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Sunny Usenet review

One of the most affordable Usenet services

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(Image: © Sunny Usenet)

Our Verdict

Offering fast speeds and good retention, Sunny Usenet is good value, although its privacy policy leaves much to be desired.

For

  • Affordable
  • Fast and reliable

Against

  • Not as powerful as other services

TechRadar Verdict

Offering fast speeds and good retention, Sunny Usenet is good value, although its privacy policy leaves much to be desired.

Pros

  • + Affordable
  • + Fast and reliable

Cons

  • - Not as powerful as other services

Finding the right Usenet 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 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.

Features

Sunny Usenet comes packed with useful features (Image credit: Sunny Usenet)

Features

Thinking of using Sunny Usenet? It offers everything you would expect from a Usenet provider, such as good retention with 99.99% completion, SSL, 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. 

A 7-day trial is also available, and Sunny Usenet offers a detailed privacy policy.

Support

You can easily find answers to common questions by searching Sunny Usenet's knowledgebase (Image credit: Sunny Usenet)

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.

Retention

Sunny Usenet allows you to retrieve files posted up to 11 years ago (Image credit: Sunny Usenet)

Retention

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 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, where it provides the information required to register a DMCA takedown.

Performance

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.  

Pricing

Sunny Usenet has three plans to choose from depending on the number of connections and speed you require (Image credit: Sunny Usenet)

Pricing

If you're interested in signing up for Sunny Usenet, it offers three bundles with a 7-day trial attached. 

Sunny 20 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 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 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.

Final verdict

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.

But while welcome in its detail, that privacy policy is a little concerning…

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.