Astraweb $11 Unlimited Usenet + 900 Days Retention

Congratulations to Astraweb who just crossed 900 days of binary retention.  Astraweb continues to offer one of the best deals in Usenet with unlimited newsgroup access for $11 a month or $96 a year.

Astraweb’s claim to fame is definitely high retention and value.  With so many quality, cheap Usenet services available Astraweb’s advantage continues to be retention.  Offering 900 days versus the competition… UseNetServer at 810 days and Supernews at 800 days.  Giganews is the only Usenet service with higher retention, by about 10 days.

Here’s a quick overview of the $11 Astraweb Unlimied DSL account:
$11/mo. unlimited Usenet access for life!
– News server farms in the US and Europe
– 900 days binary retention and growing
– 1,095 days text retention
– 99% completion rate
– 20 connections
– free SSL encryption

To learn more read our Astraweb review or learn more about the Astraweb $11 special.

Astraweb Review : 2012 Editors Choice

Congratulations to Astraweb for taking home a Newsgroup Reviews (NGR) 2012 Editors Choice award.  Anyone who has been around the Usenet awhile knows the impact Astraweb has made over the last couple years.  Their $11 Usenet special propelled them into one of the best Usenet providers.  Since then a number of services have lowered prices below Astraweb but they continue to be a favorite of many users.  NGR visitors can enjoy unlimited DSL access for just $11 a month or $96 a year.

Astraweb offers a mix of high retention and value.  That’s the service’s claim to fame.  Astraweb was the first major Usenet provider to drop in price to $11 a month.  That was a couple years ago.  Since then a number of top provider’s have lowered prices into the $10-$11 range.  Astraweb still remains a very popular choice for Usenet enthusiasts.  With a very loyal following they continue to grow.

Astraweb offers 1,250 days of binary retention along with 1,095 days of text posts.  Members enjoy unlimited Usenet access, 256-bit SSL, 20 connections, uncapped speeds and good completion for $11 a month.  Take advantage of the Astraweb $11/mo. and $96/yr. unlimited Usenet specials.

2010 Usenet Year in Review

While 2010 went by in a blink there were quite a few Usenet achievements.  The ongoing retention gains and reduced prices have made Usenet more popular than ever.  In this post we’ll focus on new technologies and features added in 2010 that have changed Usenet for the better.

Usenet achievements were plentiful this year.  In past years the discussion revolved around retention levels.  While retention continues to grow the industry expanded in other directions as well this year.  Everything from Usenet providers adding clients, VPN, storage, enhanced web access and supprt for mobile devices.

Let’s take a closer look at a few Usenet providers who left an extra mark this year:

Giganews – (VyprVPN and Mimo Usenet Browser)

Giganews was certainly busy innovating this year.  First with their addition of VyprVPN and then Mimo Usenet browser.  VyprVPN provides Diamond members with free VPN access to help secure their privacy while online.  Mimo newsreader is also free for Diamond members and provides a Usenet search feature in addition to a nice user interface.  Not to by missed Giganews continued to lead the industry in retention.  With speed and reliability to match their premium services.

Easynews – (New Web Interface, Mobile Apps)

Easynews was hard at work innovating this year.  Starting with network upgrades to ensure a high level of performance and reliability.  In October Easynews launched a new web interface and continue to enhance the online features.  We were impressed with the ease of use and wrote a full review of the beta release. More recently Easynews added 3rd party mobile apps like EZ Global Search.  Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.  In addition Easynews added unlimited NNTP access and support for PayPal this year.

NewsDemon – (Online Storage)

NewsDemon added free online storage for their unlimited customers this year.  Partnering with StorageNinja to offer 30 GB of free online storage to members who subscribe to an unlimited plan.  In addition they continued to include a fully licensed copy of News Rover newsreader for all members.

Newshosting – (Free Easynews Account)

Newshosting recently announced a partnership with Easynews to offer free web Usenet access to NHXL members.  This means NHXL subscribers not only receive unlimited NNTP Usenet access from Newshosting but also a 10 GB monthly Easynews account at no additional cost.  Newshosting also continued to increase retention and added support for PayPal in 2010.

Not to be missed are all the Usenet providers who offer low cost Usenet access with reliability and continued retention gains.  A list including UseNetServer, Supernews, ThunderNews, Astraweb and many more.  Cheers to everyone who helped improve Usenet in 2010.  We look forward to the years ahead!

Astraweb Hits 800 Days Binary Retention

Earlier today Astraweb passed the 800 day mark for binary retention.

Along with an ever growing spool of binaries, Astraweb continues to offer $11 unlimited Usenet access.  Visit our Astraweb $11 offer page for more details.

Here are some highlights of the Astraweb Unlimied DSL account:
– $11/mo. unlimited Usenet access for life!
– News servers in the US and Europe
– 800 days binary retention and growing
– 1,095 days text retention
– 99% completion rate
– 20 connections
– free SSL encryption

To learn more read our Astraweb review or sign up for the $11 Astraweb special.

Favorite Usenet Provider, Newsreader, Search Engine

A month ago we launched a few polls so visitors could vote for their favorite Usenet provider, newsreader and Usenet search engine.  The Usenet provider and newsreader polls were very close with no clear winner.  Nzbmatrix won big in the Usenet search poll.  Here is a breakdown of the most popular in each category.

Favorite Usenet Provider Poll Results:
Astraweb received 28% of the votes
Giganews received 24% of the votes
NewsDemon received 23% of the votes

Favorite Newsreader Poll Results:
Newsleecher received 17% of the votes
Alt.Binz received 17% of the votes
SABnzbd received 14% of the votes
GrabIt received 13% of the votes
Forte Agent received 12% of the votes
NewsBin Pro received 10% of the votes

Favorite Usenet Search Poll Results:
Nzbmatrix received 37% of the votes
Binsearch received 11% of the votes
Newzbin received 9% of the votes
Newzleech received 9% of the votes

Congratulations to the winners.  If your favorite service, software or search site missed the cut this time around stay tuned as we’ll be bringing more polls and interactive features to NewsgroupReviews in the near future.

Astraweb Hits 700 Days Binary Retention

Congratulations to Astraweb who just reached 700 days of binary retention.

Astraweb continues to offer $11 unlimited Usenet access.  Visit our Astraweb $11 special page for more details.

Here are some highlights of the Astraweb Unlimied DSL account:
– $11/mo. unlimited Usenet access for life!
– server farms in the US and Europe
– 700 days binary retention
– 1,095 days text retention
– 99% completion rate
– 20 connections
– free SSL encryption

To learn more read our Astraweb review or sign up and start downloading in minutes.

Usenet Provider Comparison : Server Ratings

New to Usenet?  If so visit our Usenet provider area to compare all the current options, trials, specials, etc.  The rest of this post is meant more for those who have been around newsgroups for awhile.  Perhaps have tried a few providers or been happy for years with their current service.  In either situation we want to know what features you expect in a Usenet provider and other factors that make a difference when comparing services.

When Newsgroup Reviews started out we had to decide how to rate and compare providers.  Binary retention was a clear factor at the time.  With Giganews in the lead at 120 days.  There were a few other differentiating factors between providers like Easynews web interface but for the most part the focus was on retention.

Roll forward a few years.  As storage costs went down retention skyrocketed and continues to rise.  Instead of talking about which provider’s are moving past a month or even 100 days of retention we now see services like Giganews and Astraweb around 700 days and several others between 400 and 600 days.  All of the top Usenet providers listed on NGR offer over a year of binary retention.

At what point does retention become less of a factor?  Never?  Or has it already?  We plan to ask the question soon in a new Usenet poll.  Before doing so we need your help.

The poll will present a list of Usenet provider features and ask which is most important to you.  Here are the general factors we are considering:

  • Binary Retention
  • Completion
  • Performance (speed)
  • Price
  • Reliability (uptime)
  • Support

A few providers have started offering extra features like VPN access and online storage.  We would like to know which of these features appeal to you when choosing a provider:

  • Mobile Access
  • Newsreader
  • Online Storage
  • Usenet Search
  • VPN Access
  • Web Interface

Can you think of anything we’ve missed on either list?  If so please email your suggestions to feedback (at) by July 23rd so we can finalize the new Usenet polls.  Then come back and cast your vote.  Thanks to everyone who has voted in our current polls and those who have shared additional feedback.

Escape the Heat This Summer : 5 Great Usenet Offers

Escape the heat and enjoy unlimited newsgroup access this summer.  New to Usenet?  No better time than now to give it a try.  Below is our list of the top 5 summer Usenet offers.  Visit the Usenet specials section of for a complete list.

1.  Giganews

Giganews is offering a World Cup special which includes unlimited Usenet access, 50 connections and SSL for $19.99 a month.  Read our Giganews review for more details.

2.  Astraweb

Astraweb is offering unlimited Usenet access, 20 connections and SSL for $11 a month or $96 a year.  Read our Astraweb review for more details.

3.  Supernews

Supernews is offering unlimited Usenet access, 30 connections and SSL for $9.99 a month.  Read our Supernews review for more details.

4.  UseNetServer

UseNetServer is offering unlimited Usenet access, 20 connections and SSL encryption for $10 a month.  Read our UseNetServer review for more details.

5.  NewsDemon

NewsDemon is offering unlimited Usenet access, 50 connections and SSL for $10.95 a month.  Read our NewsDemon review for more details.

Newsgroup Reviews Guide to Usenet Block Accounts

Understanding Usenet block accounts is no easy task as newsgroup providers market them differently.  Learn more about block plans and services that offer non-expiring, yearly and monthly blocks.

To us a block Usenet plan inherently includes a non-expiring block of gigs that you pay for once and use until it is gone.  Then if you choose to do so you can buy another block.  As you are about to see that isn’t always the case.  Some plans defined as “block accounts” expire in a year or even monthly.

When researching and planning for this post we were tempted to just say “don’t buy Usenet block accounts that expire” but we realize that everyone has their own individual needs and an expiring account from provider’s like NewsDemon or Newshosting might be your preference.  So our goal is simply to help you understand each provider’s meaning of a “block account”.

Let’s start with the meaning we think of for block Usenet access which is non-expiring blocks of downloads.  We’ve also seen them called pay-per-download plans.

Here are a few Usenet services that offer non-expiring Usenet block accounts:


Astraweb defines blocks as pay-by-download plans.  They clearly define them as having no expiration date.  They also don’t count headers toward your download limit and offer free posting.  Astraweb blocks include 633 days binary retention, 50 connections and free SSL encryption.  Astraweb block accounts options include 180 GB for $25 and 25 GB for $10.  Read our Astraweb review for more details.

BlockNews offers Usenet blocks with no expiration date and free posting.  The service boasts 610 days binary retention, 50 connections and free SSL encryption.  Block plans include 200 GB for $25 and 25 GB for $8.50.  Read our BlockNews review for more details.

Usenet-News block accounts include no time limit and free posting.  The service offers 550 days binary retention and free SSL.  Usenet-News block account options include 200 GB for $27 and 30 GB for $10.  Read our Usenet-News review for more details.

Next comes Usenet block accounts that expire annually.  NewsDemon appears to be the only provider currently offering annual block plans.

NewsDemon offers yearly block accounts that automatically renew at the end of the year or when you hit the download limit based on the block purchased.  Depending on your needs you might also consider their NGR special which includes 150 GB of downloads a month for $8.95.


NewsDemon block plans have a one year time limit and autorenew when either the year ends of downloads are used up.  The service offers 600 days binary retention and 50 connections with all block accounts.  SSL encryption is available for $2 with any block.  NewsDemon Usenet block accounts include 200 GB for $32.00 and 25 GB for $10.00.  Read our NewsDemon review for more details.

Other Usenet providers including Newshosting and Red Dot News advertise block accounts that expire monthly.  We would normally define these types of accounts as “metered Usenet plans” or “limited” accounts since they are limited to a specified number of GB each month.  One difference in the Newshosting BigBlock is the unused gigs are rolled over to the next month which is a nice feature.  Newshosting also offers a special on unlimited Usenet for $15.95.  We would suggest paying the extra $1 a month for unlimited Usenet over the BigBlock option.

Let’s take a closer look at some block accounts that are billed monthly:


The Newshosting BigBlock account renews monthly  The plan offers 600 days binary retention, 30 connections, free SSL encryption and rollover gigs.  Meaning any gigs you don’t use one month are added to the next months downloads.  The BigBlock account includes 125 GB for $14.95 a month.  Read our Newshosting review for more details.

Red Orb News

Red Orb News block accounts renew monthly.  They do not include a rollover option so you either use or lose the downloads each month.  Red Orb News offers 600 days binary retention, 20 connections and free  SSL encryption.  Monthly block plans include 75 GB for $12.99 and 30 GB for $8.99.  Read our Red Orb News review for more details.

In conclusion make sure to read the terms of any Usenet account.  Whether it’s a free trial, unlimited access, metered or block account.  Visit our Usenet block accounts page for a comprehensive list of block plans.

Could the Usenet Retention War be Nearing an End?

The battle over binary retention started  early last year when several Usenet providers including Giganews, Newshosting, UseNetServer, NewsDemon and Astraweb announced they were increasing binary retention into the 365-400 day ranges.  By late Summer they had all surpassed the year mark and have been continuing to spool ever since.  Now each service has reached 600 days of binary retention.

Could it be that the end of the retention war is nearing?  Earlier this week UseNetServer, Newshosting and others hit the 600 day mark for binary retention.  As we mentioned in our UNS post on Monday.  The 600 mark is a great achievement but it didn’t take us by surprise as each service has been growing retention daily for well over a year.  The surprise came when the increases stopped at 600 days.  Could this mark the end of the battle for UseNetServer, Newshosting and others?  Leaving Giganews and Astraweb to decide the final winner.

Maybe or maybe not.  We have no idea but let’s assume for a moment that Giganews, Astraweb and a handful of others are the only remaining Usenet providers increasing retention daily.  What does it mean for customers and the market as a whole?  Will Giganews and Astraweb reap the benefits?  Will sign ups suffer as the retention gap widens or might they actually increase?

If most providers stop at 600 days what does it mean to customers?

It depends on the user.  Some rarely download content over 200 days old and won’t care.  While others want the maximum number of days available and will choose based on retention levels.  Brings the “more than a mouthful” analogy to mind.

How might it effect the market?

A decision to stop at 600 days would leave Giganews, Astraweb and a handful of others to battle it out.  At $11 a month, Astraweb could have a hard time keeping pace with Giganews.  Not only in storage cost but in providing stable, reliabile service.  If they can pull it off though it would be a big win for them

Will Giganews and Astraweb reap the benefits?

Short term we think both services will see an increase in sign ups if the binary retention gap widens.  Over the long term it depends on price and reliability.  Given the price of Giganews accounts along with their history of high retention, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them spool well past the competition.  Along with adding more value through services like VyprVPN.

Will sign ups suffer if the retention gap widens or might they actually increase?

We need the crystal ball for this one.  Initially we suspect sign ups could suffer if the retention gap windens.  In three months if Astraweb is offering relioable service with 700 days of retention for $11 a month they could certainly benefit.  However, if service levels drop or Astraweb increases prices users could start migrating to UseNetServer who offers reliable service for $10 a month.

We’ll just have to wait and see how everything shakes out.  It will certainly make the next few months more interesting.



Giganews retention:  631 days
Astraweb retention:  621 days
Newshosting retention: 600 days
UseNetServer retention: 600 days

Giganews – unlimited Usenet + VyprVPN
UseNetServer – $10 unlimited Usenet
Astraweb – $11 unlimited Usenet