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UsenetServer review

A high-retention Usenet provider at a low price

usenetserver logo
(Image: © UsenetServer)

Our Verdict

UsenetServer is a cheap, unlimited Usenet provider that performs well in speed tests. Its 4,910-day retention rivals the best in the industry, but its plans don’t include a Usenet client.

For

  • High retention rate, so files stick around
  • Great pricing for unlimited transfers
  • Free Global Search function

Against

  • No bundled Usenet client
  • Limited support options
  • Some users report occasional service slowdowns or throttling

UsenetServer (opens in new tab) is one of the most popular Usenet (opens in new tab) providers, with servers in the US and Europe. We rate it highly for its pricing, speed, and simplicity. This UsenetServer review goes into further detail.

One of the earliest internet-based discussion group systems, Usenet is now primarily used as a file-sharing alternative to BitTorrent. Choose from one of the best Usenet providers (opens in new tab), and you can have access to over a decade of uploaded files, all available to download at speeds of up to 1GB/s. Just be sure you don’t download copyrighted files without the author’s consent.

UsenetServer: Plans and pricing

UsenetServer has a one-month, three-month, and 12-month plan. These plans don’t differ much except how much you pay each month and for how long. All offer unlimited downloads and access to servers in the US and EU. 

If you need a VPN (opens in new tab), you’ll get one for free on the 12-month plan. Otherwise, you’ll pay an additional $4 to 4.99 a month for it.

Opting to pay monthly will cost up to $239.28 a year compared to the $95.40 annual fee. Therefore, choosing UsenetServer makes the most sense if you’re willing to commit to a longer contract after the 14-day trial is over.

UsenetServer's pricing plans
1 month3 months12 months
Price per month$14.95$8.95$7.95
DownloadsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
US and EU Servers...
VPN$4.99/mo.$4.00/mo.Included

UsenetServer: Features

One of the benefits of choosing Usenet over peer-to-peer file sharing like BitTorrent is that files are retained on servers for years, even if few people are interested in downloading them. This means Usenet has a massive archive of content. However, many UseNet providers only store files for a few months on their servers because of the exorbitant costs of archiving so much data.

UsenetServer keeps files for 4,910 days (and rising), so you can find long-forgotten files uploaded over a decade ago. It also offers a web-based Usenet search tool to subscribers. You can use it to search for files and download an NZB, the equivalent of a torrent file. This NZB file is imported into your Usenet client software, which downloads the file from UsenetServer.

Though it’s a nice free feature, Global Search is quite basic, with a barebones user interface that offers only a few ways to filter files. Most UsenetServer users will likely prefer to source a more feature-rich Usenet indexer to find NZB files.

UsenetServer: Key features and highlights

All UsenetServer’s plans include unlimited data transfer. Considering that the 12-month plan with bundled VPN can be had for just $7.95 a month, this makes UsenetServer one of the most competitively priced Tier-1 Usenet servers available today.

UsenetServer: Interface and in-use

Screenshot of NZBGet configuration page

To use NZBGet with UsenetServer, fill in your UsenetServer hostname, username, and password on the News-Servers configuration page (Image credit: NZBGet)

A UsenetServer account doesn’t come with a Usenet client, so you’ll need to source your own. Popular free options include SABnzbd (opens in new tab), NZBGet (opens in new tab), and PowerNZB (opens in new tab). While not including any software for browsing and downloading from Usenet helps keep costs low, it does make the installation process trickier for users who haven’t previously used Usenet.

UsenetServer’s speeds are reasonably good. We tested the US and EU servers and found that they both maxed out our 100Mbps internet connection. If your internet connection can handle it, you may be able to get up to 1GB/s with UsenetServer. 

However, some users with fast connections report that the service does occasionally slow down or feel throttled.

UsenetServer: Support

Screenshot of UsenetServer’s support page

UsenetServer’s support pages are quite rudimentary, with just a few articles on the basics of Usenet (Image credit: UsenetServer)

UsenetServer only has one support channel: an email ticketing system. Tickets are handled on a first-come, first-serve basis, but it can take days to receive a reply to your query.

There are basic FAQ and learning sections on the UsenetServer website that summarize what Usenet is and the basics of how to use it. But there’s nothing in-depth there. 

Since UsenetServer doesn’t offer much support and expects customers to source and set up their own Usenet client software, it’s better aimed at intermediate Usenet users than those completely new to Usenet.

UsenetServer: Security

Screenshot of PrivadoVPN in front of SABnzbd

PrivadoVPN has servers in 46 countries (Image credit: UsenetServer)

256-bit SSL connections are included for free on all plans. For even better protection, you can pay extra for a VPN (and one is included for free on all 12-month plans). 

The VPN that you get is PrivadoVPN (opens in new tab), which has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire TV, and Android TV. It has a basic interface but could be used as your primary VPN because it unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. It includes an effective kill switch that will stop all internet traffic if the VPN fails for any reason. However, some users have reported below-average speeds and very slow connect times when using the VPN.

Alternatives to UsenetServer

UsenetServer is owned by Omicron Media, which also owns Newshosting (opens in new tab). These two Usenet providers operate on the same Usenet backbone and offer remarkably similar services, with just a few tweaks here and there. The most significant difference is that Newshosting is pricier, but you do get a full-featured Usenet client.

Another great alternative is Tweaknews (opens in new tab), especially for users in the EU, as the servers are based in Holland. Tweaknews offers a comparable retention rate to UsenetServer and has block subscription pricing available, where you only pay for the data that you transfer.

UsenetServer: Final verdict

UsenetServer is a great choice for your primary Usenet provider if you already have a favorite Usenet client. Files are kept on the servers for over 13 years, and you can search through them using the free Global Search function.

For an unlimited service, UsenetServer is priced well. You don’t get any bundled Usenet client, though, and the support system is basic. Still, users looking for the best deal might prefer UsenetServer over pricier options that include features that they don’t need.


Further reading on Usenet

New to Usenet? Discover what Usenet groups are (opens in new tab), what Usenet newsgroups (opens in new tab) cover, what Google Groups is (opens in new tab), and the best Usenet newsgroup readers (opens in new tab). Once you're set up, find out 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

UsenetServer review

UsenetServer is a cheap, unlimited Usenet provider that performs well in speed tests. Its 4,910-day retention rivals the best in the industry, but its plans don’t include a Usenet client.

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.