UsenetServer Review | COMPUTER PRO

UsenetServer is one of the most popular Usenet providers, with servers in the United States and Europe. We rate it highly for its price, speed, and simplicity. This UsenetServer review goes into more detail.

One of the earliest newsgroup systems on the Internet, Usenet is now primarily used as a file sharing alternative to BitTorrent. Choose from one of the top Usenet providers and you’ll have access to over a decade of uploaded files, all available for download at speeds of up to 1GB/s. Just make sure you don’t download copyrighted files without the author’s consent.

UsenetServer: plans and prices

UsenetServer has a one-month, three-month, and 12-month plan. These plans don’t differ much except how much you pay each month and for how long. All of them offer unlimited downloads and access to servers in the US and EU.

If you need a vpn, you’ll get one for free with the 12-month plan. Otherwise you will pay extra £3.27 at £4.08 per month for that.

Choosing to pay monthly will cost up to £195.58 per year compared to the £77.98 annual subscription. Therefore, choosing UsenetServer makes more sense if you are ready to commit to a longer contract after the 14-day trial period ends.

UsenetServer Pricing Plans

A month Three months 12 months
Price per month €12.22 £6.50 £7.32
Downloads Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
US and European servers . . .
vpn £4.08 per month £3.27 per month Included

UsenetServer: Features

One of the benefits of choosing Usenet over peer-to-peer file sharing like BitTorrent is that files are kept on servers for years, even if few people are interested in downloading them. This means that Usenet has a huge archive of content. However, many UseNet providers only store files for a few months on their servers due to the exorbitant costs of archiving such a large amount of data.

UsenetServer keeps files for 4,910 days (and growing), so you can find long-forgotten files uploaded over a decade ago. It also offers a web-based Usenet search tool for subscribers. You can use it to search for files and download an NZB, the equivalent of a torrent file. This NZB file is imported into your Usenet client software, which downloads the file from UsenetServer.

Demonstration of UsenetServer's global search tool

Although a nice free feature, Global Search is pretty basic, with a simple user interface that only offers a few ways to filter files. Most UsenetServer users will probably prefer to get a more feature rich Usenet indexer to find NZB files.

All UsenetServer plans include unlimited data transfer. Whereas the 12 month plan with bundled VPN can be had for only £7.32 per monththis makes UsenetServer one of the most competitive Tier 1 Usenet servers available today.

UsenetServer: interface and in use

NZBGet User Interface and Settings

A UsenetServer account does not come with a Usenet client, so you will need to get your own. Popular free options include SABnzbd, NZBGetand PowerNZB. While the lack of browser and download software from Usenet helps keep costs down, it does make the installation process trickier for users who have never used Usenet before.

UsenetServer speeds are reasonably good. We tested the US and EU servers and found that they both maxed out our internet connection at 100Mbps. If your internet connection can handle it, you might be able to get up to 1 Gbps with UsenetServer.

However, some users with fast connections report that the service sometimes slows down or feels limited.

UsenetServer: Support

UsenetServer Online Support Home Page

UsenetServer has only one support channel: an email ticket system. Tickets are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, but it may take days to receive a response to your query.

There are basic FAQ and learning sections on the UsenetServer website that summarize what Usenet is and the basics of using it. But there’s nothing in-depth about it.

Since UsenetServer doesn’t offer much support and expects customers to get and set up their own Usenet client software, it’s best to target intermediate Usenet users than those who are completely new to Usenet.

UsenetServer: Security

UsenetServer UI with PrivadoVPN popup

256-bit SSL connections are included for free in all plans. For even better protection, you can pay extra for a VPN (and one is included for free on all 12-month plans).

The VPN you get is PrivateVPN, which has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire TV, and Android TV. It has a basic interface but could be used as your main VPN as it unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Disney+. It includes an effective kill switch that will stop all internet traffic if the VPN fails for any reason. However, some users have reported below average speeds and very slow connection times when using the VPN.

Alternatives to UsenetServer

UsenetServer is owned by Omicron Media, which also owns Newshosting. These two Usenet providers operate on the same Usenet backbone and offer remarkably similar services, with just a few tweaks here and there. The most significant difference is that Newshosting is more expensive, but you get a full Usenet client.

Another great alternative is Tweaknews, especially for EU users, as the servers are based in the Netherlands. Tweaknews offers a retention rate comparable to UsenetServer and offers block subscription pricing, where you only pay for the data you transfer.

UsenetServer: Final Verdict

UsenetServer is a great choice for your primary Usenet provider if you already have a favorite Usenet client. The files are kept on the servers for more than 13 years and you can browse them using the free global search function.

For unlimited service, UsenetServer has a good price. However, you don’t get any bundled Usenet clients, and the support system is basic. Still, users looking for the best deal may prefer UsenetServer over more expensive options that include features they don’t need.

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