Last Fall we introduced NGR Blog readers to XS Usenet and their free accounts. At the time their free plan was restricted to 1 Mbps download speeds. Since then we’ve had positive feedback from those who frequent the service and enjoy the free access. However, XS Usenet recently made a change to their free plan. Setting a cap of 25 GB of downloads a month. Might this be the first step in steering free users over to premium plans?
Everything else about the free XS Usenet accounts are the same. They still offer 2 connections and up to 1 Mbps download speeds. With SSL encrypted connections and up to 400 days of binary retention. Sign ups still just require an email address. The only difference is the new limit of 25 GB of downloads a month.
While the publicity of offering free accounts likely helps XS Usenet build their brand, they still need paying members. For that reason we’re guessing the new 25 GB limit is the first step in persuading free users to consider premium accounts. Something that is less appealing given their retention level and cost.
XS Usenet accounts are priced at €6.99 a month. The homepage lists ‘as low as €2.99′ but that only covers their 2-day account. So the equivalent cost in dollars is around $9.15 a month for 400 days of binary retention and 12 connections. That combination of price and retention makes it hard for XS Usenet to compete.
Let’s quickly compare the XS Usenet premium accounts to some other unlimited Usenet plans:
- Newshosting – 1,340+ days of retention, 30 connections, Usenet client – $9.99 a month
- NewsDemon – 1,340+ days of retention, 50 connections, online storage – $9.99 a month
- UseNetServer – 1,340+ days of retention, 20 connections, Usenet search – $10 a month
- XS Usenet – 400 days of retention, 12 connections – $9.15 a month
Our recommendation is to enjoy the free XS Usenet accounts but keep an eye out for future restrictions. If it gets to the point where the limitations impede your usage then consider all your options.