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How We Determine Rankings

Usenet Providers all have different service levels and quality. At Top10Usenet, we take our jobs seriously and base our rankings on detailed testing of all the Usenet providers in our community combined with quantitative analysis of the results of the following key service indicators.

All categories are rated from 1-5 and averaged for an overall star rating.

Retention

The higher the retention rate, the larger the Usenet archive is for you to explore. High retention also equals higher article completion and access to more, particularly older, articles. It’s important to  Top 10 Usenet that we highlight the Usenet services that preserve the entire historical Usenet archive because our community cares most about retention and completion.

Providers that include spooling retention, which is retention that increases by one day every day, receive more points because it means that posts don’t expire. Much of Usenet history has been lost due to low retention rates early in the life of the protocol, so we highlight providers that are working to preserve Usenet today while giving customers the largest available archive from which to search.

Many providers do not add to their retention archive all the time due to the cost of storing the full, continuing feed of Usenet posts. These providers either collect Usenet posts sporadically whenever they buy new servers, or they only store a small number of popular Usenet posts and not the full Usenet feed. This factors heavily into our ranking.

Performance

Regular speed testing is done on every available Usenet server for a set amount of time and the speeds averaged. We use the maximum number of connections allowed to each server to evaluate their speeds. We don’t try to optimize the number of connections to find the best possible number because it adds too many variables to the tests if they want to remain relevant. More connections might improve speeds for us but reduce them for you, so we only test using the maximum.

We test all connections and search features with the same article requests to keep tests consistent from provider to provider. In cases where an article’s age is outside of a provider’s retention rate, we will note that and will mention the retention rate in our review.

We test for speed, completion rates, connection quality, and whether requested articles arrive corrupted in any way.

Privacy and Security

There are three key security features that are necessary for a safe and secure Usenet experience and one that is nice to see.

  1. SSL security: All our recommended Usenet providers encrypt user connections to their Usenet server using SSL. SSL is crucial to protect user privacy while  browsing Usenet.
  2. Privacy policy: We read through all publicly posted privacy policies (and note when there isn’t one) to make sure that a provider doesn’t keep activity logs, they don’t sell Usenet browsing data to advertisers, and they have taken the steps necessary to protect their users from governments and hackers.
  3. Additional security measures: SSL security only encrypts Usenet activity specifically. Providing access to a VPN, ad blocker, antivirus, or other online security features with a Usenet subscription is a huge bonus.

Price and Value

Our focus is not on low prices, but the ratio of price to features (“value”). A low price provider with very few features might be ok for limited use cases, but doesn’t necessarily merit a high rating because it doesn’t provide enough value. Some providers may have many features, but charge too much, again less value. We also take industry price averages into account in our evaluation. Our highest ratings go to the best values in the Usenet marketplace.

Extra Features for New Users

Since many of our readers are new to Usenet or just starting to discover the possibilities of the NNTP protocol, we look for features that help out new members of the community like: detailed documentation, pre-configured newsreaders, integrated Usenet search, or any other feature designed to make it easier to start using Usenet.

We don’t consider tutorials or help with advanced features like automation to be necessary here. While it’s nice to help people get more out of their Usenet subscription, our focus is on helping new users start using the protocol.

Bottom Line

There is always room for interpretation when evaluating Usenet providers, but we’ve tried to quantify our evaluation criteria across all Usenet providers for an accurate picture of the entire landscape. We at Top 10 Usenet believe that these criteria are the most important to consider when choosing your Usenet provider. Using our reviews as your guide, consider what’s most important to you when deciding which Usenet provider you’re going to subscribe to or buy a block from.

Whatever provider or providers you do choose, we hope we’ve been able to help you reach a conclusion and that you enjoy Usenet as much as we do.

Top10Usenet

Top10Usenet

Top10Usenet is dedicated to bringing you reviews of Usenet services.