Full refund within 24 hours
3,000+ Days Retention
Block Accounts Available
Credit Card, Bitcoin
Unlimited 1 Year
Unlimited 1 Month
Unlimited 1 Year
Unlimited 1 Month
Disclaimer – Prices may change frequently and despite our best efforts it is possible that some may be out of date. Please visit the provider’s official website for exact pricing.
Astraweb is another popular provider that has been around since 1997. They have pioneered the sharp rise in retention rate; increasing from 270 days in December 2008 to 1800 days in July 2013. Their initiative has forced the competitors to keep up and even surpass them.
Astraweb is also one of the few who, on top of month-to-month subscription, offer block prices, a pay-per-byte system. This means that their users can opt to only pay for what they use without a timeframe to limit themselves to.
Their servers are based in both the U.S. and Europe. Their subscribers can choose to access either one of these locations using separate URLs :
- ssl-eu.astraweb.com for the European servers
- ssl-us.astraweb.com for the U.S. servers
While they have built a solid foundation over the years, the lack of services like client, Usenet search engine, and VPN, makes their packages not as worthwhile as some of the other providers.
However, it is necessary to look for all the pros and cons before choosing the provider that is right for you.
Why We Recommend Astraweb
Astraweb offers both subscription plans and block plans.
The subscription packages have the same features across all price range. The price varies depending on the number of months you commit; 8$/month for a 12 months subscription, 13$/month for a 3 months subscription, and 15$/month for a 1-month subscription.
The block accounts also offer the same features as the subscription packages; however, their prices vary per bites. A 25GB block plan will set you back 10$, 180GB will cost 25$, and 1000GB will require only 50$ investment. The block plan allows its users to pay for what you download. The offered bites can get exhausted quite quickly if you are not careful. That is why this system is most ideal for those who are occasional Usenet users.
3,000+ Days Retention
The retention rate will indicate how long a file will be accessible on its servers after it has been uploaded. Astraweb ensures 3000+ days of retention across all its packages. They are also working on growing the retention rate every year. This number is good, but not on par with its competitors who offer 4000+ days of retention.
Astraweb currently offers 50 connections. This is number is one of the highest going around and more than you will need. Connections will indicate how many simultaneous downloads you can execute from the same account and the same IP address. Hence you will need to be cautious to not share your account with more than one IP address because in doing so, you risk getting banned.
Like many providers, Astraweb offers unlimited speed for its users. This means that your file downloads from Usenet servers will be as fast as your Internet service providers allow.
The subscription plans will allow for unlimited bites download, whereas the block plans have 25GB, 180GB and 1000GB with no expiry date.
To pick the plan ideal for you, you will need to evaluate your activity type and your Internet service provider’s limit. The flexibility of their plans allows for all types of users to fulfill their needs.
As per other providers, Astraweb will offer the basic SSL encryption to secure your activity with their servers. SSL provides excellent security for your general Usenet activity. Astraweb ensures that they only log general performance metrics, which remains completely anonymous.
Things We Like Less About Astraweb
While Astraweb has many appealing features, it lacks some of the essentials. Here are a few of the reasons why this Usenet provider failed to get all 5/5 stars.
Retention rate is extremely important when considering your provider. This indicates how long a file is available for you to find, access and download. While Astraweb offers an average rate of 3000+ and ensures that they are working at growing this number, there exist already many providers who offer a 4000+ days guarantee.
Secondly, Astraweb lacks to provide its own Newsreader. Newsreader is needed to access and search for content in Usenet servers. It is then imperative for you to connect to a Newsreader on top of your subscription to a Usenet provider. That is why many providers choose to include client access as part of their pricing.
Thirdly, security being one of the top priority of the Usenet community, it is surprising for a provider to not also include VPN access. Astraweb failing to provide a VPN cuts back a couple of points for us.
Finally, support from Astraweb has also been getting mixed reviews from its users throughout the years. In fact, their support line only being active for 5 days a week has gotten a couple of frustrated customers. So if you do have any issues or concerns, make sure to hold them for the workdays, when their support lines are open.
Astraweb is a decent provider that offers flexible and interesting plans. Their unlimited speed and their block account package is especially interesting for users who want to sporadically use Usenet servers.
Astraweb has been a top contender for a long stretch of Usenet history. We, however, noticed that in recent years, many providers have been able to match their offers while surpassing reliability and extra features. Features like a Newsreader and VPN are now a signature plus given by providers to enhance the user experience. Astraweb has fallen short to keep up with the needs and demands of the current Usenet community.
How to Get Started with Astraweb
To get started with Astraweb, you have to follow the subsequent steps.
Start by browsing their various packages on their website.
Once you have picked the right package, you need to select the “Sign up” button which will then prompt you to the checkout page. The checkout page will ask you to complete a standard form to start your account, such as a valid email, password, and country:
Once you have filled the basic information related to your account, you will then need to select the payment method. Astraweb lets you pay with either credit card or bitcoin:
Et voila! Once your payment has gone through, you can connect your user information to your separate Newsreader, and start browsing the +120,000 Newsgroups available.