fast, too.
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