One of the chief considerations for consumers when picking a service provider is, “How fast is it?” Different Usenet providers deliver very different experiences, but remember that there are two factors at play. Your speed depends in part on the Usenet service you choose, but it also depends on your own internet connection. The fastest Usenet server in the world can’t make up for a sub-par internet connection. Thankfully, we tested UsenetServer via Google Fiber, the highest-speed available. This allowed us to more accurately review UsenetServer’s speed, as any slow-downs we might have encountered were likely not the result of a slow internet connection.
With that said, UsenetServer is quite impressive when it comes to speed. In a series of test downloads, we were consistently able to download binaries at 300Mbps. Our account came with 20 connections and never had a slowdown or a pause over the course of a couple of weeks. We expected impressive performance going in, since UsenetServer touts multiple Tier 1 bandwidth providers. Despite a high bar, it easily exceeded our expectations.
In the Usenet sphere, retention and completion are crucial because they illustrate how much data is available from the service provider and how good that provider is at making sure you get it. Retention refers to how long the service provider keeps data available once it has been uploaded. The longer the retention time, the more variety and choices there are for the user. Completion rates reflect how often users are able to get a complete file when they download it from the news server. A high completion rate indicates that you can count on getting the content you want.
In both retention and completion, UsenetServer provided a great experience. It boast an industry-leading 3021 days of binary retention, which translates into an massive selection of data. Additionally, UsenetServer reports a 99.9% completion rate. This figure is likely intentionally conservative, as we had a 100% completion rate in our tests. That included three occasions when we had to use available par files to complete my downloads.
If you do decide to sign up for a UsenetServer account, getting started is quick and easy. UsenetServer doesn’t have its own newsreader, but the site provides a link to a set of popular and free newsreaders here. This will also give you some background about each option to aide in your newsreader selection process . Once you find the newsreader you like best, you will need to adjust your newsreader configuration to establish a UsenetServer connection
Almost all newsreaders have a setup wizard that will prompt you for some basic information about your service provider. For UsenetServer, the NTTP server is news.usenetserver.com. The specific ports you use will depend on whether you want to use an unencrypted connection or one with SSL. For an unencrypted connection, you can use ports 20, 23, 25, 119, 3128, 7000, 8000 and 9000. If you want an SSL connection, use ports 563, 443 or 8080. SSL increases your privacy, but may potentially decrease performance. In our tests, we noticed no significant difference, but you can test for yourself to determine which port best fits your needs.