When looking for the best Usenet provider I soon realised it was harder than it sounded. In this post I detail what I think is the perfect Usenet setup, certainly for my needs and I hope yours as well. I spent a lot of time researching different providers to come up with what I think is the best value option.
I was a Giganews Diamond customer for years, and while I was generally fairly happy with it, I decided to look into whether it was possible to have a more robust setup, for less money, and boy, was it!
I’ve included affiliate links if the service has them as it’s a win win for everyone. The services selected were chosen specifically for the value they offer and not the kickback (if any) I get. All services recommended are the services that I personally use myself.
The Best Usenet Provider.
The trick to getting a robust usenet setup is to have services on multiple backbones. This is harder than it sounds because many providers are just resellers for others. My setup gets you access to 4 backbones and is perfect for my needs.
I put a lot of research into figuring out my perfect setup, however, it may be possible to find a cheaper setup. This is especially true when services providers are running special discounts. Feel free to let us know about them in the comments.
Getting the best value
You are going to get the best value for money by paying a year in advance. That said you need to be careful when doing this as it’s a big investment if you aren’t happy. I used all the services solidly for 2 months before making my recommendations.
There are many different Highwinds re-sellers so it’s perfectly possible to swap out my recommendation for another if you want to. I chose the re-seller I am using after recommendations from multiple friends and have been extremely happy with the service.
The best Usenet provider is actually… using 3 providers at once! This might sound excessive, but is actually the acknowledged way to get the best reliability. My 3 providers enable me to get the best value for money on the most backbones. I utilise 2 recurring services and 1 block account. This is a slightly unusual setup, many people only have a single recurring service and multiple block accounts. Pick whichever works for you, it depends how often you will be using the other service.
1. SuperNews – Running on the Giganews backbone and offering 2357 days of retention. It is currently available for $74.25/year, when that isn’t available it is $99/year, for an unlimited account it’s great value whichever price you get it for.
2. theCubeNet – A highwinds reseller that offers 2970+ days of retention. Currently available for $71.99/year for 250GB/mo. I originally got this account just for completion, but because the limit is so generous I currently use both Supernews and theCubeNet as level 0 servers. If you get close to the limit just set Supernews as level 0 (main) and theCubeNet as level 1 (completion).
3. usenet.farm – This is an interesting addition, it has its own 30 day retention backbone (less likely to be targeted by DMCA requests than the major backbones). In addition to their own backbone they have 900-1100 days retention on the XSNews and Highwinds backbones for articles not on their servers. In my opinion the best option is a 500GB block account for 15euros as a completion backup. This has no expiration time and could conceivably last you a year or more if the things you are looking for are usually found on your main servers. They also have a 10GB free trial so it’s a no brainer to give the trial a go and see how you get on.
None of my recommendions store content logs (just the amount of traffic). All of them accept paypal and theCubeNet and usenet.farm accept bitcoin, if any of that is important to you.
One of the benefits Giganews diamond provides is their VPN service. It’s often, however, not a great idea to get your VPN service from the same provider as your usenet services. I have been using Private Internet Access and they have been fantastic. At $39.95/year they are great value for money
So how much is all this costing me?
Without VPN $74.25+$71.99/12 = equivelant to $12.19/mo + a one off 15euro fee for the block account
With VPN $74.25+$71.99+$39.95/12 = equivelant to $15.52/mo + a one off 15euro fee for the block account
Even $99+$71.99/12 = $14.25/mo is fantastic value for access to 4 backbones and over 2970 days of retention
If you want an even cheaper setup your could get a 200GB block account with theCubeNet for $18.99. In my experience, theCubeNet often finds articles not available on Supernews so the monthly account is worth it to me.
You can also get a 1000GB block from Astraweb for $50. Worryingly, I have heard many complaints about Astraweb recently. I’ve never personally used them so must refrain from recommending them, but have included them for completeness. Some people might want to consider them anyway to cover as many bases as possible.
There simply is no “Best Usenet Provider”, the only way to ensure a robust setup is to utilise multiple backbones. I hope this post gives you some ideas. At half the price of Giganews, it works perfectly for me, but your mileage may vary.