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- Retention: 3370+ days
- Payment: Creditcard, Paypal
- Connections: 20
- SSL protection: 256-bit encryption
- Price: From $7,95 per month
UsenetServer is a very competitively priced Usenet provider with good retention, a free trial and a complementary VPN client. UsenetServer is part of UNS Holding, a big name in Usenet land. This means that UsenetServer comes from the same stable as Newshosting, Tweaknews and Easynews. How does UsenetServer relate to these other forces to be reckoned with, and which provider is most suitable? In this review, we will investigate in detail what UsenetServer has to offer.
UsenetServer subscriptions and price
This provider has a simple structure when it comes to subscriptions. There is only one package available, and the price varies depending on the duration of your subscription. If you choose to subscribe for a year, you will receive a VPN service for free.
With UsenetServer you get 3377 days of retention and you can download without data limits. UNS guarantees a 99.9% completion rate, which means that almost all your downloads will be completed and will not miss any critical data. There is also a free trial of 14 days, with a download limit of 10GB. This free trial starts automatically as soon as you subscribe.
Setting up UsenetServer (configuration)
To use UsenetServer in conjunction with your newsreader, use the following settings and configuration:
- SSL News server hostname: secure.usenetserver.com
- SSL ports: 563, 443, 8080
- Non-SSL news server hostname: news.usenetserver.com
- Non-SSL ports: 20, 23, 25, 119, 3128, 7000, 8000, 9000
Global Search: The search engine of UsenetServer
UsenetServer provides a search engine to find NZB files. The added value of this search engine is limited. Where Tweaknews, Newshosting and Easynews offer a web-based application that lets you download, unpack and repair files directly, this will be not possible with UsenetServer. Unlike with these other Usenet providers, you will still need a separate newsreader to download with UsenetServer.
What Global Search of UsenetServer offers is the ability to find and download NZB files. Subsequently, your newsreader (like Newsleecher or GrabIt) can use these NZB files to find the actual file you are looking for on Usenet.
Safety and privacy Usenetserver
Privacy statement UsenetServer
The information that UsenetServer receives from you during registration includes your name, phone number, address and email. This information will be linked to your payment information, such as your credit card information or your Paypal account. However, there is currently no possibility to pay anonymously with Bitcoin. On UsenetServer’s website, there is a comprehensive privacy page describing how personal information from customers will be treated.
UsenetServer states the following:
“The personally identifiable information we collect on our site is mainly used to create new accounts, to collect payments, to recognize current users, to send users information about their account, or to assist when a customer experiences difficulties with an account.”
UNS Holding (the company which owns UsenetServer) upholds a policy in which the download behavior of users is not monitored. Therefore, there are no log files that contain explicit information about what a user has downloaded through UsenetServer’s network.
SSL and VPN
Usenetserver provides solid 256-bit SSL encryption and a VPN client. The SSL encryption ensures that downloads via Usenet pass through a secure connection so that external parties cannot see what you download. The VPN client also protects all your other internet traffic, not just the Usenet downloads. The VPN is available for Windows, Max OS X, iOS and Android. For Android and iOS, there are special apps that you can download for free from the App Store and Play Store.
UsenetServer seems to be using a different VPN client than Easynews and Newshosting, even though these companies are the same holding. The server network also seems to differ. It sappears that UsenetServer VPN shares the server network with Tweaknews VPN. Some features of the UsenetServer VPN service:
- You are asked to find the desired balance between speed and safety. If you increase the security level (there are 3 different modes) then this will decrease the speed. We could not deduce what changes concretely, although it seems plausible that the different modes are associated with different encryption protocols. We think it might be the application encrypting your data with either OpenVPN, L2TP or PPTP. These are all different VPN protocols.
- Access to dozens of servers in 20+ countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, South Korea, Italy, Sweden, USA, UK and more).
- No data limit or speed limit.
- UsenetServer does not keep logs and VPN users are allowed to use torrent networks.
Initially, the UsenetServer VPN worked well for us on both smartphone and desktop. Unfortunately, after a while we continuously received an error message when starting up the VPN application on our desktop computer. We could not get it to function properly. However, this was an excellent opportunity to subject UsenetServer’s customer support to a test.
Note: The problems we experienced with the VPN were related to the application / client. It is possible to bypass this client by setting up the VPN directly in Windows and selecting a server. Nevertheless, for ease of use, we are in favor of well-functioning VPN clients.
UsenetServer customer support
Via the UsenetServer website you can submit a support ticket if you experience any issues. You ask your question and someone from UsenetServer will formulate an answer for you by email. We ran into problems with the VPN service and decided to open a ticket. It took about 2 hours before we received an answer. There seemed to be a temporary malfunction with the VPN software and customer service was aware of the issue. Customer support gave us advice on how we could get the VPN connection to work with a temporary workaround. So all things considered, we feel customer support is very decent. Still, and we keep saying this for every Usenet provider, a direct chat function would be welcome!
We ran some speed tests whilst downloading with UsenetServer. We were able to practically reach the theoretical limits of our own internet connections, with download speeds up to 200 mbit/second. The files we downloaded were all complete. So hats off to UsenetServer’s speed.
Conclusion: Is UsenetServer any good?
UsenetServer certainly has some nice features. Most noticeable is UsenetServer’s search engine, called Global Search. Unfortunately, we think Global Search is unnecessary for many users. Veteran downloaders will often consult their own NZB sites, while beginners will divert to other Usenet providers with built-in newsreader software. For starting Usenet users, Tweaknews and Newshosting are much more user-friendly, especially because web-based applications are easier and more complete, without the need for an external newsreader. We also experienced some problems with the UsenetServer VPN client during our tests. The strong points and weaknesses of UsenetServer briefly summarized:
- Servers in Europe and the USA
- Friendly pricing plans
- Free trial (10 GB)
- Retention time is superb
- Maximum of 20 connections, which is substandard compared to the competition
- No Bitcoin payment option
- Possibilities Global Search are rather limited
- VPN application is very basic and has some issues