Feb. 2017 update: Thanks to the XS News team for offering our visitors a discount on a year of Elite Usenet access. You can use our 30% off special to sign up for a year of unlimited high speed Usenet for just €5,74 a month.
XS News is a Dutch Usenet provider with headquarters in New Yorkstraat, Nederland. The service is best suited for those in the Netherlands and other areas of Europe. Dutch users can achieve speeds up to 800Mbit/s using the Elite plan with 30 connections. Those in North and South America will find the service slower since the newsgroup server is located in the Netherlands. XS News supports 1100 days of binary retention. This is lower than some Dutch Usenet providers but enough to cover a vast majority of Usenet downloads.
One of the first things you will notice when visiting XS News is that the service offers flatrate and block packages. The flatrate plans are speed capped with limits ranging from 8 Mbit up to 20 Mbit. They also have an Elite plan that allows 30 connections for maximum performance. Remember though that the servers are in the Netherlands so your speed will differ based on your location.
Prices vary based on term. For example, the Elite plan costs €10,95 per month or €98,40 if paid on an annual basis. XS News flatrate packages can be purchased as a subscription (recurring) or prepaid (1 time) basis. You can use SEPA, Direct Debet, Visa, and Mastercard for recurring payments. For prepaid packages, payment options include iDEAL (Netherlands), Visa, MasterCard, Mister Cash, SOFORT banking, bank transfer, bitcoin, paysafecard, KBC (Belgium), or Belfius (Belgium).
The team at XS News also offers block packages. The difference is that the Usenet blocks do not expire. Instead you pay for a set amount of bandwidth and use it until the block is depleted. The blocks do not have a fixed time limit so you can use it as a backup and for fills. The block packages range from 20 GB up to 1000 GB. Speed is not capped on block accounts.
XS News offers all new members a 14 day free trial. You can download as much as you want at unlimited speed. This is quite unique as most Usenet providers set limits for GB or speed in the trial period. Also, it is a good way to test the bandwidth of your internet connection and decide if you want to switch to a cheaper package with lower speeds. Otherwise the trial will switch over to the Elite plan with annual billing at the end of 14 day trial period.
There are a few areas that set Usenet providers apart. Two of the most important areas to focus on for European services include speed and retention. The US market differs from it’s Dutch counterpart. While all the major US Usenet providers offer close to the same speed, the same is not true in Europe. XS News has chosen to focus on speed and the results are telling. Users in the Netherlands can theoretically achieve speeds up to 800Mbit/s.
XS News did some research and found that the vast majority of Usenet content being downloaded was under 1100 days. They decided that speed and connectivity was more important and set retention at 3 years or 1100 years. Also, most articles are reposted within 3 years, and older content is often not available anymore (DMCA) or damaged.
Like a lot of other Dutch Usenet providers, XS News has flatrate packages that are speed capped. One of the ways they handle the caps is to limit the number of newsgroup connections. Let’s take a look at the number of connections allowed with each plan.
- Elite – 30 connections (speeds up to 800 Mbit)
- Pro – 20 connections (20 Mbit speed cap)
- Basic – 8 connections (8 Mbit speed cap)
Block accounts allow up to 20 connections.
We were glad to see XS News provide members with free SSL access. You do not need to pay extra to encrypt your newsgroup connection. If you want to take it a step further and protect your privacy anytime you’re online then add a VPN as well. However, a VPN is not necessary for accessing XS News. You can use SSL in your newsreader to secure the connections.
Here are the details you will need to connect to the XS News NNTP server.
- Hostname: reader.xsnews.nl
- SSL ports: 563 (default) or 443
- Non-SSL ports: 119 (default) or 80
If you need technical support along the way, you have a number of ways to reach out to the XS News team. For starters you can visit their website and check out their knowledgebase. When we checked they had a number of articles to help you find a quick fix to common questions. For more involved issues you will want to submit a ticket. You can do so by visiting the support section of their site and detailing your question. At times you can also use their live chat support. Look for the “Live Support Online” button for help. The XS News support team speaks both English and Dutch.
In review, the XS News service is based in the Netherlands. You can sign up for flatrate (speed capped) or block packages. Speed is key with XS News. Dutch users can download at up to 800Mbit/s using 30 connections with the XS News Elite plan. Retention is at 1100 days which is over 3 years of binaries. The support section of their website includes a knowledgebase of articles in both Dutch and English. We like that XS News offers a 14 day free trial. Sign up for the service and let us know what you think.