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TweakNews review

A fast European Usenet provider with block subscription pricing

Tweaknews logo
(Image: © Tweaknews)

Our Verdict

Excellent file availability, consistent speeds, and a versatile set of plans make EU-based Usenet provider TweakNews a top choice as a primary or secondary Usenet provider.

For

  • Block subscription pricing available
  • Fast speeds
  • Good bundled Usenet client software and optional VPN

Against

  • EU servers only, though worldwide speeds are still good
  • Limited customer support
  • Sluggish search response

To benefit from Usenet, you need an account with one of the best Usenet providers (opens in new tab). Enter TweakNews (opens in new tab), a long-running Dutch Usenet provider with excellent speeds and competitive pricing. Our TweakNews review aims to help you decide whether it’s the best Usenet provider for you.

For the uninitiated, Usenet is an online distributed discussion system first created in 1979 that was a precursor to web-based forums. While it still has a few applications for business in market research and company outreach, Usenet is now mostly used for file distribution.

TweakNews: Plans and pricing

TweakNews has three unlimited plans with a seven-day/50GB free trial. You can pay monthly, biannually, or annually, with longer terms seeing a discount of up to 30%. The more expensive plans have faster speeds and more concurrent connections. Opt for the Ultimate plan, and a VPN (opens in new tab) from PrivadoVPN (opens in new tab) is included.

TweakNews also offers block subscriptions where you pay for a fixed amount of data. Download speed on block subscriptions is 100Mbps, and no VPN is included. The smallest block package costs $2.26 for 10GB, but if you buy larger blocks at a time, you can get a discount of over 50%.

TweakNews plans and pricing
FastLightningUltimate
Price/month$8.99$11.25$14.65
Speed50Mbps100MbpsUnlimited
VPN
Connections304060
SSL
Newsreader

TweakNews: Features

TweakNews offers consistent speeds, essentially maxing out our 100Mbps connection at an average download speed of around 80Mbps when testing from a computer in Southeast Asia. 

The TweakNews servers are in Holland, so expect better performance if you’re located in Europe, and potentially slower speeds in the US. We did find it took longer for the download speed to reach maximum than it did with most other Usenet providers we’ve tested, and the results of searches often took up to ten seconds, making the software feel sluggish in comparison.

Binary retention refers to how long Usenet providers retain files after they’ve been uploaded. Most cheap Usenet providers delete files older than a few weeks or months because of the high storage cost.

TweakNews has 4,200-day binary retention, so you can download files that were uploaded over 11 years ago. This is on par with the best in the business. It also guarantees a completion rate of over 99.9%, which means that very few files available on TweakNews are missing any pieces.

TweakNews: Key features and highlights

No Usenet provider stores all parts of every file on Usenet. If you only use one provider, you can often find you’re missing just one part of a file, which can be frustrating. You can plug the gaps using a second provider as a backup, or backfill, provider.

To keep costs low, it’s common to use one unlimited bandwidth provider and back it up with a block subscription from another company. TweakNews’ competitive block subscription pricing makes it a good choice as a backup Usenet provider.

TweakNews: Interface and in-use

Screenshot of searching for open-source software on Usenet using UsenetWire

Finding open-source software on Usenet with UsenetWire is made simple thanks to the powerful search tools (Image credit: UsenetWire)

After signing up for TweakNews, a copy of UsenetWire (opens in new tab) will automatically download. This is TweakNews’ recommended Usenet client software, and we like it a lot. But it’s a free client that’s available to everyone regardless of whether you have a TweakNews subscription.

Installation of UsenetWire on Windows, macOS, and Linux is a cinch, and all you must do is fill in your TweakNews username and password to get started. With UsenetWire, you can easily browse through newsgroups or perform searches to find the files you need. Results are filtered by file type, and preview images are available by hovering over results.

TweakNews: Support

Screenshot of TweakNews support page

TweakNews has a very basic support page (Image credit: TweakNews)

TweakNews has a very basic support site consisting of five pages. Email support is available in English and Dutch, but expect a turnaround time of up to five days. 

With TweakNews, you’re basically on your own, so if you’re new to Usenet, you’ll need to find tutorial content elsewhere.

TweakNews: Security

PrivadoVPN logo

The Ultimate plan from TweakNews includes a PrivadoVPN subscription (Image credit: Tweaknews)

If you don’t use an encrypted connection when connecting to any Usenet provider, then it's possible for your ISP to see the servers you are connecting to and even which files you download. 

All TweakNews plans can be configured to use SSL via ports 443 or 563. This encrypts all content sent to and from the TweakNews server. But if you use SSL alone, it’s still possible for your ISP to see the servers you are connecting to and potentially throttle your internet speed.

The Ultimate plan from TweakNews includes a VPN from PrivadoVPN. This VPN encrypts all your traffic, and your ISP cannot tell what you’re doing online at all. Privado features a kill switch that will disable all outgoing connections if the VPN fails for any reason.

PrivadoVPN has support for WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN, three different VPN protocols. Each has their own pros: WireGuard connects extremely quickly, IKEv2 works well on intermittent connections, and OpenVPN has the tightest security. It’s useful to be able to choose the best-performing protocol for your specific needs.

Alternatives to TweakNews

TweakNews only has EU servers. If you prefer your servers to be stateside, we recommend UsenetServer (opens in new tab) or Newshosting (opens in new tab). These long-running Usenet service providers have excellent retention rates, high completion, and great speeds. 

If you don’t already have a favorite Usenet client, we’d recommend Newshosting because it comes bundled with a robust client with search functionality. If you’d prefer to save a few dollars a month and use your own client, however, UsenetServer is the cheaper choice.

TweakNews: Final verdict

TweakNews offers good speeds, competitive pricing, and a useful set of bundled software. Its binary retention is excellent, and it has better-than-average completion, so you'll more than likely be able to find the files you’re looking for on TweakNews.

Its Usenet search response time could be improved, and there’s not much support documentation to help new users with the service. But the inexpensive block subscription pricing means TweakNews is a good choice for either your primary Usenet provider or for backfill.


Further reading on Usenet

If you're new to Usenet altogether, educate yourself by learning what Usenet groups are (opens in new tab) and what the Usenet newsgroups (opens in new tab) cover to start with. We also explored what Google Groups is (opens in new tab) and how you can access Usenet with it, and outlined the best Usenet newsgroup readers (opens in new tab). Once you're set on using Usenet, make sure you learn how to download from Usenet (opens in new tab), as well as how to access Usenet for free (opens in new tab).

The Verdict
4

out of 5

TweakNews review

Excellent file availability, consistent speeds, and a versatile set of plans make EU-based Usenet provider TweakNews a top choice as a primary or secondary Usenet provider.

Richard brings over 20 years of website development, SEO, and marketing to the table. A graduate in Computer Science, Richard has lectured in Java programming, and has built software for companies including Samsung and ASDA. Now, he writes for TechRadar, Tom's Guide, PC Gamer, and Creative Bloq.