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Astraweb Review

Astraweb has been around for a long time and they offer a solid Usenet service.  While other Usenet providers have gone on to offer extra features, Astraweb hasn’t kept up with the pack in this regard.  Members can purchase a block of Usenet access or an unlimited plan.  From there you manually set your newsreader to connect to their servers.  However, they lack the extras (client software, Usenet search, VPN) that services like Newshosting and UseNetServer include.  These perks are very useful, especially the VPN.  For that reason, Astraweb continues to slip down our list of top providers.

Astraweb

Astraweb has news servers in the United States and Europe. As a member you can connect to either location.  Each offers up to 20 simultaneous connections for unlimited accounts and 50 for blocks. All Astraweb accounts come with SSL along with alternate ports in case your ISP throttles bandwidth.

As we mentioned previously Astraweb is currently at 2,600+ days binary retention and continuing to grow. This puts them right in line with other leading Usenet providers when it comes to binary retention.

Astraweb offers online support but the level of helpfulness is questionable at times.  Customers complain about not receiving any response from their support team on the weekends.  To be fair they only list Monday – Friday for support hours in their auto-response to tickets now.  That differs from other top providers that offer 24/7 tech support.  The response time has been very bad for us.  We sent in a ticket and the only response received in three weeks was a canned email saying they would get back to us within 24 hours.  Given the lack of response to our ticket, I can understand why members are left frustrated with the lack of support.

Astraweb offers both unlimited (recurring) and block plans.  The Astraweb recurring plans are billed monthly.  The difference between the plans is that the unlimited DSL does not cap speed while the other plan caps your speed at 10 Mbps.  Both allow you to set up to 20 connections in your newsreader.  The connections have to come from the same IP address so trying to share an account will get you banned.

Astraweb promotions:
– All three special offerss listed below are recurring discounts.
Special – unlimited DSL for $11 a month
Special – unlimited DSL $15 for 2 months
Special – unlimited DSL for $96 a year

Retail pricing:
– unlimited DSL – $15 a month (no speed limit)
– unlimited DSL – $39 for 3 months (no speed limit)
– unlimited 10 Mbit – $10 a month (10 Mbps rate limit)
– unlimited 10 Mbit – $20 for 3 months (10 Mbps rate limit)

You can think of the Astraweb block accounts as pay-by-download plans. Each includes features like SSL and up to 50 connections. Their blocks have no time limit so you don’t have to worry about them expiring.

Astraweb block accounts:
– 25 GB – $10
– 180 GB – $25
– 1000 GB – $50

At one time Astraweb was high on our list of favorite Usenet providers.  They are still decent, but they have fallen behind other leading providers in both features and support.  I would recommend you look at all your options and then decide whether or not Astraweb is the right choice to meet your needs.

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