Usenet Speed: Everything You Wanted to Know

Is your Usenet speed not what you’d like? Try these tips. 

usenet speed image (race car speedometer)

How to get maximum Usenet speed explained. 

Usenet is fast. In fact, if you’re using one of the better Usenet providers (check out our recommended best Usenet provider), your download speeds will only be limited by the speed of your Internet connection, allowing you to grab large files in just minutes – or even seconds. 

Of course, achieving balls-to-the-wall speeds may take a little tweaking. But not to worry, because we’ve compiled a handy checklist to help you maximize your Usenet speed.


How Fast is your Internet Connection?

All Internet isn’t created equal. Depending on your service provider, your plan, and even things like your router, your allotted bandwidth could be anywhere from a few hundred kilobits per second (Kbps) to more than a gigabyte per second (Gbps). That’s a huge difference!

So, the first step to maximizing your Usenet speed is to figure out what kind of bandwidth you’re working with.

That starts with a speed test, using a tool like http://www.speedtest.net/.

speed test image

First, measure your general Internet speed.


How Many Connections are You Using?

The most popular Usenet providers offer anywhere from 10 to 60+ simultaneous connections per account. But that doesn’t mean you should be using every connection you have.

In fact, when it comes to how many connections to use, less is often more.

Fortunately, it’s easy to find the ideal number of connections for your Usenet setup. While you’re downloading from newsgroups, slowly add connections until you’re using your full bandwidth – or at least until adding more connections causes your download speeds to start decreasing.

Top Tip – Regarding the number of connections to actually use, the best number of simultaneous connections for faster Usenet speed is usually between 8 to 15. That may surprise you, especially when you see Usenet providers touting as many as 50 simultaneous connections. Don't think that "the more, the better".

To find the sweet spot for your Usenet speed connections, start with 10 connections and then slowly increase the number and monitor your download speeds. Keep increasing the number of connections until the Usenet speed doesn't get any faster. If you put too many simultaneous connections, this will actually slow down your Usenet speed


Which News Server are You Using?

When you first start with your Usenet provider, you'll be setup with a default news server. But there are times when it’s not the best server for you.

There are a few things that can make your performance slower:

alternate news server for better Usenet speed image

Trying news servers closer to you often helps your Usenet speed (select to enlarge).

  • Server is geographically far from you
  • Server is under heavy load

The ports you’re using matter too. SSL ports, for instance, can slow down your connection in some situations.

In short, try changing servers (and in some cases even ports) until you find the combination that gives you the best Usenet speed.

For example, Newshosting has tons of news servers in the USA and at least 3 Continental European countries. So, if you live in the US, unless you have good reasons for connecting to a news server in Europe, make sure you are connecting to the US-based news server.


Is Your Router Working Properly?

All of your Internet traffic flows through your router, so if it’s not working properly, it can become a major throttle for your bandwidth.

Here are a few ways to fix your router’s performance, from easiest to most involved:

  • Restarting your router: Simply unplug your router for about 30 seconds, re-plug, and let it boot up.
  • Resetting your router: Resetting your router restores it to its factory settings, which can fix certain problems, but you’ll need to rename your network, create a new password, etc.
  • Using a wired connection: If your wireless connection isn’t getting the speeds you want, this could be an issue with either your router or your wireless card; try hooking your device up directly to your router with a network cable and see if it makes a difference.
  • Get a new or replacement router: If you’re still having problems, you may want to contact your ISP about replacing your router, or try buying a new (or better) router. To push the extreme speeds available with Usenet (100+ Mbps), you’re going to need a router that can handle it.

Are you Using a VPN?

While Usenet is inherently safer than torrenting, we still recommend using a VPN. Unfortunately, this may cause slower download speeds, but it’s more than worth it for the extra security, in our opinion.

Using a VPN with Usenet is a little more complex than that though. On a purely technical level it is true that a VPN will make your Usenet downloads slower than without the VPN.  That's because your data travels on an indirect path to/from the VPN servers before reaching your computer or device. However, because a VPN hides your Usenet activities from your ISP, your ISP will be prevented from detecting let alone throttling your Usenet speeds. So, ironically, using a VPN often helps increase your Usenet speed. 🙂

To minimize any technical speed loss while using a VPN with Usenet, experiment with different VPN server locations. In general, the more geographically close to you the VPN server is, the better. However, the apps of the best VPN services will display the current ping of its VPN servers, letting you choose the fastest one at any given time.  


Are you Downloading During Peak Hours?

The more people that are downloading at the same time, the slower everyone’s connection will be. Peak hours for Usenet are from around 4pm to 10pm EST (Eastern Standard Time).

Of course, you’re still welcome to download during these times, but expect your bandwidth to suffer. Try non-peak hours for the best speeds.

Some Usenet providers even offer off-peak packages - check out ExtremeUsenet.nl's Off-Peak discounted Usenet plans.


Which Usenet Provider are You Using?

Not all Usenet providers will allow you to use unlimited bandwidth. Here are a few of the best providers that do.

Fastest Usenet provider for users in the US


Fastest Usenet provider for users in Europe

  • Eweka - €7,00/month - 20 connections
  • TweakNews – €7,50/month – 40 connections
  • PureUsenet – €6,63/month – 12 connections

Conclusion: Getting the Fastest Usenet Speed

Working through the above steps should help you improve your Usenet download speeds and maximize your connection. Of course, it won’t work miracles – you’ll still be capped by the bandwidth allowance you pay for from your ISP.

How fast are your Usenet speeds? Let us know in the comments!

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