If you’re looking for a premium Usenet service, you’ll find that the market is crowded with a host of respected providers, many of which we’ve reviewed in recent months. XS Usenet is another such offering, and although the company was only established in 2009, it has quickly become a popular choice.
With operations in Florida and Sweden, this outfit provides Usenet services to companies and individuals around the world. The main thing that sets it apart from rival services is that it’s the first provider to offer a ‘free lifetime’ Usenet plan, which does what it says on the tin. Sounds tempting – but what’s the reality of this offering? Let’s dig a bit deeper.
On a broad level, XS Usenet aims to provide good speeds, plenty of connections, along with SSL for tighter security.
Retention is a defining factor when it comes to the performance of Usenet services. Most providers offer more than 1,000 days of binary retention, and XS Usenet isn’t any different. Currently, it offers 1,300 days of retention to premium (paying) users, although that falls behind some of the major players that give customers 3,000 days plus.
There’s a caveat with the free plan here, as well, in that these users only get 10 days of retention. If you want more, you’ll need to become a paying customer. Note that XS Usenet offers a 99% completion rate across all articles and groups, which is good to see.
With server farms based in Europe, the platform currently supports more than 100,000 newsgroups. That’s an impressive number, although it’s pretty much the norm for premium Usenet services. Giganews is the highest we’ve come across, offering a staggering 130,000 newsgroups, but this provider isn’t far behind.
UI and support
There are many Usenet platforms out there which look outdated and neglect usability. You don’t have to worry on that score with XS Usenet. Not only does it look good visually, it’s also easy to set up and operate. You only need to enter your email address, choose a plan and enter payment details. Once you’ve done that, you can begin accessing newsgroups.
It’s always good to see a company that puts customers first, and that’s certainly the case with this particular service. It’s also worth noting that the firm runs a solid affiliate program for customers. For every paying Usenet or VPN sign-up that you bring in, you get a 30% recurring pay-out. And if you get someone to sign up for the free service, if they make a purchase in the future, you’ll get credit for that, too.
XS Usenet is active on social media platforms, posting service updates and coupons regularly. It also has a YouTube channel, and you can access a client and knowledgebase area if you have any issues or questions about the service. You can also submit support tickets – a member of staff should respond within a few working days.
In terms of pricing, XS Usenet is pretty fair value. As mentioned, the free account is quite limited with only 10 days of retention, and you’re also held back to a maximum speed of 2Mbit – and 5 connections. You also can’t post articles and don’t get the benefit of SSL, but you do get unlimited data for downloads, though.
The premium account costs $11.95 (£9.30) per month, and it gives you unlimited data, unlimited speed, 1,300 days of retention, SSL and 50 connections. You can also add an optional VPN service for an extra $2.99 (£2.30) per month.
Overall, XS Usenet is a great all-rounder which is definitely one you should consider. Not only does it offer solid performance and retention levels, but it also looks good and is easy-to-use. It’s also great to see a free account option, giving you an opportunity to test the platform and see if it’s right for you.