The best Usenet provider offers uncensored newsgroups access, good value, a free trial, privacy protections and fast download speeds
We remain impressed by the quality of service offered by today's best Usenet providers. A good Usenet provider will enable you to download a staggering number of videos, images, audio and software applications, completely uncensored, and at blisteringly fast speeds.
Thanks to strong (SSL) encryption used to protect downloads, and the fact that Usenet providers rely on maintaining their customers’ privacy as a business model, downloading content via Usenet is also a safe way to get the content you love.
We should also not forget, this being Usenet, that these services let you to participate in the zany, chaotic, and completely uncensored world of newsgroup discussions, if you like. Enjoy!
Our Picks for Best Usenet Provider 2017
This table summarizes our latest recommendations for the best Usenet providers, based on up-to-date research. Scroll down to see details about each Usenet service. And scroll further down for a quick guide on what to look for when choosing a newsgroup provider yourself.
|Monthly Cost (/y)|
|Trust Pilot Rating [?]|
• Free VPN for annual subscribers
• Free fast newsreader included
Overall Best Usenet Provider – Newshosting
Boasting uncensored and unrestricted access to over 100,000+ newsgroups, with a days retention period, and a 99% completion rate, Newshosting also features 30-60 concurrent connections as well as unlimited speed and data transfer.
The fact that Newshosting keeps no logs of your activity online, or of your posts to, or downloads from, newsgroups, plus the fact that transfers are protected by strong 256-bit SSL encryption, means that it will keep your Usenet activity private.
For those who want even more privacy, Newshosting also offers a VPN service, which it throws in free for annual subscribers.
While more experienced users may prefer accessing newsgroups via their favorite Usenet software, Newshosting’s offer of a pretty good and free Usenet browser makes the service a great starting point for newbies. Newshosting allows a whopping 30 connections, ensuring fast download speeds.
Newshosting costs $8.34/m (annually) or $9.99/m (month-to-month). It also has one of the most generous free trials available of 14 days / 30 GB.
Best Usenet Provider for Images & Videos – EasyNews
EasyNews is perfect for those completely new to Usenet as it offers a web-based interface which makes using Usenet as easy as using Google. Just search, preview and then watch or download.
EasyNews makes finding videos, images and audio files as easy as 1, 2, 3. Free 14-day trial accounts are available (> go to ‘Usenet Plans’ > ‘Free Account’), so you can always try it first risk-free. Go to EasyNews or read our full review.
Highest Quality Usenet Provider 2017 – Giganews
The price of Giganews' headline Diamond plan may scare some people off, but they also have a Pearl plan starting at $4.99/month.
Giganews is best known for its high-quality customer support and its fast, free newsreader, Mimo, bundled with all plans.
If you prefer to try out Giganews before committing to it, they offer a generous 14-day free trial for all plans too.
How to Choose the Best Usenet Provider for You
Every Usenet customer is different. Some are heavy daily downloaders while others may be newsgroup weekend warriors. Some are happy to splurge while others are on a tight budget. Maybe you are new to Usenet and appreciate a package bundled with a free Usenet browser/newsreader and VPN, while others might already have their favorite tools in place.
In other words, the “best Usenet provider” for you might be different than that which appeals to your friend or which that guy on Reddit is always going on about.
Here's an overview of the things you should look at when trying to determine which Usenet provider is best for you.
- Price: Expect to pay around $8 to $20 per month, with discounts for purchasing longer periods. It is increasingly common for providers to include VPN protection with longer orders.
- Data transfer limits: the higher the limits, the more you can download (hint: unlimited data is good!)
- Number of newsgroups: this includes binaries newsgroups, which contain downloadable image, video, music and software files. If you are interested in a specific newsgroup, you should search (or browse) the newsgroups a provider carries before signing up for its service.
- Newsgroup retention: the higher the retention period (that is, how long the provider keeps old newsgroup posts), the more binaries will be available to download. Retention periods typically start at around 1200 days, but as we can see above, the best Usenet providers offer 2800+ day retention periods.
- Completion rate: there are few things in life more irritating than downloading a file, only to find that it halts at 90% completion because the remaining parts are not available. Nearly all Usenet providers claim 90%+ completion rates, although this can vary for a number of reasons and why Usenet block accounts can also be a good idea.
- Server Locations: The closer you are to the news servers the faster your downloads. For example, if you are a European Usenet customer, the best Usenet provider for your needs will be different than for customers based in the US or Canada.
Do remember, however, that the performance of any given provider can vary depending on factors such as your location, the time of day you download content, and how your ISP deals with encrypted or heavy traffic. Fortunately, this is what free trials are for. We fully encourage our readers to take advantage of these, so that you can find out which provider is the best for you.
Is a VPN Necessary for Usenet?
It is common these days for Usenet providers to offer “plus VPN packages” which are thrown in for free with longer-term signups. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a secure encrypted tunnel between your computer (or device) and a VPN server, through which all your Internet traffic passes.
Using a VPN has a number of big advantages:
Your ISP cannot see what you get up to on the Internet: all it can see is that you are connected to a VPN server (which is perfectly legal almost everywhere.) Not only does this provide a welcome additional layer of protection to the standard SSL encryption used for Usenet downloads, but it provides a high level of privacy while surfing the Internet in general. If you activate a VPN, not even your ISP will be able to detect that you are downloading from Usenet.
Your IP address appears to be that of the VPN server: this improves privacy by masking your true IP address from anyone on the Internet trying to watch your activity. In addition, by connecting to servers in different locations you can “geo-spoof” your location in order to access services that are restricted based on where you live.
You are protected when using WiFi hotspots: because your Internet connection to the VPN is encrypted, your data cannot be hacked when using a public Wi-Fi hotspot, even if you connect to a compromised access point.
A VPN is a great general purpose privacy tool (see Best VPN), and makes a great “plus” when choosing a Usenet plan, especially as these typically offer a VPN at much lower prices (or even for free) than paying for a stand-alone VPN plan.
Best Usenet Provider 2017 Wrap-up
The quality of good Usenet services continues to grow, with ever increasing data transfer limits, number of newsgroups on offer, retention periods, and so on. We also thoroughly approve of the trend to add low-cost VPN packages to plans, as these provide a robust security upgrade for all your Internet use.