Friday, October 17, 2014

Usenet Servers Compared 2014

Back to [Part 1 - Introduction]

This is an update to the Usenet guide I wrote a while back, you can find the introduction discussion linked above. This post will help you to understand the best options in 2014 for Usenet providers.

Lets walk through the steps involved in signing up for a Usenet subscription
This, as always, remains the easiest part of getting started with Usenet!

First you need to choose a Usenet subscription service that suites you.

For most of the people who have come this far an unlimited account is probably what you want.
Anyone who downloads only occasionally is probably happy to sort through torrents and maintain an entirely free existence. There exist plenty of tiered plans, but this guide is aimed at the type of people who download more more than a few movies a month.

First you have to choose what server you want to go with... think of the various servers like competing cell phone companies. Each one wants to have the best coverage, the fewest dropped calls, and the fastest connection speeds. Just as you would choose a cell provider, your job here is to choose a Usenet provider.

It is just like any other type of shopping.

You have to look around and check which servers offer the type of features you want. Then weigh the costs against the benefits and decide who you want to give your money to.

I am going to make this easy for you...

I'll give you three to choose from that all have similar features and cheap unlimited plans. Then I'll tell you which one I happily use. Then I will show you how to use your server after you give them ~$10.

  1. Usenetserver - All plans are unlimited download capacity.
      • 10 connection ($14.95) vs. 20 connection (+$3.00)
        • The more connections you pay for, the faster you will be able to download.
        • If you pay for 3 months at a time, they give you a 10% discount.
      • Free SSL
      • Retention = 2254 days
      • UsenetServer maintains peering relationships with all major Usenet providers and most smaller providers, which means you have access to virtually every article posted to Usenet anywhere in the world. This makes UsenetServer an awesome deal!
      • They also offer VPN service for only $5.00 a month with usenet subscription. That is a very good deal for an unlimited bandwidth VPN service. On its own, the VPN service makes this deal a worth while investment.
  2. Newshosting - Currently offering two great unlimited plans as well as a "Lite" tiered plan.
      • 30 connections ($14.95) vs 60 connections ($19.95)
        • Again they offer unlimited down speed, limited only by the number of connections you pay for.
      • Free SSL
      • Retention = 2254 days
      • Newshosting has become a much more attractive deal since my last post and it comes highly recommended by me, the author.
      • Currently offering free VPN! (UPDATE 2015)
  3. Easynews - Still no unlimited plans, this is the place to go for a really good tiered plan.
      • Current prices are a bit higher for this server, but they still offer good service. 
        • $9.98/month base account gets you 20GB of download bandwidth, with 2255 days of retention as long as you use a client to do nntp lookups (don't worry, that's exactly what you plan to do).
        • Their "Plus" plan is essentially a 50% boost to the base plan. Pay 50% more and get double the bandwidth at 40GB.
        • Finally their "Big Gig" plan is $29.94 a month  and gets you 150GB of data.
      • While this seems very expensive compared to the unlimited plans above, consider this. The data rolls over, and if you stay with them you get loyalty bonuses every year. That means a light user could have the Base plan, roll over their excess data every month, get annual bonuses, and save money that would have been wasted on an unlimited plan.
      • This type of account is recommended only for people who are intending to be a light user. Read more below to understand what I mean by light user.
So what do I use?
I am currently a subscriber to Usenetserver, but I have used every single service listed above.

So what should you choose?
Lets talk about that for a second.

The whole reason you probably got into usenet was for Sickbeard/Couchpotato/Headphones. Sickbeard, on a busy mid-season month, will burn through 500GB of video easily. With more and more TV being filmed in HD, the need for an unlimited account is obvious. This will never be a cable replacement if you have a tiered plan, unless you only want SD episodes.

That being said.

The service from all three sites has been flawless. In every instance I have always been able to download at the maximum speed available on my cable. Their retention of files has been excellent over the years, with very few missing files due to DMCA take down. Though in recent years the number of savvy production companies has been increasing. I find that certain specific shows will fail to complete more frequently than others. This is the result of that specific production company aggressively fighting p2p traffic. Nothing can be done about that by the usenet servers, write your local congressman and demand "a la carte" broadcasts from your cable company.

Since I subscribed to Usenetserver, they have changed their pricing schemes and plans, but they continue to charge me on a month to month basis at the original slightly lower rate, and still allow me their older higher connection count (20). This is a very nice bit of customer service, and it goes a LONG way with me. They could easily have pushed me down to the new slower cheaper plan, but they didn't. Very nice!

If Usenetserver were to suddenly cease to exist, I would certainly migrate to Newshosting, but I am currently happy where I am.

If you have an internet connection greater than 30mbps I would recommend Newshosting since they are offering 60 connections right now. However, I have a 30mbps line and it is easily saturated by 20 connections even with SSL slowing them down.

In the end, if you are a new subscriber looking for an unlimited plan I have to recommend Newshosting and their 30 or 60 connection plans! They are a stupendous deal right now and there is nothing to stop you from taking it. The only possible reason to waver, is the cheap VPN deal currently being offered by Usenetserver. That price is almost too good to pass up for a VPN.

So in summary:

  • Need a VPN? Go with Usenetserver and get great usenet service with that VPN.
  • Never gonna use a VPN? Go with Newshosting and enjoy unlimited bandwidth at unlimited speeds!
  • Never gonna use Sickbeard? Go with Easynews to get an affordable tiered plan with some really nice perks.
See how easy that was!

Sign up for an account!
Time to sign up for an account!

  • First, click on any of the links above to be directed to the corresponding page which includes some special discounts off the listed prices courtesy of Hobo-Geek! 
  • Using my links or the "hobogeek" referral code will get you a discount and helps me to keep the lights on here at Hobo-Geek! This costs you negative money, and will earn you my everlasting gratitude!
  • Next, sign up for an account with the company of your choice. It is just like signing up for anything. Name, email, etc.
  • Pay using the month to month option or annual for even more savings.
    • I prefer to pay with paypal, but they all accept various forms of payment.
    • I also prefer monthly payments because I, the penniless Hobo-Geek, never have $100 to spend all at once. If you do go with an annual subscription you will get ~10% off. Your choice...
  • When your account is created and your payment has been processed, you will receive an email containing your server address and port #'s.
Congratulations! You are now ready to set up your download client sabNZBD+


  1. just clicked your newshosting link. they offer free VPN as well

    1. That's awesome to know! The deals they offer change a few times a year, so it's always good to keep checking around. I usually update this type of post once a year or when the various companies send out their promotions.


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