The Best Usenet Providers in 2021

Want to finally take a trip to Usenet and see what it’s all about?

Get started with one of our top Usenet providers.

Here’s how we evaluated the top solutions:

  1. We signed up for the leading services.
  2. We tested their features and speeds.
  3. We determined if the pricing is fair.

Ready to travel in time? Find the best Usenet provider for your needs and budget in the detailed reviews below.

The Best Usenet Providers of 2021

1. Newshosting

Newshosting is one of the most round-up Usenet providers. It comes with a text and binary newsreader, SSL encryption and VPN, download automation, great support, free trial, superb privacy, and a whole lot more. FULL REVIEW

  • Excellent newsreader
  • Privacy tools
  • Auto downloads
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Newshosting is one of the most round-up Usenet providers. It comes with a text and binary newsreader, SSL encryption and VPN, download automation, great support, free trial, superb privacy, and a whole lot more. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

14 days

Newsreader

Yes

SSL encryption

Yes

VPN

Yes

Crypto payments

No

Simultaneous connections

30-60

Completion

99.99%

Retention

4,551 days

2. UsenetServer

UsenetServer provides affordable access without a limit on file downloads. It lets you establish 20 connections and download to your heart’s content. And, at $7.95/month, you’re getting quite a deal. FULL REVIEW

  • Unlimited download allotment
  • Straightforward pricing
  • SSL and VPN
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UsenetServer provides affordable access without a limit on file downloads. It lets you establish 20 connections and download to your heart’s content. And, at $7.95/month, you’re getting quite a deal. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

14 days

Newsreader

No

SSL encryption

Yes

VPN

Yes

Crypto payments

No

Simultaneous connections

20

Completion

99%

Retention

4,551 days

3. Easynews

Easynews is the best Usenet provider for beginners who want to download videos or images. You get browser-based search and downloads, handy previews, and great download organization features. FULL REVIEW

  • Great newsreader
  • Loyalty gigs
  • Rollover traffic
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Easynews is the best Usenet provider for beginners who want to download videos or images. You get browser-based search and downloads, handy previews, and great download organization features. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

14 days

Newsreader

Yes

SSL encryption

Yes

VPN

Yes

Crypto payments

No

Simultaneous connections

60

Completion

99.99%

Retention

4,551

4. Eweka

Eweka has prepaid packages that let you do a few downloads at any time and stop once you spend the bandwidth, making it a great backup provider. Its excellent subscription-based plan makes it a top choice for primary provider too. FULL REVIEW

  • Decent support
  • SSL and VPN
  • Prepaid and subscription plans
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Eweka has prepaid packages that let you do a few downloads at any time and stop once you spend the bandwidth, making it a great backup provider. Its excellent subscription-based plan makes it a top choice for primary provider too. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

Seven days

Newsreader

No

SSL encryption

Yes

VPN

Yes

Crypto payments

No

Simultaneous connections

8-50

Completion

99.5%

Retention

4,551 days

5. NewsDemon

NewsDemon is a high-privacy service that’s also feature-rich and easy to use. It provides all the powerful features you can think of in flexible and affordable plans. Create your own subscription, pay with Bitcoin, and use VPN for full anonymity. FULL REVIEW

  • Fast and reliable
  • Price matching
  • Affordable deals
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NewsDemon is a high-privacy service that’s also feature-rich and easy to use. It provides all the powerful features you can think of in flexible and affordable plans. Create your own subscription, pay with Bitcoin, and use VPN for full anonymity. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

No

Newsreader

No

SSL encryption

Yes

VPN

Yes

Crypto payments

Yes

Simultaneous connections

50

Completion

99.9%

Retention

3,002

6. Giganews

With robust security options, high-speed downloads, and a great newsreader, Giganews has a compelling offer. It’s easily the most cutting-edge Usenet provider for downloading fresh files through VPN. FULL REVIEW

  • Solid newsreader
  • Great support
  • Download accelerator
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With robust security options, high-speed downloads, and a great newsreader, Giganews has a compelling offer. It’s easily the most cutting-edge Usenet provider for downloading fresh files through VPN. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

14 days

Newsreader

Yes

SSL encryption

Yes

VPN

Yes

Crypto payments

No

Simultaneous connections

100

Completion

99.99%

Retention

Three years

7. Supernews

Supernews gets you everything you need to browse Usenet, albeit with few unique features. If you want a service without the bells and whistles, you can get it for just $5.99/month. FULL REVIEW

  • SSL encryption
  • Good completion
  • Straightforward pricing
Try Now

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Supernews gets you everything you need to browse Usenet, albeit with few unique features. If you want a service without the bells and whistles, you can get it for just $5.99/month. FULL REVIEW

Free trial

3 days

Newsreader

No

SSL encryption

Yes

VPN

No

Crypto payments

No

Simultaneous connections

30

Completion

99.9%

Retention

Three years

The Best Usenet Providers – Reviews and Comparison

We hear you’re tired of the plain old internet and want to go on the Usenet. The worldwide social network predating the world wide web itself is, doubtlessly, exciting, but getting started is easier said than done.

Usenet is not stored on your regular internet servers, so you’ll need to look into Usenet providers that act as a gateway to the system.

Once you’re all hooked up, a whole new world awaits. You’ll be able to join tens of thousands of newsgroups (NG), all chock-full of content generated by millions of users.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

You still need a Usenet system.

To help out, we at HostingTribunal reviewed the top Usenet service providers in the game. Check out the reviews below to discover which companies can help you start your adventure.

How We Found the Best Usenet Providers—Our Review Process

The first rule of Usenet is: you do not talk about Usenet.

I’m not kidding—Google it.

If you dare.

Unfortunately, this means Usenet providers are obscure, at least compared to mainstream services like shared or managed WordPress host.

Here’s how we dug up the best of the best for our reviews.

  • We started by checking what’s available. Usenet is a massive network of providers and resellers that distribute data between themselves. We checked each company that holds some relevance to the system to see what’s available.
  • We tested the Usenets. Most newsgroup providers offer a free trial of some sort. We took advantage of this opportunity to sign up and see what each solution is made of.
  • We evaluated the features. These include download speeds, file retention and completion, privacy options, and all other relevant specs. With our hard data in hand, we shortlisted only the most robust options.
  • We tried the support and took the ease of use into account too. Usenet is complicated as is and a good provider should do everything in its power to help you out.
  • Pricing was the last factor in our final selection. There are solid providers out there, but paying excessive fees for Usenet access is hardly fair. We ensured we listed only the best newsgroup services with good-value deals.

Now, let’s jump into the top Usenet access providers.

The Top Usenet Providers - Detailed Reviews

Newshosting
Newshosting
Newshosting

BEST ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION

Starting at
$ 10 /mo
  • Free trial 14 days
  • Newsreader Yes
  • SSL encryption Yes
  • VPN Yes
  • Crypto payments No
  • Simultaneous connections 30-60
  • Completion 99.99%
  • Retention 4,551 days
  • Excellent newsreader
  • Privacy tools
  • Auto downloads
  • Great completion
  • Decent support
  • Limited starter tier

I challenge you to find a Usenet thread not mentioning Newshosting. The provider is one of the most popular companies in the industry, especially among new users.

Here’s why:

Features

Newshosting is a Tier 1 provider, meaning it maintains its own Usenet servers. This gives it much more control and reliability compared to what resellers get.

It runs facilities both in the US and Europe, leading to low latency for most users.

Speaking of speed, you can establish up to 30 concurrent connections (60 on the largest plan). Even 30 is enough to max out most home internet connections, so there’s little to worry about.

Independent companies usually have relatively short Usenet server retention periods, but Newshosting hosts articles and binaries since its inception. That’s 4,551 days (or over 12 years) of data available for browsing.

Completion sits at 99.99%, giving you 110,000 uncensored newsgroups to browse.

Navigating all that information is challenging. That’s why Newshosting includes its own newsreader that can access both text and binaries. It even gives previews for file types like images and videos.

The tool is very easy to use and includes a search tool, so you don’t have to subscribe to an NZB indexer. The browser can also work with other Usenet providers, which is great if you have a backup host.

The newsreader includes fantastic options for automating downloads. For instance, if you follow a TV show, you can automatically get new episodes as soon as they are out.

A few privacy tools are included as well. All connections are secured with 256-bit SSL encryption, so your ISP or packet-sniffers can’t peek at your data.

If you don’t want anyone to see what you’re connecting to, Newshosting has a bespoke VPN (free on the largest plan). It can help you hide internet activity or pass geolocation blocks.

It might not be as powerful as the top dedicated VPNs, but it’s more than enough for working with a Usenet provider.

Support and Knowledge Base

Newshosting has a pretty solid learning center. The articles explain key Usenet concepts in simple words and provide guidelines on using tech like a newsreader.

The company also features a standard ticketing support system. You can reach out if you have a technical issue with the newsreader or downloading a binary.

The agents do a decent job here, so Newshosting performs exceptionally in the customer service department.

Pricing

Newshosting has three Usenet pricing tiers:

  • Lite—50GB transfer, $10/month
  • Unlimited—Unlimited transfer, $12.95/month ($14.95 billed monthly)
  • XL Powerpack—Unlimited transfer, double the data streams, free VPN, $15.83/month ($19.95 billed monthly)

Newshosting extends a 14-day free trial with 30GB of traffic with all plans. It’s a nice way to check if the service works for you and if you’re okay with the speeds.

The pricing is reasonable, even more so if you pay for the entire year upfront.

Verdict

Newshosting is the best Usenet provider overall, especially if you want to get everything in one place. It gives you access to millions of files, an all-in-one newsreader, and reliable privacy add-ons. 

It all amounts to a well-rounded service.

UsenetServer
UsenetServer
UsenetServer

BEST FOR UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS

Starting at
$ 7.95 /mo
  • Free trial 14 days
  • Newsreader No
  • SSL encryption Yes
  • VPN Yes
  • Crypto payments No
  • Simultaneous connections 20
  • Completion 99%
  • Retention 4,551 days
  • Unlimited download allotment
  • Straightforward pricing
  • SSL and VPN
  • Affordable deal
  • Not that flexible

Established in 1998, UsenetServer is among the older Newsgroup providers. It offers an extensive set of services, so let’s check them out.

Features

UsenetServer runs servers in the US and Europe, connected to numerous Tier 1 bandwidth providers and many broadband access companies.

It runs a pretty standard 99% completion offer. You also get a global search feature, so you don’t need an NZB indexer to find binaries.

On top of that, you get SSL-encrypted transfers and a zero-log VPN (free only on the largest plan).

It’s a fair Usenet access offer—you get everything you need, but no fancy extras.

Support and Knowledge Base

UsenetServer support is average. It is available via email and will resolve your issues.

There’s not much of a knowledge base.

UsenetServer has a blog that is supposedly for learning, but all the articles are quite old and mostly just serve to promote the company.

Pricing

UsenetServer has a single-tier pricing structure.

The plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and up to 20 connections. The cap isn’t too high, but it should be enough for most users.

The variation in Usenet prices depends on the length of the subscription period.

  • One month—$14.95/month
  • Three months—$8.95/month
  • 12 months—$7.95/month

Overall, the three and 12-month periods are reasonably priced. To further incentivize you, UsenetServer throws in the VPN for free with the 12-month subscription.

Verdict

UsenetServer offers cheap Usenet access for unlimited binary downloads.

The other aspects of the service are lacking compared to those of Easynews or Newshosting, but it brings few unique advantages to offset this.

It’s sufficient for basic downloads but isn’t the most advanced solution otherwise.

EasyNews
EasyNews
EasyNews

BEST FOR BEGINNERS

Starting at
$ 9.98 /mo
  • Free trial 14 days
  • Newsreader Yes
  • SSL encryption Yes
  • VPN Yes
  • Crypto payments No
  • Simultaneous connections 60
  • Completion 99.99%
  • Retention 4,551
  • Great newsreader
  • Loyalty gigs
  • Rollover traffic
  • File previews
  • Solid organization
  • SSL and VPN
  • Limited traffic
  • Average support

Dating back to 1994, Easynews is one of the oldest Usenet companies still in business. What’s more, it offers Usenet services to over a million clients worldwide.

But why is it so popular? Let’s find out.

Features

Easynews is a dependable provider with 4,551 days of binary retention. You might’ve noticed that’s the exact same number as Newshosting. Well, the companies are partnered, so they offer access to the same 11,000 newsgroups.

Both solutions have solid coverage.

That said, if you’re picking two services (one being the backup), you should be careful not to choose both these companies. If a file is incomplete with one Usenet service provider, it will likely be the same with the other.

Easynews aims to make downloading files as easy as possible.

Once you sign up, you can search newsgroups and binary files without downloading any piece of software. You can just do that from the browser and download full files—no zip archives needed.

You don’t need an NZB indexer and the reader will automatically assemble and repair binaries if needed.

The search is optimized for images and videos.

You can get previews before you download, so it’s easy to ensure you’ve got the right file of appropriate quality. You can also organize files into groups before you initiate Usenet downloads—way easier than doing it after they’re on your PC.

You can still download other binaries, like music. It’s tougher to leverage Easynews’s preview features, though.

Another great feature is that you can make up to 60 connections with even the smallest plan. This lets you max out even generous bandwidth allotments.

Easynews features security extras like SSL and VPN. The VPN is free on the largest plan. Otherwise, it costs $2.99/month, which is quite affordable.

Overall, Easynews has some of the best Usenet servers with all the critical features (and a few cool bonus ones).

Support and Knowledge Base

Easynews support is available via email. We got replies in 20-40 minutes, which is okay for email support.

Besides that, customer service is mediocre. The agents tend to misunderstand questions and give confusing replies.

You will get help eventually, but the overall experience may be a bit frustrating.

Pricing

Easynews offers a free Usenet trial. It lasts for 14 days and gives you 50GB, which is more than enough to see how the service works.

There are three paid plans:

  • Classic—$9.98/month, 20GB download cap
  • Plus—$14.97/month, 40GB download cap
  • Big Gig—$9.99/month for the first three plans, $29.94/month when you renew, 150GB download cap

Easynews is a tad more expensive than your standard Usenet provider. However, it makes up for this with loyalty gigs and data rollover.

Verdict

If you need the easiest possible way to browse Usenet and download files, Easynews is the right choice for you. The solution is beyond accessible, especially for photo and video downloads, and it allows you to stay anonymous.

The cost is well worth it for arguably the best Usenet server provider.

Eweka
Eweka
Eweka

MOST FLEXIBLE PRICING

Starting at
7.50 /mo
  • Free trial Seven days
  • Newsreader No
  • SSL encryption Yes
  • VPN Yes
  • Crypto payments No
  • Simultaneous connections 8-50
  • Completion 99.5%
  • Retention 4551 days
  • Decent support
  • SSL and VPN
  • Prepaid and subscription plans
  • Affordable rates
  • Bandwidth caps

Eweka is a Europe-focused provider with a base in the Netherlands. It boasts super-long retention with affordable prices—a combo few companies can pull off.

Let’s see if Eweka succeeds.

Features

Eweka maintains its own servers and network. It extends 4,551 days of binary retention, which is in line with pretty much all the big solutions.

The completion sits at around 99.5%, which is okay. It is not quite as much as some of the top Usenet providers in 2021 offer, so you might not always find what you’re looking for, but it’s still satisfactory.

Plus, you could get a small plan with a backup service to browse missing newsgroups.

The provider supports SSL browsing, so you can stay safe from packet sniffing and man-in-the-middle attacks. It doesn’t support a VPN, though.

If you want to keep connections hidden from your ISP, you would have to use a third-party one.

The company lets you make between eight and 50 simultaneous streams, depending on the plan. Eight is a bit on the low side, but 50 should be enough to max out even generous internet packages.

You should note that the Usenet provider actually puts a hard bandwidth cap on the smaller packages. The smallest plan limits you to 50 Mbps and the medium—to 300 Mbps.

Support and Knowledge Base

Eweka’s support is decent. The newsgroup provider runs a multilingual team speaking Dutch, English, German, and French.

You can contact them through ticketing and get help with connecting to Usenet or finding any incomplete binaries.

Unfortunately, there is no sales support. If you need extra info before purchasing a plan, you would have to hunt it down on the website.

There are few learning resources as well, save for a basic FAQ page. Eweka could stand to improve on this front.

Pricing

The provider has three pricing plans. Since it’s based in Europe, its costs are displayed in euros.

  • Prepaid Standard—50Mbps, eight connections, €7.50/month
  • Prepaid High-Speed—300Mbps, 20 connections, €9.60/month
  • Subscription High-Speed—Unlimited speed, 50 connections, €7.00/month when paying annually

You might have noticed the last plan offers a way better deal than the others.

This is because prepaid plans let you preload a few days of Usenet subscription at any time. You can do a month now, then take a break for a few months, then come back.

This makes Eweka a prime backup provider. Whenever your primary host is missing a file, you can pay a few bucks to find it through Eweka.

The Subscription tier has you pay upfront for a specific period and then renew once your subscription expires.

It’s a standard pricing structure for Usenet, great if you want to make Eweka your primary provider.

Verdict

Eweka is a decent choice, both as a primary and a backup solution. It might lack a few flashy features, but it’s reliable overall and has affordable rates.

It easily qualifies as a backup for the best Usenet provider in 2021.

NewsDemon
NewsDemon
NewsDemon

BEST PRIVACY FEATURES

Starting at
$ 1 /mo
  • Free trial No
  • Newsreader No
  • SSL encryption Yes
  • VPN Yes
  • Crypto payments Yes
  • Simultaneous connections 50
  • Completion 99.9%
  • Retention 3,002
  • Fast and reliable
  • Price matching
  • Affordable deals
  • Auto recycling and vacation pause
  • SSL and VPN
  • Accepts bitcoin
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No news client
  • Complicated pricing

NewsDemon is a big reseller of Usenet solutions. It offers services in North America and Europe and boasts numerous positive Usenet reviews by customers.

Here’s what its offering looks like.

Features

NewsDemon has 3,002 days of retention, which amounts to about eight years. It’s quite decent, even for downloading older files.

You can establish up to 50 connections, which will max out even more robust internet connections.

And with NewsDemon’s NVMe spools and header compression, you can expect to reach pretty impressive download speeds.

The provider does impose a download limit, though it is usually reasonable for the price.

If you want, you can enable auto recycling that will automatically bump you to the next Usenet subscription period if you exhaust your bandwidth pool. You will have to pay for the next month sooner, but you wouldn’t have to sit and wait to get that extra boost.

On the flipside, NewsDemon has a vacation pause feature that lets you sign up today and start your membership at a later date. It’s a handy deal if you want to transfer from a different provider but are still waiting for the original subscription to expire.

There is no proprietary newsreader included in its deal, but NewsDemon recommends two solutions—Newsbin Pro and Newsleecher—and includes instructions on setting them up.

All connections to NewsDemon servers are encrypted with SSL. Some plans also include a free zero-log VPN.

All things considered, you get pretty awesome tools.

Support and Knowledge Base

One step up from a standard Usenet service provider is that NewsDemon offers live chat support in addition to ticketing.

Customer service is only available during work hours, but it’s still an advantage compared to many other names in the business.

The reply times are a tad slow, though you can expect decent responses. The agents did a nice job explaining how the platform works and how to find specific things on Usenet.

There is sort of a knowledge base, but the better part of the portal looks a bit dated. It’s not the easiest to find the exact resource you need.

Pricing

NewsDemon’s Usenet hosting plans get a bit complicated. The provider has three tiers, all with different pricing based on a flexible download cap.

You can start at 50GB, which costs as little as $1/month.

There are also non-expiry plans that last until you spend all allocated bandwidth. They start at $10 for 500GB and go up to $40 for 5TB.

You get the best value with the Unlimited download plan. It costs only $4/month and includes a free VPN. However, you would have to pay for a full year to get the lowest price.

NewsDemon gets bonus points for privacy because it’s one of the few providers that accept Bitcoin. As long as you maintain an anonymous crypto wallet and use a VPN to access NewsDemon, it will be nigh-impossible to connect your Usenet account with your identity.

Even better, NewsDemon will price-match any offer by other services that have plans with the same resources.

Great if you like NewsDemon’s features but can find a more affordable host!

Verdict

NewsDemon really surprises with its flexible assortment of plans, fair pricing, and industry-leading privacy features.

It’s hands-down the best Usenet provider oriented towards security and privacy.

Giganews
Giganews
Giganews

Starting at
$ 9.99 /mo
  • Free trial 14 days
  • Newsreader Yes
  • SSL encryption Yes
  • VPN Yes
  • Crypto payments No
  • Simultaneous connections 100
  • Completion 99.99%
  • Retention Three years
  • Solid newsreader
  • Great support
  • Download accelerator
  • Enforced SSL
  • VPN
  • Reasonable pricing

Established in 1994, Giganews is another elder of Usenet. It boasts an impressive 10 million customers, making it one of the largest Usenet companies.

Let’s see if size and experience transfer to quality of service.

Features

Giganews runs its own servers and network, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. It is so confident in the infrastructure, it promises no downtime—not even for maintenance.

The provider hosts over 120,000 newsgroups for nearly 99.99% completion.

Unfortunately, the Usenet server retention is not that great. Giganews only retains binary files for three years, so you can’t really go searching for older information. Text retention is significantly better, sitting at 17 years.

Still, that’s not much of a benefit when you can browse articles as old as 40 years on Google Groups.

The host lets you establish as many as 100 simultaneous connections, though. This can max out an optic fiber connection, so it’s safe to say you’ll be covered in terms of speed.

The provider throws in a proprietary VPN with over 50 connection points, available even in China. Better still, it’s free with all three plans.

Giganews has a bespoke newsreader called MIMO. It works for both text files and Usenet binaries and supports SSL.

The company has developed a few unique tools to boot.

The big one is the Giganews Accelerator. It includes header compression for faster downloads, all sorts of bandwidth stats and controls, and SSL connection enforcement. You can even hook it up to a third-party newsreader that doesn’t support SSL and still force an encrypted connection.

All the extra features are fantastic, though the binary retention period is a bit limited.

Support and Knowledge Base

Giganews customer service is available via both email and chat (as opposed to most newsgroup providers that only support mail).

The agents do a fantastic job. On one occasion, we contacted them with a query about the bespoke newsreader. The agent gave us the details we needed, but not only that.

We also got info about appropriate alternative newsreaders, as well as helpful configuration instructions.

As for the knowledge base, Giganews has a nice welcome kit walking us through the configuration of the newsreader and the VPN. There are also FAQs explaining various important aspects of the service.

All in all, Giganews gets the support right.

Pricing

Giganews has a single plan available. The only difference is the starting cost, depending on how long you prepay for.

  • One month—$9.99/month
  • Six months—$9.17/month
  • One year—$8.33/month

Best of all, the Usenet prices stay the same when you have to renew your plan. Giganews is one of the few providers without higher renewal fees, which is brilliant.

To top it off, you can take advantage of the industry-standard 14-day free trial. It’s an opportunity to see if the platform performs to your expectations.

Verdict

Giganews is a solid solution with tons of security, practically unlimited speeds, and compression for binaries.

It’s not ideal if you’re looking for older TV shows, but it might just be the best Usenet provider for fresh content. 

If you want to watch new things as soon as they are out and do it safely, subscribe to Giganews.

Supernews
Supernews
Supernews

SIMPLEST SOLUTION

Starting at
$ 5.99 /mo
  • Free trial 3 days
  • Newsreader No
  • SSL encryption Yes
  • VPN No
  • Crypto payments No
  • Simultaneous connections 30
  • Completion 99.9%
  • Retention Three years
  • SSL encryption
  • Good completion
  • Straightforward pricing
  • Affordable offer
  • Short trial

Supernews hails back to 1996, making it one of the older US-based providers. Today, its services are available in English, French, German, and Dutch.

Let’s go over the key points.

Features

Supernews has a standard offer, with servers in the US and Europe, 110,000 stored newsgroups, and 15+ years of text and over three years of binary retention.

You can establish up to 30 connections to Supernews servers across the board. This is fine for most users, though not the highest you can find. There are otherwise no restrictions.

Connections are secured with SSL. You can safely browse without worrying about someone spying on your traffic.

Other than that, Supernews lacks proprietary tools like a Usenet downloader or a VPN. You would have to use third-party solutions.

Support and Knowledge Base

Supernews customer service is available exclusively via email. The support team is a little slow, so you can expect to wait at least a few hours for a reply.

You will get help eventually, but it takes a little too much waiting.

There is a basic FAQ section on the website but no full-on knowledge base. You’d have to rely on the support or your own wits for accessing Usenet.

Pricing

Supernews has a one-size-fits-all plan that includes all the features. The only pricing difference comes down to whether you pay for a month or a full year.

  • Monthly—$5.99 the first month, $11.99/month after that
  • Annually—$74.25 ($6.18/month) the first year, $99/year ($8.25/month) after that

Overall, the Usenet pricing is decent for unlimited downloads, especially on the annual deals.

There is a free trial, but it lasts only three days. You’d have to put in some effort to properly test out the downloads in that short period.

Verdict

Supernews is your average service. You get unlimited access to most key features for an affordable price.

If you want a simple provider without bells and whistles, Supernews does the trick.

Honorable Mentions—Great Usenet Providers That Didn’t Make the Cut

That covers the best Usenet provider candidates. If you’d like to see more, here are a few solid solutions in 2021.

NewsLeecher—NewsLeecher is a decent choice with some innovative tools, like download automation and proprietary search service. Plus, it has reasonable pricing. It’s a worthy alternative to the companies above.

Usenet.farm—Usenet.farm has decent rates, an option for prepaid plans, and a quite innovative shared Usenet account option. It might lack some standard services like a VPN, but it’s worth looking into if you like experimenting.

TweakNews—TweakNews has a standard offer with an optional VPN. If you need Usenet access without the extras, it’s a decent choice.

Astraweb—Astraweb is similar to TweakNews. You get all the basics for accessing Usenet, but little beyond that.

What Is Usenet?

Usenet started out about a decade before the internet as we know it. Its goal was to run discussion groups where researchers and students can talk over long geographic distances about scientific papers.

Eventually, it grew into a massive global network—think something like Reddit or a forum, but decentralized over a network of thousands of servers. Each server copies new data to all the servers around it, so everyone gets Usenet access to the same discussions without connecting to one central point.

Sounds cool? You don’t even know half of it.

Some time during the 90s, users figured out how to post binary (non-text) files to Usenet newsgroups. The process was a bit complicated, as you would have to fragment large files over many, many locations. However, the benefits were worth it and they persist even today.

All you need is an NZB file, which can tell your newsreader where to find all the file fragments.

With a good NZB Usenet indexer, you can establish a connection to many different servers and pull the contents of a file. With 10-20 connections, you can easily max out your bandwidth even today and download gigabytes in minutes.

This makes Usenet a very popular file-sharing alternative to torrenting. In fact, it’s even more reliable, as you can always get pretty much the same download speeds for all available files.

With torrenting, on the other hand, you can encounter a shortage of peers if you’re trying to download files older than a few years.

And not only that, but Usenet is also excellent for privacy, unlike any social network or file-sharing alternative. Usenet providers very rarely keep logs of what people do, as they simply don’t care (Usenet is ad-free, making metadata storage a waste of resources).

On top of that, the traffic is encrypted. As long as you use a good VPN provider and an anonymous payment method, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to trace your activity back to you.

Sounds good? Then let’s get you onto Usenet right away.

How Do I Access a Usenet?

Usenet is connected to the internet, but it’s not reachable through it by default. It’s kind of like your home network—most devices on it can access the Web, but nobody from outside should be able to get to your computers (hopefully).

Everything on Usenet is hosted by Usenet providers.

Each one has its own data center—usually a massive one to accommodate all the information. It is connected to data centers by other companies that also store Usenet data and which are connected to other data centers themselves.

This type of network forms a Usenet backbone. Pretty much all the providers nowadays share similar newsgroups, so you won’t miss out on a considerable chunk of content by choosing one service over the other.

People can find newsgroups (which are something like Usenet discussion threads) on any server and post their comments or files. All the posts in a particular NG then get copied to all Usenet hosting servers with the same newsgroup.

Wait, you might say, so all the providers host all the data contained on Usenet? Isn’t that redundant?

Indeed, Usenet is a bit of a jungle. And not only that, but many NGs have very little to no moderation and binary files are usually split across hundreds of different articles.

This is precisely what makes Usenet so difficult to police. If somebody wanted to take a piece of content offline, they would have to get all the Usenet providers to take it down.

And even a powerful country like the US would have a tough time, as many hosts aren’t under its jurisdiction.

Technically, Usenet companies could restrict some content on their servers. However, most don’t really care to do this unless under extreme pressure from the authorities.

That said, due to this system being so decentralized, you have to jump through a few hoops to get on Usenet.

First off, you’ll need to sign up with a provider to get access to its Usenet servers. You can find the best picks above. Most offer a free Usenet trial, so you can give any of them a spin.

Once you have server access, you’ll need a Usenet client (also called a newsreader) to actually browse the content. There are two types—text and NZB readers. The former lets you see the content and the latter allows you to download other files.

There are also hybrid news clients that do both.

Your provider might have a proprietary solution you can use. Otherwise, SABnzbd is a popular free binary newsreader. As for text newsreaders, there is a plethora of options and most work pretty well.

If you do want to download Usenet binaries, you’ll need to pick out an NZB indexer.

This is kind of a search engine that tells your client where to find parts of a binary file to download. Without it, finding them would be extremely painstaking.

NZBplanet and NZBFinder are both decent budget-friendly options.

Once you’re all set up with the technologies, you can take a deep dive into Usenet. Feel free to get lost in the vast world of Usenet or go on a hunt for that elusive file.

Wrap Up

That covers the top Usenet companies, as well as what Usenet actually is and how to connect to it.

Start a free trial with any of the companies above and see which one is the best Usenet service for you.

FAQ

Is Usenet legal?

Usenet itself is completely legal. There’s plenty of discussion groups full of user-generated content that you can access without getting in trouble.

That said, Usenet is a hub for piracy, so many binaries you might run into would be copyrighted.

A couple of people did get prosecuted in Germany for running Usenet resources with pirated content.

Other than that, it’s difficult to dig up any cases with charges directed at users. The law in most countries is just concerned with pushing Usenet services to take down copyrighted content.

Are there any free Usenet providers?

There are plenty of free newsgroup servers for text content, like Aioe, Eternal September, and Solani. If you’re in it for the community, you can easily access Usenet without paying.

If you want to download or upload binaries, it’s a bit trickier.

There are a few free choices here, too, but these are similar to free web hosting. They offer very limited resources to get you to pay for an upgrade.

If you want to download non-text files, we recommend jumping into a paid plan right away. You can find affordable options above.

Is Usenet peer-to-peer?

There is a kind of peer-to-peer file exchange between Usenet servers, but the way clients access information doesn’t involve P2P. Peer-to-peer sharing implies many user computers seeding and leeching content from one another without the presence of a server.

Usenet downloads are just the opposite—all files are hosted on a network of servers. There are no peers involved when you download content from Usenet.

How do I access Usenet newsgroups?

You would need a Usenet service and a newsreader. Once you get a Usenet plan and connect the newsreader to your provider’s details, you can perform searches and find a newsgroup or a binary file you’re interested in.

What is the best Usenet provider?

There are plenty of Usenet providers to choose from. Some of the top performers in 2021 include Easynews, Newshosting, and UsenetServer. There’s a lot to be said about privacy-oriented services like NewsDemon as well.

You can check more details in our reviews above.