Who is your usenet provider, and do you like them?
July 5, 2004 9:29 PM   Subscribe

Who is your usenet provider, and do you like them? Retention, uptime, number of groups, logless access... I know that milage varies according to what one is looking for in a news server, but what usenet providers have you had good and bad experiences with? (More)

I used 100proofnews for a year because they had a good price ($8.95/mo), had no download limit(!) and lots of groups. Their problems, predictably, were poor uptime and retention.

I use usenet mostly for the mp3 binaries groups (strictly for evaluation purposes, of course), and nothing burns my biscuits like finding a great album posted with just a few of each song's parts missing because the server expired them.

I'm looking for a news server that has a reasonable download limit, access to many groups, and has a good history of uptime. A provider that doesn't keep logs is a plus, (*adjusts tinfoil hat*).
posted by squirrel to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to use Supernews because they were very light on filtering of "questionable" content. They do have an d/l limit these days, but their feeds were top-notch.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:11 PM on July 5, 2004

I've been exceedingly happy (as in use it daily) with my GigaNews, ngindex.com and newsleecher combo. ngindex allows you to browse and search online throught the miles of headers (binaries included) and will let you download the .nzb file associated with that post. (the nzb is just an xml file with the post number and group.) Newsleecher can be set up to automatically grab it from giganews which has approx 30 day retention on most groups. A pretty sweet combo.
posted by woil at 10:29 PM on July 5, 2004

dfn-cis -- no binary groups, but they are free and have a nice cleanfeed filter going on.

other than that I use my precious alumni account access from my uni, but I have heard good things about supernews.
posted by dorian at 10:37 PM on July 5, 2004

Easynews.com. $10/month for 10 gigs of downloads. In addition to a full Usenet feed, including all binaries, you get their amazing web-based interface... Global searching across all binary groups, and immediate downloading of decoded binaries. I can't recommend them enough.
posted by waxpancake at 11:08 PM on July 5, 2004

For the sweet spot in terms of the price/performance/retention combo, I like Octanews. The sysadmin built the service through comments on the newsgroup alt.binaries.news-server-comparison newsgroup. You can also preview the service for free at ReadFreeNews.Com. I also subscribe to easynews as well, mainly for the file interface.
posted by calwatch at 11:17 PM on July 5, 2004

I second dorian on the dfn.cis usenet server, although I believe they've changed their name recently to news.individual.net. They tend to carry even the most obscure groups and, of course, are free. Registration takes a day or two because accounts are approved on an individual basis.
posted by tracicle at 11:53 PM on July 5, 2004

Does anyone have a favorite nntp client for OS X? I use Forte Agent for XP and it's ok...
posted by gen at 2:02 AM on July 6, 2004

Are any of these accessible from the uk? I want more consistency from my news service - not posts that turn up days later.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:51 AM on July 6, 2004

Seconding Easynews. I cancelled my sub a few months ago to save money... but ended up signing back up again because my ISP's binary feed isn't reliable.
posted by prolific at 6:31 AM on July 6, 2004

Thirding Easynews. Fantastic speed, and they now allow you 8 gigs worth of download per month. And yes dash_slot, I'm in the UK. I do find however, that I'm using bittorrent a lot more for my binaries requirements these days.
posted by viama at 6:46 AM on July 6, 2004

Four for Easynews - I'm also in the UK. I'm planning to get a credit card from the Nationwide so I don't have to pay commission on the charge.

I should say - I live in mortal fear of having my credit card number picked up by some underworked law enforcement offficial. As far as I can tell, the feed is as close to uncensored as you can get, meaning the bad stuff is on easynews too - so an operation ore-style 'crackdown' is always a possibility. Easynews say they don't keep access logs of what you look at - which is both a blessing and a curse - as they can't prove your innocence.

I'm probably worrying too much though.
posted by ascullion at 7:36 AM on July 6, 2004

Does anyone have a favorite nntp client for OS X?

posted by ook at 8:09 AM on July 6, 2004

Does anyone have a favorite nntp client for OS X?


On preview: Jinx!
posted by jjg at 8:11 AM on July 6, 2004

another user of easynews here, using a newsreader you get 12.5GB/mo w/ free headers for $10/month.

a friend uses usernetserver.com which is $15/mo but no download limit. I've been considering switching to this when i get a dvd burner.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 8:45 AM on July 6, 2004

Response by poster: Weighing in on the client question, I recommend MT-Newswatcher for OSX, but I'll check out Unison now. Lots of good comments here; thanks and please continue.
posted by squirrel at 9:42 AM on July 6, 2004

Here is a wonderful page comparing all the major premium usenet providers.

Usenetserver.com is not a premium provider and has had lots of reports of missed articles. In Usenet, especially on the binary groups, you get what you pay for. Giganews and Easynews are widely regarded as the best in binaries.
posted by calwatch at 1:25 AM on July 9, 2004

I pay $80 annually at NewsGuy and get 15GB per month. That boils down to $6.65 per month for 15gigs. That's better than SuperNews, GigaNews, or EasyNews, the big 3 I hear mentioned most often.

Their servers are fast, with good retention. Their support is likeable and competent. They also have a nice setup where you can keep a pre-paid bank of overage bandwidth-on-demand, for occasions where you need to exceed your dl limit to finish that last little bit of a dl. Much better than waiting till next month, or buying a whole second account.

I don't know if they log what you're doing. Presumably, they comply with the law.
posted by scarabic at 6:12 PM on July 14, 2004

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