Someone didn't follow the first rule of usenet... now we're all screwed.
June 25, 2008 4:02 PM   Subscribe

Grrrr, Time Warner Cable has unceremoniously removed their stellar USENET access. What do I do now?

First of all, Noooooooo! For those of you who didn't know, Time Warner gave unlimited d/l and awesome retention at shocking speeds, so this is a big loss for a lot of file-sharers and online discusserers.

1) Any recommendations on premium USENET Providers? I end up using around 12 - 20 gig/month.

2) WTF? Do I have any legal recourse here? Well, not legal for obvious reasons... but is there anything I can formally do to make myself feel better about Time Warner's dastardly removal of the second best thing on the tubes?

3) Now I have NO reason to subscribe to TWC/Roadrunner. But in my area (Raleigh, NC), there seems to be no other alternative. Any thoughts? Could I shift down to a lesser bandwidth solution and still get eye melting speeds through my premium news server?

4) I've been known to accidentally d/l the occasion bit o' proprietary material. Audiobooks and daily shows and the like. Should I be concerned about giving my credit card information over to a premium provider?

posted by willie11 to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
posted by cgomez at 4:13 PM on June 25, 2008
posted by cgomez at 4:13 PM
They actually closed that loophole. I read some threads on dslreports and slickdeals that someone emailed customer support and they locked it down. For a day the server was wide open, but I can no longer connect to it, I'm in SoCal and have TWC/RR. I'm guessing its limited to Bright House Networks Road Runner connections only.

My friend uses Giganews, he reports it works well and has excellent speed, I will probably be signing up with them shortly as well.
posted by aGee at 4:21 PM on June 25, 2008

1) I have a giganews account through my ISP, and the speed/retention/group count is nothing short of dreamy. I use it strictly for binaries though.
2) Do you have a contract with Time Warner that specifies you'll receive Usenet access? That would probably be a way out of your contract with them, if nothing else.
3) The speed of your Usenet data transfer will be limited by the overall speed of your internet connection, but you probably will be able to get faster speeds from Usenet than you will anywhere else.
4) In my 15 years of working with and for various ISPs, I have never heard of anyone that logs Usenet traffic (download activity, anyway), because of the sheer amount of data involved. As far as internet piracy goes, it's still the safest/biggest/fastest game.
posted by bizwank at 4:25 PM on June 25, 2008

Response by poster: I found this list of providers a minute ago. Some are giving discounts to TWC/Verizon customers left in the dark.
posted by willie11 at 4:37 PM on June 25, 2008

If you just need to read text groups and occasionally post, check out Aioe. It's free.

If you want the binaries too, check out Power Usenet. They resell Giganews service at a lower price.
posted by kindall at 4:52 PM on June 25, 2008

I like Easynews. Their search engine makes downloading stuff via newsgroups as simple as Google.
posted by smackfu at 4:54 PM on June 25, 2008

TWC's Usenet access was not stellar. I finally switched to a pay provider ( and was amazed how slow TWC's access was. Easily double what I was getting. I also, ahem, tested it out on a 100mbps line and managed to get up to 2900KB/s in bursts. This wasn't even on their "high speed" account. I suppose Giganews is similar.

Look at this as a good thing. I'm sure TWC will be lowering their bill or increasing our speeds to make up for this...
posted by geoff. at 4:56 PM on June 25, 2008

I'm binary-only, but I'm also an Easynews user (almost 6 years now). They are more expensive per-gig but imho, make up for it with fantastic web interface features. If you feel like dling via nntp is a pita and you're either willing to pay a little more for convenience or you are a light downloader, definitely take a look.

There was a recent to-do about the implementation of a separate pay level, but they handled it very gracefully under public pressure (they were getting a LOT of negative feedback). Other than that I've been 100% happy with them.
posted by fishfucker at 5:04 PM on June 25, 2008 is the best "cheap" usenet provider. I was on giganews but they are expensive.

If you can hack it, try one of those 3$ for 3 day unlimited access and download all you can.
posted by wongcorgi at 5:08 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wow, Newsgroupdirect seems really reasonable. (Thanks for that link, willie11)
Anyone had experience with them?
posted by bink at 5:11 PM on June 25, 2008

If you're just doing text, (a.k.a. "the German server") is excellent.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:17 PM on June 25, 2008

I'm super happy with newsguy. I've been using them (binary and text) for years with absolutely no complaints.
posted by toxic at 9:11 PM on June 25, 2008

1) Here is a more complete list of premium providers.

I have personally used, and would highly recommend NewsHosting, but I recently switched to GigaNews as I wanted more retention. No complaints so far.

4) No. Don't worry about it.
posted by st0rey at 1:57 AM on June 26, 2008

Post of mine from the thread about the closure:

Regarding premium news providers, I use and would recommend Giganews for its huge 200 day retention and speed - maxes out my bandwidth at 2.4 megabytes/sec in the UK. It is a bit more of a pricey option at $25USD/month for unlimited downloads. Easynews is a good cheaper option with a nifty web interface, something Giganews doesn't have, though it does have download limits.
posted by Onanist at 3:44 AM on June 26, 2008

I've been with usenetserver for about 5 years. All binary and I haven't had any issues.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:00 AM on June 26, 2008

Response by poster: Ah, I completely missed this relevant and recent posting on the blue. Check it out.
posted by willie11 at 5:15 AM on June 26, 2008

Response by poster: Is there a reason I should invest in a plan that has SSL?

Also, read the comments in the above post on the "death" of usenet from the blue a few weeks back. Gorgeous and classic.

Metafilter really is what I wanted usenet to be 10 years ago. I wonder if, 20 years from now, Metafilter will suffer a similar fate and evolve into a porn/warez delivery system built over a social community and dipped in secret sauce?
posted by willie11 at 5:49 AM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding easynews. I've been a member for years. $10 a month and their web interface takes care of putting all the pieces together - I've never had a need for a newsgroup reader, although I also deal only with binaries. In fact, not only do they automatically put all the file-pieces together so you can just click on the link to a file, but any multi-zip/rar posts also get put together and are presented as a single link. Say for instance you're looking for a movie... when browsing via their web interface, you would see all the segmented .rar files as created by the person who posted them, say .r00 through .r99 (which if you wanted you could add all 100 files to your download queue and off you go). But after the listing of the files there's another links for the 'unzipped' version which is a link to contents, ie "myvideo.mpg". Whereas you could just click on that link and start watching the video immediately. This is extremely handy and saves quite a bit of work. I use it quite a bit to browse music from artists I've never heard of. If I had to download entire zip archives, unzip them,then open them individually I probably wouldn't bother. This way I can click a link, the mp3 begins streaming, and if I don't like the first 10 seconds I move on to something else. Their interface is rather 'web 1.0' but I don't go there for the flash and I'd rather they focus their efforts on keeping their data center in top shape (which they have).

I've never run out of bandwidth, and whatever you don't use each month gets rolled over into the next month. I think I have about 500gigs in my bank right now - more than I'll ever need.

And their global search is awesome - one search will check every newsgroup for whatever you happen to be looking for.
posted by MarkLark at 8:54 AM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

« Older Why is my minivan not selling?   |   Perm specialist in San Francisco? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.