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How to Choose the Right Usenet Provider for Your Needs

The hardest part of Usenet is finding the right provider, especially if you’re new to the protocol. Finding the provider that meets your specific needs is crucial to getting the most out of your Usenet subscription. But it doesn’t have to be a puzzle. 

For great deals on many of these providers, take a look at our Usenet Deals page.

Here are the top features you should look for when choosing a Usenet provider.

Retention Rate​

We’ve said this before: retention rate is the most important feature of a Usenet provider. Retention is the number of days’ worth of posts that are available on a provider’s servers. The higher the retention rate, the more articles are available to search and read. Right now, the Usenet providers with the highest retention rates (Newshosting, Eweka, Easynews, and UsenetServer) have 5817+ days. This increases by one day every day, which is called “spooling retention,” so posts no longer expire.

Security Features​

Most modern Usenet providers include SSL encryption on all their NNTP connections. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the gold standard for online encryption, used to protect data transferred by banks and government agencies. If a Usenet provider doesn’t include SSL connections, then you should look elsewhere. Since SSL has become so common, many providers are adding additional security features to their Usenet plans. These can include virtual private networks, antivirus software, ad blockers, malware protection, and more. The biggest benefit of these additional security services is that they generally protect all your Internet activity, not just Usenet. A free VPN or antivirus is an excellent feature that will make you safer online and is worth considering.

Newsreader with Usenet Search​

The biggest stumbling block for a lot of people when it comes to getting started with Usenet is the newsreader. Newsreaders, while being similar to web browsers for newsgroups, don’t have the popularity or cultural understanding of web browsers. It can be difficult to find the right one or even know where to start looking. That’s why it’s helpful to have a Usenet provider that includes a free newsreader. In most cases, these are not only easy to use for beginners, but come pre-configured for that service. All you need is your Usenet username and password, then you’ll be able to instantly connect to the service. It also helps if the newsreader has Usenet search built in. An integrated Usenet search feature eliminates the need to find an Indexer, which sometimes requires an additional subscription and adds new steps to finding the articles you want. A solid newsreader that includes search functions is a huge value add for a provider.

Speeds and Data​

Depending on your local Internet connection, speed can be a serious factor in which Usenet provider you settle on. Faster Internet means that you would benefit from a provider that includes unlimited Usenet speeds on their account. However, if your Internet is slower, you might consider saving money by subscribing to a plan with a speed cap since you would be unlikely to reach it anyway. Similarly, the amount of data you intend to use in a month should be considered. A lot of Usenet providers have specific data allotments that come with your plan. When you reach that limit, you either need to wait for the next month or purchase additional gigabytes. Finding a service that includes unlimited data goes a long way to avoiding additional charges, especially if you’re not entirely sure how much data you intend to use in a month.

Server Locations​

Your Usenet connection can be affected by the distance between your physical location and where your provider’s Usenet servers are located. This is especially true if there is an ocean between you and the servers, which can slow down your connection. A good way to approach this is to find providers with servers on multiple continents or in multiple locations. Large server footprints can improve your Usenet performance and make it easier to browse your favorite newsgroups. Another option is to sign up for Usenet service based in different places so you have access to a wider variety of servers. Many advanced Usenet users have subscriptions on multiple providers for this exact reason.

Price

Most people have a budget of some sort, so it’s important to consider the cost of your Usenet subscription and how much value you’re getting for that. There is a wide range of available Usenet plans at different price points. While not always the case, often the less a Usenet subscription costs, the fewer features you’ll get with the plan. Lower cost plans tend to have speed and data caps associated with them, as well as limited numbers of connections. Further, they often don’t include additional benefits like VPNs. Fortunately, even the best Usenet plans aren’t very expensive, especially if you use any of the great Usenet deals that we have collected here at Top10Usenet.

Bottom Line​

In a nutshell, finding your ultimate Usenet provider is about knowing what you want. Whether you’re into digital history, European performance, or just want to surf the digital waves with ease, there’s a Usenet provider out there waiting for you. So pick the provider that appeals to you and let the Usenet adventure begin!

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