Last August we were introduced to NzbLord web-based NZB download service. Since then we’ve tested a couple more new NZB downloaders including NzbLeecher and NzbLoad. While all three providers are similar in function there are definitely some features that set each apart. There are also limits including speed caps and max nzb file sizes that you want to keep in mind when comparing these special purpose Usenet services.
Before we get started I’d like to explain what we mean by web-based nzb downloaders. Otherwise there will be some readers that wonder why we didn’t include full featured web Usenet services like Easynews or even web browser clients like SABnzbd. We highly recommend both options but this post is meant specifically for the new services that offer simple online interfaces for downloading nzb related content. No more, no less.
NzbLord Web-Based NZB Downloader
NzbLord is the first web-based nzb downloader we had a chance to test last year. At first we weren’t sure as our mindset of a web interface was Easynews which has a lot more features. Yet as we continued to test NzbLord the service grew on us. Specifically the ease of use. You can use the NzbLord site to search their built-in FindNZB search engine or any nzb site you choose. From there you can enter the nzb’s URL into NzbLord, upload the file or even paste the nzb file contents into their site. NzbLord will take over from there. Grabbing the content and then letting you download the resulting files. Visit NzbLord.com to learn more about the service.
NzbLord offers six accounts but we would recommend looking at their top three plans based on max files sizes and speed caps. Their unlimited plans (Driver, Aviator and Astronaut) all include unlimited traffic. With terms ranging from one to three months. Along with different zip / nzb file size limits and speed caps. Those use to NNTP Usenet downloads might even find their top account slow at 15 Mbps. It really depends on your connection. If you have a 50 Mbps Internet pipe then you may prefer an NNTP service like Newshosting.
NzbLeecher Web-Based NZB Downloader
The NzbLeecher service is very similar to NzbLord. They both perform the same functions. The difference comes in speed and binary retention. As NzbLeecher has a higher number at 1,350 days of binaries. They don’t have a built-in Usenet search engine but you can use favorites like Binsearch, Nzbmatrix, Mysterbin, etc. to find content. Then paste the URL or upload the nzb file to the NzbLeecher site. Then you can sit back and watch NzbLeecher do all the work. Downloading your content at speeds up to 50 Mbps depending on which plan you select. NzbLeecher will also store your files for a specified amount of time. A nice backup solution.
NzbLeecher offers three Usenet accounts. Each offers unlimited data transfer. The difference comes in nzb file size limits, performance (15 Mbps up to 50 Mbps) and the time period NzbLeecher retains your downloads. With prices ranging from $9.99 a month up to $29.99 a month depending on your preferences. Visit NzbLeecher.com to learn more. They also offer 500 MB of downloads for free. A nice way to test the interface.
NzbLoad Web-Base NZB Downloader
NzbLoad is the latest web-based provider to launch. The service is currently in beta. With NzbLoad the process is very much the same as NzbLord and NzbLeecher. You either choose an NZB file from your computer or paste in the URL to load it into their web interface. From there NzbLoad will grab your files and you can download the resulting content to your system once finished. The service offers speeds up to 20 Mbps and 900 days of binary retention. NzbLoad supports multiple downloads and allows you to pause and resume downloads.
NzbLoad offers three Usenet accounts. The only difference is term for each plan. With the terms ranging from two days for €4.95 up to a month for €9.95 and finally three months of service for €24.95. Regardless of which plan you choose the features are the same including unlimited transfer at speeds up to 20 Mbps. Visit NzbLoad.com for more details and to sign up for their Usenet service.
We appreciate the ease of use that each of the three services offer. Regardless of which you choose they all offer nzb downloads without the need for a Usenet client. There is almost no learning curve if you already know how to search for newsgroup content. As for future opportunities we still prefer the full-featured interface of Easynews. Yet that might no be the target market for these services. The only real drawback is that none of the three services support SSL so you might want to compare VPN services if you prefer encrypted downloads.