Giganews iPhone / iPad Control Panel App

Last week we wrote about Giganews Android app.  Since then they’ve released an iOS version.  The two releases came within a couple days of each other.  Allowing Giganews members with iPhone, iPad or Android devices to view control panel stats and disconnect VyprVPN connections.  You can head on over to the Giganews control panel app page to learn more about the app or download it free from the iTunes store.

The Giganews app is mainly an informational tool.  For Diamond users the app allows you to disconnect from VyprVPN remotely.  While members on metered accounts (Pearl, Bronze, Silver) can use it to track their usage stats.  The same as you would see by logging into the control panel and viewing usage.

We’re interested in what direction Giganews takes in the future.  As many of us rely more and more on iPad / Android tablets and mobile phones.  Having an app that allows you to download from Usenet (like EZ Global Search) would be a cool addition to an already feature rich Giganews service.

What might Giganews do next to enhance the service for mobile users?  There are lots of opportunities.  Including apps for some of their current features – VyprVPN and Dump Truck.  At the core though we’re interested to see if they bring Usenet downloads to mobile users.  Mimo mobile perhaps?

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news.

Giganews Offer and Control Panel Android App

Giganews recently launched a new promotion on their top account.  Giving those who haven’t tried the service recently a chance to make full use of their Diamond plan for $17.49 a month for the first three months.  After that the cost goes back to the normal $34.99 retail price.  You can visit for more details.

While we prefer lower priced accounts, the Giganews Diamond plan includes more than just Usenet access.  Diamond members get unlimited newsgroup downloads along with their Usenet browser (Mimo), personal VPN (VyprVPN) and 30 GB of online storage (Dump Truck).  Giganews supports 1,380 days of binary retention along with 50 connections and 256-bit SSL encryption.  Along with a Usenet search engine inside Mimo.

In addition Giganews recently released a Control Panel App for Android.  Those with Android devices can download the new app free.  With it you can view your current and past usage and disconnect VyprVPN connections remotely.  A pretty cool feature.  The app will also help you stay informed on the latest news and contact support if needed.  You can download the new app directly from the Giganews control panel app page.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news.

Giganews Dump Truck Online Storage Review

We’ve been waiting for WebDAV support to test Giganews new online storage service – Dump Truck.  Giganews partnered with Golden Frog to offer members Dump Truck online storage.  Golden Frog also developed their Mimo Usenet client and VyprVPN service.  They had a strong end of the year releasing a VPN client for VyprVPN along with Dump Truck access for all Giganews members and most recently adding WebDAV support.

Before jumping into our hands-on review of Dump Truck we’d like to first share some of the features we observed along with future updates and the base storage offered with each Giganews account type.

Dump Truck Features

Here are some of the features we noticed while testing the Dump Truck service:

  • Simple web user interface
  • Easy to create folders and navigate
  • Drag and drop files (under 200 MB)
  • HTML uploader for files over 200 MB
  • SSL file transfer plus AES encryption
  • We tested Dump Truck with Air Sharing WebDAV app via iPad
  • For a full list of features visit the Giganews Dump Truck page

Giganews also mentions the following features to come:

  • iOS and Android Apps (WebDAV apps already available)
  • Windows and Mac clients
  • Public and private sharing
  • Personal encryption keys

The sharing features along with personal encryption key will add a new dimension to the service.

Dump Truck Storage Pricing

Here is a list of Giganews base storage and add-on storage prices:

  • Diamond members – 30 GB free
  • All other members – 5 GB free
  • 50 GB extra – $9.99 a month
  • 100 GB extra – $19.99 a month
  • 500 GB extra – $69.99 a month
  • 1 TB extra – $99.99 a month

Hands-On Dump Truck Review

We started by testing the Giganews Dump Truck online storage service via Firefox on a Windows 7 system.  First uploading an Umphrey’s McGee concert ( purchase) which amounted to 282 MB.  The upload took about 14 minutes to complete.  Here’s a screenshot of the music being uploaded to Dump Truck.

As you can see there is a progress bar at the bottom that shows how far along you are in the current upload.  Along with a usage bar to the left showing how much storage you have used along with how much free storage is still available.  You might also notice up top that we created an Umphreys folder for the songs.

The first test went well.  It took some time to upload but everything worked just fine.  Next we tried to upload a Ubuntu distro of 712 MB.  We tried via drag and drop but received a message that files larger than 200 MB needed to be uploaded through their HTML uploader.  Here’s the HTML upload screen:

After browsing out to the Ubuntu file we set it to upload.  The status showed uploading with the file name at the bottom of the screen but the progress bar never budged.  We gave up after two and a half hours and cancelled the Ubuntu upload.  The files up to 30 MB in size uploaded well but the 712 MB file appeared to hang.

Dump Truck WebDAV Testing

We were especially interested in testing the new WebDAV support for iPhone and iPad.  Since the Air Sharing iOS apps are sold separately (iPhone vs iPad) we decided to test on the iPad for the larger screen.  The Air Sharing app was easy to download ($3.99) and setup was a breeze using Giganews Air Sharing guide.

After downloading the app and adding the Dump Truck storage as a new server we were able to access our Umphrey’s tunes on the iPad.  We tested playing a song which quickly downloaded and started playing on the iPad.  The process of setting up and using the iPad for Dump Truck to play our music was seamless.

Dump Truck Review – Conclusion

We enjoyed testing the Dump Truck service and look forward to the future updates.  Especially the Windows / Mac apps and file sharing options.  The only issue we had was trying to upload the 712 MB Ubuntu file.  Something we’ll test again once the Windows client is released.  All in all though we were impressed by the service.  It’s simply a place to store files for now along with the WebDAV support.  Soon though the service will take on a new life with the public / private file sharing features.  Stay tuned for more Dump Truck coverage.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news.

November Marks 1,200 Days of Retention and Growing!

November marks a new milestone for leading Usenet providers.  As services like Newshosting, UseNetServer, Astraweb and more pass 1,200 days of binary retention.  Some users have come to expect the continued growth in Usenet retention as many large providers spool daily.  Yet the achievement is no less impressive.  As Usenet fans or perhaps fanatics we tip our glass to those continuously improving the experience.  Both in terms of retention growth and overall value (cost, reliability, performance and new, innovative features).

It’s hard to believe we have access to over three years of binary retention.  At 1,200 days you can access newsgroup posts from 3 years and 3 months ago.  As 1,200 days ago was August of 2008.  In comparison Giganews was the clear leader in retention at that time.  Completing their upgrade to 240 days (eight months) of binary retention in September of 2008.  Times have certainly changed since then as a number of leading Usenet providers are within 10 days of each other now.  All with nearly 40 months of binary retention and growing.

The value offered by Usenet providers has also changed quite a bit since 2008.  With services offering unlimited Usenet for $10 or less a month rather than $20-$30 a month.  Not only has the cost dropped significantly.  The services themselves are much improved.  Including SSL encryption, better reliability / performance and extra features like newsreaders, Usenet search, online storage and VPN access.  All for under $10 a month.

We’ll see you right here in 100 days as we all help celebrate 1,300 days of binary retention.  Then in 9 months we’ll happily help celebrate 4 years of retention.  Until then continue to enjoy all the advantages of Usenet.  Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet retention.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest offers.

Giganews Dump Truck Opens Early Access

Back in July Giganews announced they were partnering with Golden Frog to bring Diamond members a new online storage feature called Dump Truck.  Since then they have taken registration requests for early access to Dump Truck.  Today the first round of early adopters received emails inviting them to test the new service.  Giganews will be sending out more invitations in the weeks to come so members still have time to register.

According to today’s Giganews announcement the Dump Truck service currently features:

  • Intuitive web interface with drag and drop upload
  • Simple and secure file structure
  • 256-bit SSL encryption for uploads and downloads
  • Files are encrypted on-disk with 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to your files anywhere in the world

With these additional features coming soon:

  • iPad, iPhone, and Android online storage apps – Storage while on the go
  • Windows and Mac desktop application – Access your files just like any other drive
  • Public and private sharing – Share with the world or simply your friends
  • Password Protection – Control the access to your data
  • WebDAV Support -Access Dump Truck using DAV clients and apps

Giganews offers Diamond subscribers premium features including VyprVPN PPTP / L2TP VPN access and Mimo Usenet browser with Golden Frog search.  Dump Truck will be the latest addition to the Usenet bundle.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news.

Giganews T-Shirt Giveaway : Free Giganews Swag

Giganews has been quite active on the social networks this year.  To help further that effort they are giving Giganews fans a chance to win a free t-shirt.  The rules are simple.  First you must be a Giganews member.  Then simply join with other Giganews fans on Twitter, Facebook or their YouTube channel.  Take a look at the related Giganews post for full details of the promotion.  Good luck winning your free t-shirt!

According to the Giganews post they will randomly give away free t-shirts over the next few weeks.  The free shirts will go to Giganews members who also Follow them on Twitter, Like them on Facebook or Subscribe to the Giganews YouTube channel.  Sounds simple enough.  The post doesn’t mention how many t-shirts will be given out but we’re going to guess that Giganews has come prepared to keep the swag rolling.

Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for all the latest Usenet news and promotions.

Giganews Dump Truck Personal Online Storage

Giganews recently announced that their new online storage service will be named Dump Truck.  In development by Golden Frog.  The same team behind Mimo Usenet client and VyprVPN.  The Dump Truck project is still in the works and will be available to Giganews customers in the months to come.  In the meantime a limited number of spots are available to test the Dump Truck personal storage service.

Giganews members can visit the Dump Truck registration page for more details and to sign up for early access.  Space is limited so you will want to register early.  The site doesn’t specify but we’re guessing that you have to be a Giganews Diamond customer to participate in the early testing.

Here is a list of Dump Truck early features from the registraion page:

  • Intuitive web interface with drag and drop upload
  • Simple and secure file structure
  • 256-bit SSL encryption for uploads and downloads
  • Files are encrypted on-disk with 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to your files anywhere in the world

Keep tuned to our blog for future updates on the Dump Truck online storage service.  Giganews fans should also consider following them on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news on Dump Truck.

Usenet Providers That Offer Free Newsreader Clients

We’ve had the same question posed over and over again through the years, “Are there any Usenet providers that offer free newsreaders?”.  Especially from those new to newsgroups who aren’t too sure about setting up a Usenet client.  Totally understandable as we’ve all been there at one time or another.  New technologies can be tricky and veteran services like Usenet can have a steep learning curve.

We’d like to start by saying that there is no one solution that is best for everyone.  So if you try a Usenet provider / newsreader combination that isn’t right for you don’t get frustrated.  There are several options to choose from and each newsreader has a different user interface design and features.

The newsreaders to follow are all offered free of charge to members of the corresponding Usenet service.  Easynews, Binverse, Unliminews (PureNZB) and Giganews (Mimo Usenet browser) are exclusive to their subscribers.  While BinTube is included free for members or can be purchased separately.

Let’s start with the Usenet providers offering their own clients:

1. Easynews – Free Web Interface + NNTP Access

We start with our personal favorite, Easynews.  The only provider who offers a feature packed Usenet client without the need for a newsreader.  That might not make sense for those unfamiliar with Easynews.  The Easynews service is available via their popular web interface.  Meaning no software to configure.  Simply type the URL into your web browser and enjoy access to Usenet.  With a built-in search engine you can easily find content without the need for headers or NZB sites.  The web interface makes it easy to preview, stream and download content with a few clicks.  New members can enjoy a 100 GB / 14 day free Easynews trial.

2. Binverse – Free Binverse Newsreader

Binverse offers subscribers a free Usenet client.  The newsreader is already configured.  All you have to do is download, install and enter in your Binverse account information.  The rest is taken care of.  The Binverse client is available for both Windows and Mac.  With access to several Usenet search engines from inside the client.  View thumbnail images and sample audio and video files before you download.  The Binverse user interface is intuitive and easy to follow.  The client and underlying service are fast.  Most users get the hang of it in the first few hours.  Binverse is currently offering new members a 60 GB / 3 day free trial to test the reader.

3. BinTube – Free BinTube Basic Usenet Client

BinTube offers their customers a free copy of BinTube Basic newsreader.  In addition BinTube Pro is sold for $59.95.  The difference is that the Pro version can handle 50 connections versus 20.  The Pro version can also be used with other Usenet providers.  With free access to BinTube Basic users can search for content, stream media and view slideshows.  The client also handles PAR repairs and RAR / ZIP extraction.  With a number of additional features.  It is definitely worth checking out.  Unfortunately BinTube doesn’t currently offer a free trial so you’ll have to sign up for a month of service to test the reader.

4. Unliminews – Free PureNZB Newsreader

Unliminews brings with it a free Usenet client called PureNZB.  The newsreader was developed in-house for use with Unliminews and Z51 Usenet services.  We’ve enjoyed testing the client and watching the growth in features and design.  With new user interface tweaks PureNZB is even more intuitive.  PureNZB has several built-in Usenet search engines and recently added their own named NZBSearch.  Unliminews isn’t currently offering a free trial.  However they are running a summer promotion with a special discounted price on their 100 Mb/s plan.  Sign up by August 30th and pay just $29 for 3 months of access.

5. Giganews – Free Mimo Usenet Browser

Giganews partnered with Golden Frog to develop a new Usenet browser for their Diamond members.  Naming their client Mimo and releasing the first public beta last winter.  The Mimo Usenet client has continued to progress since it’s first beta release.  With updates coming more and more often, the Golden Frog team is hard at work adding features and refining the user interface.  Mimo has built-in Usenet search engines including their own Golden Frog search.  Mimo is a nice client but we don’t think its worth the $35 price tag attached to the Giganews Diamond accounts.  We prefer quality Usenet access at an affordable price.  With services like UseNetServer, Newshosting and Astraweb offering unlimited Usenet from $7.95 a month.

In addition NewsDemon, ThunderNews and NewsgroupDirect offer members a free licensed copy of News Rover.  A popular third-party newsreader.  NewsDemon and NewsgroupDirect also include free online storage to their members.  Thanks to the fine team over at NewsDemon, NewsgroupReviews visitors can enjoy unlimited Usenet + News Rover and 30 GB of online storage for just $9.99 a month.  A savings of 50% off the retail price.  Thundernews and NewsgroupDirect have also been kind in offering our visitors special pricing.  See our Usenet specials page for details.  We have tested and recommend all three newsgroup services.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of Usenet providers offering free newsreaders.  If you decide to test them out don’t forget about the free trials offered by Easynews and Binverse.  The Easynews 100 GB free trial is a summer special and includes 10 times the normal 10 GB of downloads.  So if you want to take advantage of testing the Easynews web interface now is the perfect time.

Giganews Summer Special : Save 50% Off 3 Months

With Summer just officially starting we’ve already seen some great summer Usenet specials from leading Usenet providers including Easynews (100 GB free trial) and NewsDemon ($7 a month).  Now Giganews is joining in.  Offering 50% off the first 3 months of Diamond account access.  Bringing the price to $52.47 for the first three months.  Which works out to $17.49 a month.  After the first three months the account is billed at the normal retail price of $34.99 a month.  Visit the Diamond summer special page for more details or to sign up.

To recap the Giganews summer special includes 50% off the first three months of their Diamond Usenet account.  Which includes unlimited newsgroup downloads, free VyprVPN access (PPTP and L2TP) and Mimo Usenet client with Golden Frog’s Usenet search engine.  The price is $17.49 a month for the first three months and then $34.99 a month thereafter.  As with all Giganews sign ups the summer Diamond special includes a two week free trial to give new subscribers a chance to test the service.  Giganews is also in the process of developing an online storage offering for Diamond members.