How to pick the right Usenet provider

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 1, 2013
Updated • Nov 10, 2014

If you never came into contact with the Usenet before, it is quite the challenge to get started. Not only do you need to select a Usenet provider to gain access to it in first place, you also need to pick a software that lets you do so, and understand how it all works.

Selecting a provider can be a frustrating experience, as you are confronted with new terms that you may have troubles understanding, or at least putting into context.

There is a lot that can go wrong here, especially if you pick a Usenet provider that is charging you for months in advance as you may lose a lot of money if you pick wrong.

Usenet terminology

First thing we need to do is look at the various terms used by Usenet providers to get a better understanding of them, and make educated decisions in the end.

Lets get started.

  • Completion Rate  - This refers to the availability of articles on the provider's server. Files and articles may become corrupt during the transfer to the Usenet or thereafter, and while you can still download them when that happens, you may not be able to access them due to the corruption. Par files have been created for file uploads to counter this, but you should not rely on this solely. Verdict: The closer to 100% the better.
  • Retention - The value in days defines for how long articles -- that is textual contents or binary contents -- are stored by the Usenet provider.  Verdict: The higher the better
  • Connections - The number of connections that you can create at the same time to a server of the provider. This value depends largely on your Internet speed and the output of a single line of the provider. Unless you are on Gigabit Internet, it is not that of an important value. Verdict: More connections are not always better, as you can max out your line with fewer usually, but they do not hurt either.
  • Bandwidth - There are unlimited plans, which let you download as much as you can during a given billing period, and limited plans, which only let you download up to the limit of the account. Verdict: Depends on what you want to use it for. If you want to download a lot and have a reasonably fast connection, unlimited is the way to go.
  • Security - You should make sure that the provider supports SSL connections
  • Server location - A server location closer to you usually provides you with better speed and connectivity.
  • Uploading - While all providers allow you to download from the Usenet, not all offer uploading access as well.
  • Extras - Some Usenet companies offer extras on top of the plans. This can be access to a custom Usenet client, a VPN account, web access, or other amenities.
  • NZB files - These files contain information about articles that have been uploaded to the Usenet. Since some files are split into multiple parts, they make sure that you download all required parts effortlessly from the Usenet.
  • Par files - Parity files that you can use to repair damaged archives.

Picking the right Usenet Provider

Before you pick a provider, you should be in the clear what you want to use the Usenet for. Will you be a light or heavy user, mostly use it to participate in discussions, to distribute files. or file downloads?

Once that is out of the way, you know whether you need unlimited bandwidth or can work with limited bandwidth instead.

While limited plans are usually -- somewhat -- cheaper than unlimited plans, it is important to understand how that impacts your downloading.

A single TV episode for example sits at around 250 to 300 Megabyte. Make it HD and you are at 700 Megabytes. Uncompressed DVDs are about 4 Gigabytes each, and Blu-Ray's can break the 40 Gigabyte mark easily.

Note: Those are just examples. I'm in no way suggesting to use the Usenet to download copyrighted TV shows or movies.


It is important to research the providers that you are aiming for before you sign up. What you want to find out are the following information:

  1. How is the overall service?
  2. How is the real completion rate?
  3. How are transfer rates?
  4. How is support?
  5. How stable is the service in general?
  6. Are getting files pulled from the servers regularly?

You won't find those information on the provider's website. While you can test the support by opening a new support request and clocking the response time, it is usually better to use search engines to find out more about the provider.

Signing up

Update: I switched to UsenetBucket recently. Their plans start at €2.95 per month for unlimited downloads capped at 10 Mbit. You can get faster plans for €4.95 (40 Mbit cap) and €12.95 (400 Mbit cap).

Once you have done the research, you may be ready to sign up. Most providers offer trials that you can sign up for, to test their service without committing directly.

It is a great way of finding out if a provider is keeping up its end of the bargain or not. If you notice slow transfer speeds during the trial, or many incomplete files, or other issues, then you should cancel the account right away again and head over to another provider.

Tools to get you started

Here are some tools and services that can be really useful to you, depending on how you use the Usenet:

  • Usenet search engines - You can use these services to find files or information on the Usenet without having to do so in the client.
  • Newsbin Pro review - The best Usenet client in my opinion. Not free, but worth every penny.
  • NZB Downloader - A simple program designed to use NZB files for downloading.

Closing Words

You are probably wondering which provider I have selected for my Usenet adventures. I have been a happy Giganews customer for years, and see no reason in changing to another provider. It is a premium provider on the other hand, and if you do not want to spend that much money, you may find providers such as Newshosting or Easynews which provide nearly the same features for less than half the price.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.