Serious Usenet Newsgroup Downloaders will be Attracted to UsenetServer
Since being established in 1999, UsenetServer has managed to become one of the most respected Usenet providers in the business. And their legions of users can’t be wrong…
Or can they? Is UsenetServer’s respect deserved? Let’s find out. We spent some time evaluating this Usenet newsgroup provider so you don’t have to. Here’s what we thought.
UsenetServer’s Plans and Rates
When it comes to plans and pricing, UsenetServer takes a ‘less is more’ approach. Their basic plan starts at $14.95 per month. Or you can take advantage of a discounted rate of $13.32 per month by buying three months for $39.95. Both plans include:
- unlimited transfers
- 10 connections
- free SSL
If you like, you can add 10 more connections for an extra $3 per month, and a VPN for another $4.99.
UsenetServer is also nice enough to offer free 14-day trials, which entitle you to 10GBs worth of downloads.
They also have a unique 3-day plan for $3, in case you just want to binge on Usenet for a few days without shelling out for a full month.
Where UsenetServer Shines
UsenetServer brings value to the table in more ways than one. Here’s some of the things we like most about their service.
One of the Most Affordable Usenet Providers
Who doesn’t love saving a little money? UsenetServer will help you do it.
Of course, it isn’t the rock bottom cheapest Usenet provider out there, but it’s still pretty darn affordable. In fact, at roughly half the cost of other industry leaders like Giganews at a much higher $29.99/month, price is one of UsenetServer’s biggest draws.
And when you’re on a budget, every buck counts.
Unlimited Data Transfers
Are you a heavy downloader with a fast internet connection? Then you’ll love UsenetServer’s unlimited transfers on all of their plans.
You can download and download… and download from their 100,000+ newsgroups to your heart’s content, without a care in the world. Well, you’ll still have to avoid throttling by your ISP, but you get the idea. There are few things as lovely as ‘unlimited’.
Great Retention and Stability
But unlimited downloads don’t mean much if you’re dealing with shoddy binaries and poor uptimes. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that with UsenetServer.
They offer 3065 days retention, along with 99% completion rates – and equally impressive uptimes. In short, UsenetServer is there when you need ‘em. For what it’s worth, we didn’t have any problems when evaluating the service.
Fast Download Speeds
We worried that with UNS’s unlimited transfers at such an affordable price, they may fall short in the download speed department. But we’re pleased to report that they passed that test with flying colors.
All of our downloads finished quickly and painlessly, leaving us pleasantly surprised. Between their data, completion rates, and speeds, you’re gonna need a bigger hard drive! That old one just isn’t going to cut it at this rate.
Solid Security and Privacy Protection
Your privacy is important. Heck, that’s one of the main reasons people choose Usenet in the first place, especially when compared to torrents.
And in that regard, UsenetServer is definitely solid. All accounts (other than the 3-day plan) come with free 256-bit SSL, which will keep your connections safe from prying eyes including your nosy ISP.
UsenetServer doesn’t log your downloads or activities either. But – and this is a big but – they do track some of your personal info for marketing. UsenetServer doesn’t accept anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin, so if you want to keep any personal information from your Usenet provider, UsenetServer may not be for you.
UsenetServer Offers a VPN
Of course, when it comes to privacy, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have a VPN, even for Usenet service providers like UsenetServer that have SSL connections. And UNS steps up to the plate in that regard – if you’re willing to shell out a little extra. If you already have a VPN, then you are already set and you can skip that option in your UNS plan.
In fact, when you consider how cheap VPNs like Private Internet Access are, you might be better off skipping UsenetServer’s offering.
If you do go with their VPN, you’ll be pleased to find out that it’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It’s also got a cool slider which lets users adjust their settings on a scale from ‘Speed’ to ‘Security’ until they get their preferences juuussst right.
Where UsenetServer Could be Better
We gave you the good, and now it’s time for the not so good. Here are the areas where UsenetServer could stand to improve.
Less Connections than Other Providers
UsenetServer’s plans offer anywhere from 10 to 20 connections, depending on the plan you get. Unfortunately, that’s far less than some of their competitors offer – in theory, this makes it harder to fully take advantage of UNS’s unlimited transfers.
In short, if the maximum possible number of connections is important to you, there are definitely better options than UsenetServer.
So-so Customer Service
We had a small issue during signup that gave us a good excuse to try out UsenetServer’s support system. And to be honest, they fell a little short.
Unlike Giganews, EasyNews and some of the other major Usenet newsgroup providers, UsenetServer does not offer 24/7 support, meaning we were left waiting for 5+ hours for a response to our issue. Though, to be fair, we did send our message late in the evening. But nighttime is when Usenet is the most fun. 🙂
UsenetServer also lacks the live chat feature that Giganews has, meaning you’re stuck communicating via email.
Of course, UsenetServer definitely isn’t the only provider without 24/7 support and live chat. But when some of their closest competitors do offer this, we need to point it out to you.
That’s one of the reasons we consider UNS a less-than a beginner-friendly provider.
There’s No Newsreader App Included
None of UsenetServer’s plans come with a newsreaders app, unlike some of their main competitors. For example, Usenet providers Newshosting and Giganews are famous for their bundled Usenet newsreader apps.
But of course, it’s easy to grab a free (or even a paid) newsreader app of your choice. We have our favorite newsreader apps and we’re sure you have yours.
We mention it as a drawback because the lack of an included newsreader can be a negative especially for new users. Many newcomers to Usenet appreciate a turnkey Usenet provider package that bundles its plans with a newsreader app that works great right from the get go without any settings to fiddle with. If that sounds like something you need, check out Newshosting or Giganews instead.
No Anonymous Payment Process
UsenetServer doesn’t offer Bitcoin as a payment option. But to be clear, the vast majority of other newsgroup providers don’t either.
If you’re extremely concerned about your privacy and don’t want to provide any personal information with your payment details, this is something you’ll want to keep in mind, since you won’t be able to go completely anonymous.
UsenetServer Review Wrap-Up
What’s our final impression of UsenetServer?
In the end, UsenetServer isn’t as beginner-friendly or full-serviced as, say, Newshosting or Giganews. There’s no newsreader, it has fewer connections, and its customer support is middle-of-the-road.
But it makes up for it with its low prices, combined with unlimited transfers and high completion rates for downloads. These three factors make it an extremely popular and respected choice in the hardcore Usenet community.
If you’re a seasoned Usenet user who regularly relies on Usenet for downloading, including for fully automated newsgroup downloading, UsenetServer is a solid fit. But if you’re brand new to Usenet and just starting out, we think there are better options to choose from.
In short, UsenetServer is a budget-friendly, no-frills option that competes on price and no limits when it comes to downloads rather than on features.