Most Usenet providers offer the barebones of what you need to subscribe to a newsgroup and download binaries. Newshosting takes things a step further by maxing out the features and wrapping it all up in a stunning, modern website.
Registered in the early days of the internet explosion (1997) Newshosting has a recognised pedigree in Usenet terms. Projecting confidence and professionalism, its web page is a demonstration of a modern sales page. You want the product, they have it, and you’re going to be enticed with the feeling the website wasn’t knocked up in Microsoft Frontpage Express in 2004.
Newshosting subscription options:
With servers in the USA, Netherlands, Germany, and a generic EU address, Newshosting also offers a zero log VPN and desktop newsreader client. There’s a free trial too, limited to a usable 30GB of download data.
Considering Newshosting? Its three bundles offer unlimited speeds, 12 years’ worth of data retention, the option of unlimited download data, and up to 60 simultaneous connections.
There’s also the free newsreader with a search tool, a downloadable desktop app compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The newsreader features a login prompt on launch, which means you can only use it to access Newshosting initially. However, it is possible to use the Options > Settings > Backup NNTP panel to add other Usenet service providers that you may subscribe to. This is a useful feature in the event of a service outage.
With popular newsgroups (binaries and text) preselected in the Bookmarks section, the newsreader can also provide previews of listed binaries in search results. This can help save time and bandwidth if you’re looking for a specific file.
The Newshosting client also supports NZB files, downloads whose parts are logged in an XML file for more effective downloading.
If something goes wrong with your Usenet access, what do you do? Well, Newshosting offers a subscriber-only control panel that provides all the information you need to manage your plan. It is here that you can access Support, where various user guides can be found for accessing Usenet, configuring the Newshosting Newsreader, and setting up the VPN.
There is also a web form for logging a support ticket to deal with further issues.
The holy grail of Usenet providers is retention. This is the length of time data is retained on Usenet. While the newsgroups have been around since the 1980s, the use of the platform as discussion boards largely ended in the mid-2000s in favour of a platform to upload files to (binaries). Retention enables current users to go back through the Usenet archive by so many days. (Historical archiving of Usenet beyond retention limits can be found on Google Groups and other sites.)
Newshosting boasts 4435 days retention, a little over 12 years at the time of writing. This means that binaries dating back to 2008 can be accessed, downloaded, and enjoyed. As such, Newshosting has one of the biggest Usenet archives.
Security and privacy
As important to Usenet activity as speed and retention is security and privacy.
Newshosting has the option of SSL encryption for connections to Usenet, via the usual port 563. The impact on speed is negligible, so using SSL should be convenient, as well as private.
As noted above, Newshosting has its own VPN, adding a further dimension of privacy to your activity. This is mainly to avoid traffic shaping tactics by ISPs, however, and keep your download speed as constant as possible throughout the day.
Prior to testing the speed of Newshosting, the internet connection was checked with Ookla’s Speedtest, resulting in a download speed of 63.30Mbps. Downloading an 864-day-old Raspberry Pi ISO compressed to 1.9GB took under 10 minutes, with the speed consistently over 2500Kbps, and for a few moments peaking around 3150Kbps.
Further downloads from varying retention periods, file sizes and types had similar results.
As a result, Newshosting is one of the fastest Usenet providers we’ve seen.
Three main subscriptions are available from Newshosting.
The Lite package is a monthly $10 (£7.75, €8.50) subscription, with 50GB download limit (gigabytes rollover at the end of the month), 30 simultaneous connections, full retention, and SSL.
Meanwhile, the Unlimited subscription is an annual payment of $155.40 (£120.37 or €132.05 which works out at $12.95 – or £10.02 or €11.01 a month) and gives you all the above plus unlimited downloads. It can also be subscribed to for 6 months at $83.47 (£64.65 or €70.90, which breaks down at $13.95 a month – equivalent to £10.81 or €11.86) or a basic $14.95 (£11.58 or €12.71) on a pay-monthly basis.
Finally, the XL Powerpack is $189.95 a year (£147.13, €161.44), working out at $15.83 (£12.236 or €13.45) per month. This gives you unlimited downloads and 60 connections, as well as bundling the VPN. The 6-month package for this is $99.95 (£77.42 or €84.95 which is equivalent to $16.66 a month, or £12.90/€14.16) or you can pay monthly at $19.95 (£15.45 or €16.96).
All Newshosting’s packages come with the free newsreader and the free trial. If you want the zero log VPN on the Lite and Unlimited packages, this is an extra $4.99 charge (£3.87/€4.24).
Many Usenet providers have key flaws in presentation that can hold them back. Others look and seem great, but don’t deliver on speed or features. Newshosting has both sides covered, providing a slick website with access to all the features you need, a newsreader with NZB support, and even a VPN.
Newshosting might be a little more expensive than some competitors, but overall it’s the best Usenet providers around.