A reliable and secure provider is an absolute must for using the Usenet. You can recognize good providers by their high retention – i.e. the length of time Usenet content is stored – and their high data rate. Important aspects when choosing the right Usenet provider:
- Retention: How long are Usenet contents stored? Retention – i.e. the retention time – of over 1,500 days is already very good – after all, this corresponds to a good 4 years. Many Usenet providers already offer retention of content for up to 3,800 days (a good 10 years).
- Speed: The data rate should be able to fully utilize your Internet access. For example, if you have a 50 Mbit line, your Usenet provider should be able to guarantee this speed at least. Especially with flat rate offers, you should make sure that the price is based on the data rate: The faster the connection, the more expensive the flat rate. With volume and block accounts, however, there is usually no (artificial) limitation.
- Security: Access via SSL is standard nowadays – if a provider does not offer SSL encryption, you should refrain from using it.
- Payment options: Most providers offer different payment options: From direct debit, payment by credit card or Paypal to anonymous payment with a Paysafecard (see also the section “Usenet Provider with Paysafecard”). Recently some also provide payment via Bitcoin. Check out these top usenet sites to get an overview of the market.
Usenet Provider Comparison
Further Usenet providers and many helpful tutorials around the topic Usenet can be found on Usenet1.de.
The price of an account can vary considerably – the main factors here are the volume booked per month (a block account with 100 GB for example or a flat rate), the download speed and the contract period (prepaid vs. subscription).
The longer you commit yourself, the cheaper the access is normally. Long-term subscriptions have the disadvantage, however, that you are less flexible and cannot change your provider so easily. When it comes to volume, you have to estimate yourself how much content you consume in the Usenet – it’s best to check how much you use per month with a free test account. Then you can decide whether you need 5, 10 or 100 GB per month or whether a Usenet flat rate would be right for you.
Usenet provider with Paysafecard payment
Only few offerers in Germany accept a payment over a Paysafecard, which you can buy completely anonymously cash in gas stations and supermarkets.
Currently you can pay with the Paysafecard at the following providers:
- Prepaid Usenet
What is the Usenet actually?
Often the term “Usenet” is misunderstood. As the provider UseNeXt has been making the Usenet known in Germany since 2004, many users associate the provider UseNext with the Usenet network and equate it with the Usenet. However, this is wrong – the Usenet provider UseNext only provides access to the Usenet. The Usenet itself is a decentralized network consisting of many server centers distributed around the world. “Usenet” stands for Unix User Network and represents a worldwide distributed network which exists in the Internet parallel to the World Wide Web (www).
The Usenet is already much older and was created in the USA in 1979. At that time 3 students of the University of North Carolina and Duke University were looking for a way to exchange information and data easily and quickly. What began as a connection between two computers slowly grew into a network: In 1980, 15 computers were connected, 5 years later, there were already 1,300 computers. Today there are thousands of servers spanning the network.
Text and Binary Newsgroups, Retention and Co.
Initially, the Usenet was a place for technical discussions in pure text form – comparable to today’s forums on the Web. These were conducted in thematically appropriate areas, the so-called newsgroups. Later, there was also the area of binaries – here files could be attached to the discussions. Today, the binary Usenet is the most popular area on the Usenet, and text discussions have declined significantly in recent years. Retention is also important – it quantifies the storage period of published content and is often referred to as retention time. If a content is posted in the Usenet, it is retrievable for a certain time – depending on the retention of your provider. With Usenext, for example, the retention time is a very good 10 years, with some other providers it is usually 3-5 years.
What do I need to be able to use the Usenet?
What do I need to use the Usenet?
In order to access the Usenet, you need an account with a Usenet provider of your choice on the one hand, and on the other hand you need a newsreader that connects you to the Usenet. The newsreader is comparable to the browser with which you can surf the World Wide Web. In order to be able to dive into the world of the Usenet, you need things:
- An Internet connection
- An account with a Usenet provider
- A newsreader
To connect to the outside world you logically need access to the internet. Since Usenet is based on numerous high-performance computers and data centers, access cannot be provided free of charge. Therefore you need an account with the Usenet provider of your choice, access is already available for 5€ per month.
In the early 2000s, Usenet was increasingly used for file exchange. The infrastructure with decentralized high performance servers distributed worldwide offers a high level of protection against failure and very fast downloads. Many providers even advertise data rates of up to 1,000 Mbit/s. Such a setup naturally causes costs – the servers, power, etc. are expensive. Therefore a good Usenet access can never be completely free of charge.
For the discussions in the text newsgroups the traffic and therefore the costs are still manageable. You have to dig a little deeper into your pockets for the interesting things – the binary newsgroups. For example, you are usually charged per downloaded data volume or sometimes a Usenet flat rate is offered. In terms of price, Usenet access starts at just a few euros or dollars.
Is the Usenet anonymous?
Due to the structure of the Usenet, users who only receive content and do not post themselves are absolutely anonymous. For billing purposes, the data volume consumed per user is stored – but what the user has viewed or downloaded remains his secret. Almost all providers also offer SSL encryption, which promises even greater protection.
The situation is different when writing messages and posts of file attachments (binaries) – here, the user’s real name can be identified via the header of the post and, if necessary, via the IP. However, we are currently not aware of any cases of warnings due to the use of the Usenet.
Is the Usenet legal?
Yes, similar to the World Wide Web, the Usenet is first of all a network of servers. Like the www, it is of course completely legal, and the Usenet providers are also legal. They only offer access to the network and have no influence on the content.
The situation is different when Usenet providers strongly promote the discovery of illegal content in the Usenet and gear their entire business model to this. Some providers have already been forced to close down because they had specifically promoted illegal uploads financially and even advertised the respective providers in the Usenet articles.