Can anyone offer some advice about services like AlltheNewsgroups or GigaNews?
November 24, 2004 2:26 PM   Subscribe

My new ISP does not provide a news server. Can anyone offer some advice about services like AlltheNewsgroups or GigaNews?

(These are just the first two I stumbled upon... Any feedback about these, or similar services, would be helpful)

Thanks!
posted by JeffL to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It depends on what you're looking for. If you're not interested in downloading binaries, you can register for a free account on individual.net. As for pay services, I use octanews. They have a pay as you go plan where you purchase blocks of usage as you use/need them. This works out in your favor, since you don't have to rush to use a monthly allotment. They also have a pretty decent retention rate.
posted by SteveInMaine at 2:46 PM on November 24, 2004


I left Giganews when they started a bandwidth cap. Went to Supernews/Critical Point and have not looked back since.
posted by Woney at 2:49 PM on November 24, 2004


While it's sometimes slow, and not the best retention time ever, I find astraweb good enough and amazingly cheap for their unlimited accounts (when they are available).

On average, speeds are about 2 mbits. On bad days, 100 - 200 kbits. Good days, 3+ Mbits.
posted by shepd at 3:04 PM on November 24, 2004


I use alibis.com, and have no complaints. The 500Mb a day download limit can seem rather stingy until you realise that's per server, and they have 8 which cover binaries, and others which are text newsgroups only...
posted by benzo8 at 3:06 PM on November 24, 2004


I've used newshosting.com on and off. They have a nice web interface that allows you to search across all their groups (over 50,000). SteveInMaine's suggestion of octanews sounds great - I hate the monthly subscription model and their blocks of usage are very competitively priced.
posted by letitrain at 3:24 PM on November 24, 2004


Which other offerings have block-based pricing and good binary coverage?
posted by Gyan at 3:43 PM on November 24, 2004


I love easynews.
posted by modofo at 4:26 PM on November 24, 2004


An old AskMe on newsgroups
posted by milkrate at 4:28 PM on November 24, 2004


Anyone use Panic's serivce?

http://www.panic.com/unison/access.php

I really like the client, and my ISP nntp is super bare/flaky.
posted by rschroed at 6:21 PM on November 24, 2004


If you're not interested in downloading binaries, why not Google Groups? Is there something wrong with it that I'm missing? My ISP even has a usenet server, but I use Google Groups anyway.
posted by anomie at 6:33 PM on November 24, 2004


Google Groups does not show everything within text groups. There are quite a few posters who don't allow their posts to be archived, and a surprising amount of those actually do post interesting things.

Also, Google Groups is definitely not operating in real time. Posts on some groups show up a day or two after they were posted.
posted by Electric Elf at 10:52 PM on November 24, 2004


anomie - I'm guessing, but if someone is looking into the pay servers, they're probably looking for the binaries or porn. (Which really, I have no problem with, in fact I'd call those two things "The Best of the Web" any day over beloved metafilter)

I'd bet money that the percentage of subscribers to giganews that use it for other purposes is below 1%.

A good thing to remember is that you need to hop over the public internet to get to the pay usenet services. While many of them have great high-bandwidth providers, your local ISP's server is on the inside of their network and likely to be faster. I use TW Road Runner in NYC and I get 1500 KB/s to their NNTP server while I've never seen anything higher than 300 KB/s to one of the commercial servers.

Therefore its a really good plan to try to use your ISP's server primarily (even if its got crappy retention) and fill in the missing pieces with a pay server. It saves you money in subscription fees and saves time in the download.
posted by PissOnYourParade at 11:00 PM on November 24, 2004


I can't stress enough how much you need to cheack out easynews. They are cheap, they have a wonderful web interface, they have a global search which allows you to search ALL NEWSGROUPS at once, and they don't keep track of what you do out there. All for $10 a month.

I don't work for them, just a satisfied customer. They're one of the best-kept secrets on the net.
posted by ascullion at 1:05 AM on November 25, 2004


I'm trying easynews. Thanks for the suggestions.
posted by JeffL at 4:36 PM on November 25, 2004


With the rollover download quota, Easynews is the best out there right now.
posted by calwatch at 7:51 PM on November 25, 2004


Anyone use Panic's serivce?

I'm using it now as part of the first month @ 50% off. It seems to have a decent completion rate and quick downloads [they are reselling Supernews I believe].

I used Easynews in the past and loved it but dropped it as I had to cut expenses to the bone last spring.

My plan was to use the Panic one for the discount month and if it sucked switch to Easynews. I'll probably stay with the Panic service since it does the job and is only $1 more. And I like the folks at Panic so I'll support them as long as the services stays good.
posted by birdherder at 11:46 PM on November 25, 2004


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