We started Newsgroup Reviews, also known as NGR, in 2007 and have been using newsgroups since the 90’s. Managing the site has given us the opportunity to test over 100 Usenet providers over the last 15+ years. If you’re new to Usenet then we recommend you follow the recommendations on our homepage to select a Usenet provider, newsreader, and NZB site to get started. Usenet veterans will find the more in-depth reviews and promotions helpful as well.
Step 1 – Find a Usenet Provider (Best Usenet Providers)
Want some help selecting the best Usenet provider? If so follow these guidelines to help evaluate your top choices.
5 Tips for Comparing Usenet Providers
- Price: This may seem self explanatory, but sometimes you get what you pay for. In the past we would recommend low cost Usenet providers but the quality gap has widened in recent years. Is it worth it to pay a few extra dollars more? It is for us, when you consider the difference in both quality and features. The main difference between bargain newsgroup services and premium options will be in retention. The leading providers offer over 11 years of full binary retention. This compares to incomplete and short retention from many brands on the market. You will also find extra features like Usenet search, web access, and VPN. The bottom line is to select a Usenet provider that meets both your needs and your budget. We’re here yo help you make the right decision to meet your needs.
- Speed & Reliability: Performance is a key factor that we consider when rating Usenet providers. Speed is important to just about all users so we want to make sure the services will meet your needs. There are a few steps you can take to ensure the best performance. The first is to connect to the nearest news server. The services on our list above will automatically route you to the best server location. You can also select from servers in North America and Europe. Connecting to a server that is further away can impact your speed. The other suggestion is to use a minimum number of connections to reach your desired download speed. Using more connections than necessary will actually slow you down and put undue overhead on your system. Pro tip: test the speed of your Usenet provider at different times of the day throughout the week. Also note the news server locations. Providers like Newshosting and UNS offer multiple server locations worlwide. This can make a big difference in terms of speed and redundancy.
- Retention & Completion: Providers like Nnewshosting, UNS, Easynews, and Eweka currently provide access to 11.5 years of retention across all newsgroups, both text and binary, and also continue to grow storage capacity — a very involved and very expensive undertaking. No posts are ever ‘expired,’ meaning these providers offer a true historical Usenet archive with BILLIONS of posts available. Other providers may have only a single year of retention (often times not even listing the number of days storage they provide), which is a tiny, tiny fraction of what you would be able to access with premium providers. The difference in the number of articles you can access with 1 year of retention vs 11.5 years of retention is more than 155,000,000,000 posts.
- Usenet client & search engine: This is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best Usenet provider. Are you new to newsgroups? If so then Easynews may be the best chose as they offer a web-based Usenet interface. All you need is your favorite web browser to access the service. Otherwise you can sign up to services that include their own Usenet client with search features. These options include Newshosting, Eweka, and Tweaknews. We should also mention UseNetServer as they offer a UNS Global Search feature through their website. The alternative is to use a third party client like SABnzbd, NZBGet, Newsbin, or NewsLeecher. The open-source options tie into popular NZB sites via API, while the premium newsreaders give you an optional search feature for a monthly fee. Pro tip: try Newshoting for US access and Tweaknews for Dutch access. Both offer a Usenet client with built-in search engine to find content, preview, and download without the need for additional software.
- Usenet & online privacy: This is an area that has grown in importance over the years. When we started out the main question was whether or not Usenet providers logged your usage. We can say that none of the services listed above log your Usenet downloads. The next question is what information is necessary to sign up for Usenet access? Most providers accept credit cards and Paypal. Bitcoin hasn’t really spread through the Usenet industry as it has in the VPN space. There is nothing illegal about any of the Usenet services listed above. The US providers are all large companies that comply with DMCA rules and therefore fall under safe harbor protection. I would not be nervous in the least signing up for any of the services. Pro tip: While it isn’t necessary, you can connect to Usenet servers. That’s all you need to do to encrypt your Usenet connections. We highly recommend using a VPN for other online activities.
Step 2 – Find a Newsreader (Best Usenet Clients)
We have found that the Usenet clients that are included with Easynews and Newshosting subscriptions work quite well. Beginners will want to turn to Easynews since they offer a web interface. This means that you won’t have to install any software to get started. Simply log into their website and fire up the web Usenet client to search for content, preview, and download. Newshosting offers a native app which means you will need to install it. The process is simple and the app will help you find and download content from your favorite newsgroups. European users will be happy to see that TweakNews offers a free newsreader (Usenet Wire) for Windows, Mac, and Linux. More advanced users can look to some of the popular open source apps. Our favorites include SABnzbd and NZBGet.
Step 3 – Find a NZB Site (Best NZB Sites)
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Ask 100 Usenet fans what their favorite NZB site is and you’ll likely get 50 different answers. When it comes to NZB sites or Usenet search engines, one size doesn’t fit all. You will want to figure out which solution works best for you. In the beginning we suggest using Easynews since their web interface is so darn simple to use. It will help you find content and download from years of retention without any Usenet experience. While the Easynews Usenet interface will serve most user’s needs, you can also look to third-party NZB sites to fill in the gaps. The most popular options will include a membership fee and often require an invite to join.