Not all UseNet newsgroup providers offer the same services or will even give you access to the newsgroups you want to subscribe to. Because of the diversity found amongst newsgroup providers, it is impossible to say that one is the “best”. Rather, you will have to look at your options based on which is the best newsgroup provider for you. Here are the key points you should be looking at when making your choice.
Do you have to pay for it?
We all love getting something for free – but we also know that we usually get what we pay for! If you just want to access some non-binary newsgroups, then a free UseNet provider may suffice. If you want to get into binary groups so you can download content, then you will have to pay for your newsgroup provider. Before you get in a huff about having to pay for something on the net, keep in mind that UseNet is NOT a website or even the web. It is a service. UseNet providers have to pay a lot of money to obtain hardware, store information, and provide reliability. Just make sure that you take advantage of the free UseNet newsgroup trial period to test out the server before you sign up.
How long are articles kept?
All articles at UseNet newsgroups are stored on a news server. Yes, it takes memory and money to store these articles. That is why news servers will only hold onto articles for a certain period of time before they delete them. This is called retention. With binary newsgroups, the retention period will be a lot shorter because the file sizes are so much bigger. For a longer retention period for binary newsgroups, you can expect to pay a much higher price.
UseNet works by sharing articles amongst different newsgroups, passing them on amongst servers. It is easy for files to get corrupted along the way. Almost anyone who has used UseNet knows the downsides of this – like waiting for a big file to download just to learn that it is incomplete. When it comes to completion, you are much better off with one of the bigger UseNet newsgroup servers. Again, the free trial period of a server will give you an idea of their completion rate.
Even if you have the fastest internet speed in the world, it isn’t going to help too much if your newsgroup server is slow. With non-binary newsgroups, bandwidth isn’t so important but with popular binary newsgroups, you will want to make sure you are getting a decent bandwidth. Keep in mind that just about every UseNet server is going to claim that is it super fast so you will have to read UseNet server reviews to get a real idea of how fast they are.
Lots of newsgroup servers are not monitored or censored in any way. But, you will still need to have encryption because your internet service provider is probably monitoring you! Your internet service provider may also put limits on the amount of bandwidth that you can use on newsgroups. With a good encryption system, you can avoid the limits.
Payment Methods and Contracts
Don’t just look at the cost of a newsgroup server but also how you pay and how long you have to sign up for. Depending on the payment method, you may even end up paying more than what you thought because of surcharges. Also, don’t get yourself locked into a contract which is longer than you are comfortable with. You can always sign up for a longer contract later if you are happy with the service you are getting.