I'm very cautious when I see sites making claims that they offer a service for free for a lifetime. There is usually a catch, just like there is when you see hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth, but that's another story.
The Dutch Usenet provider XSUsenet is currently offering free lifetime accounts to access the Usenet. Usenet in this regard includes access to binary groups which usually are not offered for free Usenet users.
You get free life time access, a solid 600 day retention, no IP retention, no personal details on file. All you need to do to sign up is to enter information into the registration form on the provider homepage.
Here you need to enter a valid email address and a country (only Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are selectable). Once done you get the login and server details send to the email address that you have entered in the form.
You can then use the information to connect to the Usenet. The speed is capped at 1Mbit per second at two connection tops. Users who need more speed or connections can upgrade their account to premium access starting at $6.99 for a 100 Mbit connection per month.
Free Usenet clients that you can use are the web based SABnzbd or Grabit. Please note that Usenet or newsgroups are not only about downloading binary files. You find many discussion groups there, Mozilla is for instance using the Usenet for some of their development discussions.
It is likely that the company will eventually close down the creation of new free accounts. I'd suggest you grab a free account as soon as possible.
I have tested the service and it worked just fine. I received the confirmation email with the Usenet server information in my email. Setup was a breeze and connection speed was as advertised.
Users who are just starting with the Usenet, or want to try it without giving away personal information can use the service to do just that. It is not anonymous though, considering that the service still sees the IP that you signed up with and that you connect with.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.