UseNetNow and BlockNews VPN Beta Test

UseNetNow and Blocknews fans will be happy to hear that the team behind both providers is testing a new VPN service.  According to their DSL Reports post, VPN access is deployed in the United States and ready for beta testing.  Those interested in joining the VPN beta should visit DSLR and send Swintec a private message.

UseNetNow / Blocknews are the first Usenet providers outside of Giganews to offer Personal VPN access.  Interesting given the price difference of the service.  With Giganews Diamond accounts costing $34.99 a month and UseNetNow costing $12 a month ($10.39 a month for NGR visitors).  Not to say that the VPN service will be offered for free.  We’ll let you know once pricing details are released.

If history repeats itself we’ll likely see more Usenet providers offering VPN access.  Looking back to last year NewsDemon, NewsgroupDirect and Ngroups added online storage.  A feature Giganews is currently developing.  While Giganews released their Mimo Usenet client last year followed by Newshosting’s newsreader + Usenet search feature last month.  Now it appears the latest value added feature will be VPN.

Might this put some pricing pressure on Giganews?  As they raised the price of Diamond accounts from $29.99 to $34.99 earlier this year.  We would imagine it’s getting more and more difficult for Giganews members to justify paying that much for the service.  Especially given the quality and features offered elsewhere for 1/3 of the price.  With UseNetServer, Newshosting, NewsDemon, Astraweb, Easynews and Ngroups offering unlimited Usenet with extras (newsreader, web access, online storage, etc.) for under $10 a month.

We are personally big fans and supporters of online privacy.  Managing a site dedicated to personal VPN – – and testing new VPN services every week.  For us VPN isn’t a necessity for Usenet downloads.  Yet it goes a long way for protecting yourself online.  Especially when using public wi-fi connections.  In addition to helping unblock content like Netflix, Hulu and social networking sites while abroad.

UseNetNow / Blocknews is currently testing the VPN service in the United States.  With the possibility of adding additional access from Amsterdam.  Swintec (who manages both services) explains on DSLR:

To be honest, I do not want to push Usenet to be used with the VPN together as it really is overkill. I think of the VPN as more of a value added service, which I think is far more useful than secure storage….not to mention no others have deployed it yet to match Giganews with their Usenet/VPN offering.

We’re likely to see more providers offering VPN access and other value added services in the not too distant future.  As always we look forward to this time of the year.  As the Usenet season starts to heat up we see new innovations.  Much like the Newshosting client last month and now UseNetNow / Blocknews VPN.

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