We’ll assume from the start that you have come here to find out how to choose the right Usenet provider for yourself.
Those who are new to Usenet can, sometimes, have difficulty in understanding how difficult a task it is to choose the right Usenet provider.
But don’t panic. At least not yet.
In this guide, we’ll show you pretty much everything there is to do when selecting a Usenet provider.
To find out what is Usenet and what you should know about the service before hunting for the best one, go here.
First of all, there are many factors that you need to take into consideration if you want to learn how to choose the right Usenet.
But what you should know from the start is this: Usenet is basically the lesser-known cousin of torrenting and though it is strictly different from torrenting, the final objective is the same as far as users are concerned, and that is to download files.
If you want to choose the best Usenet provider for yourself then you need to be aware of every vital criterion there is that a Usenet customer should know of.
Also, keep in mind that the criteria we’ll mention in our list will be in no particular order. The reason for that is that different factors will provide different results for different people.
So it’s better to just try them all out and figure out which ones gives you the best result.
Here we go.
If you want to know which Usenet provider is the better among any two providers then check out its retention period. The retention period basically signifies how long will it be before a file, that is put up for download, is taken down. The time is generally calculated from the moment the file was posted originally.
For most Usenet services, the standard limit is 1200 days. That comes to about three to four years which is reasonably long.
But of course, not all Usenet services offer the same number of retention period days. Some are much lower and others offer over 1200 days as well.
At the end of the day, it depends on you. If you want to be able to have access to older downloads then, obviously, you should look at Usenet services that offer longer retention periods.
Some industry experts have been able to see retention periods are long as 3000 days.
Find Out If There Are Any Limits To The Amount of Data Transfers.
There are some Usenet services that put a limit on the amount of data a user can theoretically download per month. These limits can be as low as 5GB per month so don’t think that every Usenet service will provide you with unlimited downloadable data.
Though there are some Usenet services that offer unlimited data, they are extremely hard to find.
To help you choose a Usenet service, think hard about what type of content you want to download on a regular basis.
Then compare that to the transfer limit you think you can work with.
For example, audio files are usually very small while TV series and Hollywood movies come in much larger sizes. Games and other professional software can eat up your entire limit within a matter of hours if you’re not careful.
That is the reason why some Usenet services offer two packages. One package has a download limit on it while the other one doesn’t have a limit on the data that can be downloaded.
Choose one according to your needs.
Make Sure You Know If There Is Block Account Or Subscription Account.
Simply put, some Usenet providers will have a subscription plan. Sometimes users will have the ability to pay for those subscription plans either every month or on a yearly basis.
The differences in different subscription plans are many but most differences boil down to how many numbers of gigabytes does the user get to download every month.
As mentioned before, some Usenet providers don’t have a limit on downloadable data so you don’t need to worry about this factor for such Usenet providers.
A reputable Usenet provider should have subscription packages that range from $10 to $20 per month and should have multiple tiered services.
What about a block account then?
Well, the block account is another option that some Usenet services provide to their customers. The block account allows you to purchase a limited amount of data specified by how much you actually pay.
For example, a block account might offer your 1TB of data. If you buy this block account then you can download that amount of data and use it at your convenience, anytime.
In our experience, if you are the type of person who watches a lot of seasonal shows and not a lot of regular shows then the block account may be a good deal for you because you won’t be downloading data consistently right?
Jus that you know: there are some customers who buy both block accounts and subscription accounts. Then, these users utilize their block accounts as backup accounts in case their subscription account reaches its limit.
The other advantage of having two type of accounts is that if a TV series or a movie/documentary has been taken off from subscription provider’s servers because of a DMCA request, then there is a good chance that you might find that TV series or movie on a block account provider’s servers.
However, if you do end up buying two type of accounts then make sure that the two Usenet service providers use different tier 1 networks.
In other words, make sure they use separate physical servers because sometimes all of your accounts have the same service but just under a different brand name.
Don’t Choose A Usenet Service Unless You Know About Its Server Connections
Understand the fact that more connections do not mean faster download speeds. It might be true sometimes, but most of the time it isn’t true when dealing with Usenet services.
If you have a 10 to 20 Mbps internet connection at home then make sure the Usenet service you subscribe to is able to provide around 10 connections. That figure should provide you with the optimal experience.
There are Usenet providers who offer 50 or sometimes even 100 (and sometimes even more simultaneous server connections) server connections. But know that they are, for the most part, useless.
Unless you have a fast internet connection, we’re talking 100+ Mbps connection, you shouldn’t always go for more connections in order to get more speeds.
As a matter of fact, you may get better speeds if you limit the number of simultaneous connections using the settings on your newsreader application.
A good rule of thumb is to lower the number of simultaneous connections when on lower internet speeds.
You should also know that sometimes if you have a slow enough connection then you may forego considering this factor in your quest to choose the best Usenet service altogether.
What Should You Do About Security When Deciding Between Different Usenet Services?
Security should be at the top of your priority list when choosing between different Usenet service providers.
Generally, it is better to sign up for Usenet service providers that allow downloads through SSL/TLS methods. In other words, your Usenet service should support SSL/TLS downloads.
Otherwise, your data will not be protected and any ISP or law enforcement agency will be able to spy on your online activities.
So in order to encrypt your online data transfers, go for services that have SSL/TLS capability.
It is very important that you go for Usenet services that offer SSL TLS services especially if don’t want to use a VPN or a SmartDNS.
If you do plan on using a VPN then we recommend IPVanish and/or StrongDNS (which is a SmartDNS service). You can sign up for those services by visiting this link for IPVanish and this link for StrongDNS (do keep in mind that StrongDNS comes as a free DNS service with StrongVPN).
Do remember though that if you use an SSL-enabled Usenet service then you might experience slower download speed. That happens because it takes some amount of time to encrypt and decrypt the transferred/transferring data.
But, the SSL download feature is totally worth if you want to avoid getting caught and being served legal settlement letter from copyright hobgoblins that roam the internet at night.
The other thing you should take care of is that you need to configure your settings manually if you want to enable SSL/TLS downloads because this setting is not enabled by default in Usenet services that have SSL/TLS feature.
On a side note, there are some Usenet service providers out that that do offer their own, or sometimes their affiliated, VPN services that come bundled in the subscription packages as add-ons.
If you want to use those VPN services then you should because VPN’s can be utilized with or without SSL connections.
If you decide to use a VPN service in combination with your SSl enabled Usenet service then that is great for your privacy and anonymity.
However, if you just go for SSL/TLS feature or just for a VPN service then that’s fine too.
It really depends on how much money do you have to spend and how much value you give to your privacy and identity while roaming (and downloading) on the internet.
For a list of best SSL certificate providers, go here.
Should You Take Into Account The Country of a Usenet Service?
We’ll advise you to pay specific attention to the country of any Usenet service.
If you want to experience faster speeds or even optimal speeds then it is considered as a best practice to sign up for a Usenet service provider that has fast servers present near your geographical location on the map.
The closer a Usenet service provider’s server is to your actual location on the map, the better it is as far as faster speeds are concerned.
But do keep in mind that when it comes to selecting countries for Usenet services, not all countries are made equal.
No, we’re not talking about developing and developed countries. We’re talking about countries where authorities come after online downloads, hard by handing out DMCA takedown request left and right without hesitation.
So, as a general rule, try to avoid Usenet service providers that are based in the United States of America or Europe. Because these are the ones that are vulnerable to a lot of DMCA takedown requests.
Users who do subscribe to Usenet services that have servers in these countries do experience content removal at a much faster rate because of requests that are made by copyright holders.
Usenet service providers that are based in Netherlands are reported to be the best ones because they are, notoriously, not bound by these laws.
So if you can find your favorite files on your current local Usenet service provider then consider a service provider that is Dutch.
What About Price? Does Higher Mean Better?
Not always. But it is true that the price of your Usenet service provider’s subscription packages, after security, should be your biggest concern.
Prices vary according to what you sign up for. As mentioned before, you can either go for a subscription account or a block account. Whichever way you go, it is fine as long as you have taken into account your downloading habits and preferences.
A major Usenet service provider’s basic limited subscription packages should not exceed the starting price of $10.
That doesn’t mean that all service providers will offer you packages that don’t cost more than $10. What it does mean that, the basic package should start at $10 and then go up from there according to your specific needs and requirements.
Should Usenet Service Providers Offer Extra Services?
That depends on what you consider as extra services.
As mentioned throughout this article, some Usenet service providers offer various extra benefits such as VPNs, indexers and less importantly newsreader applications. These are all dandy features that are offered as part of a complete package by some Usenet service providers.
Needless to say, these are also extra services that you can set up yourself without incurring additional costs, for the most part.
To put it another way, these features should be understood as extras or bonuses rather than the deciding factor in choosing a specific Usenet service provider.
Don’t Forget To Read Our Own Reviews Of Usenet Service Providers
If you have read the whole of this article then you should be able to choose the best Usenet service provider for you on your own.
However, we also have a shortlist of providers for you. Go here to have a look at which Usenet provider we think is the best for your needs.