If you’re reading these reviews, chances are you know what Usenet is.
For the rest of you...Welcome to the amazing world of Usenet, a little known corner of the Internet that’s been around for decades. Usenet is the original social network. It’s a cross between a discussion forum ala Reddit and a user-generated content platform with petabytes of entertainment and enrichment available for download. Unlike other social networks where targeted ads based on the data you generate pay the bills, Usenet is a global public system with no single company at the center. It’s distributed structure means that to access Usenet, you will need to subscribe to a Usenet service. It’ll cost you a few bucks a month, but believe us, it’s worth it.
IT pros know that the best Usenet providers have fast servers and the largest archive of Usenet files. Retention is the length of time Usenet providers keep copies of files uploaded to Usenet. The more retention, the larger the archive. Today, the best Usenet providers have more than 4,300 days of retention and grow their retention storage capacity to keep up with all the new files being added by users. The best Usenet providers do not expire posts made to their archive and save everything uploaded to Usenet.
Now that you know what makes a high quality Usenet service, let’s look at the ITProPortal list of best Usenet providers.
Top recommended Usenet provider
Retention: 4,300+ days | Newsgroups: 110,000+ | Maximum connections: 60 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: Yes | Free trial: Yes
Newshosting is the best Usenet provider with a stellar reputation for service quality and speed. It also has the most file retention of any provider -- billions more articles in many cases, which means your chances of a successful search are much better when connecting to Newshosting’s servers.
Newshosting operates its own multi-gigabit server farms in Europe and North America. Newshosting subscribers download fast from over 110,000 uncensored newsgroups.
The free newsreader browser, preconfigured with every account, is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and includes many basic and advanced search options. It has built-in file previews, supports NZB files and has complete and accurate search results.
Newshosting also gives you a custom and user-friendly VPN service which guarantees to never retain information about your online activities. The VPN is free-of-charge with the most comprehensive annual Unlimited plan (Best value plan).
All plans normally come with a 30GB free trial period, but you can get a 750GB free trial exclusively through ITProPortal. This special free trial also includes the newsreader and Zero-Log VPN.
After the free trial, get a 58% lifetime discount auto-applied to your subscription with unlimited downloads from all server farms with auto-routing to the fastest server based on your location. Newshosting does not monitor usage, so download as much you want without having your speeds lowered or account paused.
One small downside, Newshosting doesn’t accept bitcoin.
Usenet access from any web browser and device
Retention: 4,300+ days | Newsgroups: 110,000+ | Maximum connections: 60 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: Yes (mobile-friendly) | Free trial: Yes
Easynews is a different kind of Usenet service. You can use your web browser or even your mobile device, eliminating the need for specialized Usenet software, although Easynews does also support all Usenet newsreaders.
Exclusively through ITProPortal, get a 50 GB, 14 day free trial. When signing up, select either a monthly plan for $9.99/mo (67% off) or an annual plan for $7.50/mo (75% off). If you subscribe after the free trial, the monthly option gives you 150GB every month and the yearly plan gives you unlimited downloads.
Both plans come with the Easynews web-interface which is not only convenient, but delivers the best search results of any Usenet browser. Impressive features like built-in file thumbnail previews, the ability to download or access a Usenet file inside your web browser and many advanced search parameters add up to a fully customized search experience.
High speed independent Euro server farms with impressive retention
Retention: 4,340+ days | Newsgroups: 125,000 | Maximum connections: 20 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: Yes | Free trial: Yes
Eweka is an EU-based Usenet provider with a data centre server farm in Amsterdam. It owns a self-built and managed network with POP locations in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt, guaranteeing solid and stable connections with high speeds. Unfortunately, so far they don’t have servers in the US.
Eweka offers one of the longest retention periods in the industry and includes a newsreader at no cost. It limits connections to 20, which is a lot less than what some of its competitors offer, but should be enough to achieve the 300Mbps speeds included with its top plan.
Eweka performs magnificently when it comes to retrieving old files. It’s newsreader, called Newslazer, comes with a solid search tool covering the entire retention history (currently approaching 12 years) and returns some of the most complete results. Built-in NZB support also allows you to import your own NZB files.
Eweka is fairly priced and comes with an unlimited seven-day free trial.
High quality unlimited Usenet for hard core users
Retention: 4,300+ days | Newsgroups: 110,000+ | Maximum connections: 20 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: Yes | Free trial: Yes
UsenetServer’s services are recommended for those who use their own newsreader since you’ll get high quality unlimited Usenet access with high retention, good speeds and access to multiple servers for a good price.
UsenetServer is rather inexpensive, has high retention and a promised 99% completion rate. With unrestricted data limits and high download speeds from its EU and US servers reaching over 150 Mbps, it’s a service Usenet fans have loved for 20 years.
One thing a bit restrictive though is the number of maximum connections - 20, which is less than what many UsenetServer’s competitors offer.
Beginners might find themselves on their own because a free newsreader is not included with the service, although it does have a Usenet search tool that comes free with your account and allows you to create unlimited NZB files. Also, the free VPN software included with the annual subscription is far from being the best out there in terms of server locations.
All-inclusive Usenet provider
Retention: 2,367 days | Newsgroups: 110,000 | Maximum connections: 50 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: No | Free trial: Yes
GigaNews is among the most expensive Usenet providers, but it offers quite a lot for the price. Some of the perks you get with GigaNews include 50 SSL connections to 4 different server locations, 3+ years of binary retention, 17+ years of text retention, a speed accelerator and the premium version of Golden Frog’s VyprVPN service if you sign up for the $21.99 Diamond subscription plan ($10.99 for the first month).
The number of features that GigaNews has to offer might be overwhelming and not worth the money to users who won’t use them all. However, if you want quality and more choice, then GigaNews is right for you. Don’t believe us? You can test the service out with a free 14-day trial.
Simple and straightforward
Retention: 2,357 days | Newsgroups: 110,000 | Maximum connections: 30 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: No | Free trial: Yes
Supernews is one of the services that’s been out there for a very long time, reaching back to the mid-90s. The service prides itself with servers in Europe and the US, and access to over 110,000 newsgroups.
The company retains multiple copies of articles on its network, asserting this helps to ensure a 100% completion rate.
That said, the retention is rather short. You only get 2,357 days of binary retention, although you do get 5,021 days of text retention.
Supernews provides unlimited speeds. Choosing a subscription plan is a pretty straightforward process, as the company only has one. You may find it a tad expensive, but it is a quality unlimited service you can have for $11.99 (£9.10) a month. The first month is only $5.99 (£4.55) and if you’re not sure you want it or you don’t trust the reviews, there’s a three-day trial period to see for yourself. Your credit card will not be charged during that period.
Reliable, Dutch Usenet service with special lifetime discount
Retention: 3,400 days | Newsgroups: N/A | Maximum connections: 40 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: Yes | Free trial: Yes
TweakNews is a Dutch Usenet provider with solid core features and impressive download speeds. A zero-logs VPN service accompanies each plan. That, and the promised 99.99% completion rate, make for a rather sweet deal.
Nonetheless, while its retention levels are high and have grown recently, it's still considerably lower than our top picks. Moreover, the tech support isn’t the greatest; the only way to reach them is a contact form on the website.
The pricing? Fair and flexible. There are several plans available to choose from and you will save a lot with the annual subscription. All plans come with a handy nzb-supported newsreader with Usenet search already built in.
Pay for one server, get two
Retention: 3,000+ days | Newsgroups: 90,000 | Maximum connections: 50 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: No | Free trial: Yes
Active since 1998, Astraweb is a Usenet veteran that has its own server farms in the US and the Netherlands, run by two different companies. Access to two servers makes the service better because files that aren’t necessarily found on one server can be fetched from the other. So there’s the main server, plus a backup server for the price of one.
The retention levels are among the highest in the industry, with over 3,000 days and 99% completion rate.
Astraweb recently launched a new website with an improved UI and simpler plans. It also introduces an FAQ, although there is still limited customer support contact options (email), which might turn away Usenet newbies.
Several unlimited plans are offered in addition to several block accounts, each providing unlimited speed, 50 connections and 3,000 days retention.
A Pioneer in Usenet Browsing with Usenet access included
Retention: 4,400+ days | Newsgroups: 100,000 | Maximum connections: 30 | SSL: Yes | Free trial: Yes
Newsleecher created one of the first Usenet browsers for the broadband age way back in the early 2000’s. It’s still one of the best browsers around. Now in it’s 8th generation, the Newsleecher browser has been regularly updated to reflect the changes Usenet has gone through over the years. SuperLeach, it’s integrated download automation feature can be configured to download desired content within seconds after being posted to Usenet.
The included SuperSearch index is one of the most complete Usenet indexes available.
Newsleecher bundles it’s Browser, SuperSearch index and access service into one package. While other providers on this list come with Usenet browsers as addons, Newsleecher is a browser with access service as the addon. It’s a slightly different approach to a complete Usenet service that focuses on an advanced browsing experience for Usenet.
Reasonably priced and complete platform
Retention: 4,347+ days | Newsgroups: 110,000 | Maximum connections: 50 | SSL: Yes | Newsreader: No | Free trial: Yes
Newsgroup Ninja is a great basic Usenet service, focused on quality delivery and high retention. It’s no frills, but has exceptional customer support and a money-back guarantee so if you do have issues setting up your Usenet browser or questions about how Usenet works, support is there to help.
Newsgroup Ninja is run by experienced Usenet lovers who want to strip away the frills to offer fast Usenet access with great retention at a low price. It’s a relatively new provider, but it earned a spot on our list by virtue of their dedication to making sure Usenet is affordable and accessible to all. Servers are located in the US and Europe with a reliable network backbone to deliver your Usenet content fast. Bring your own Usenet browser or NZB set-up, plug in and go.