When it comes to downloading files from the Internet, Usenet is enjoying more and more popularity over its alternative, torrents. Newshosting is probably one the best providers of Usenet service, and today we’re offering a thorough review of its many features.
In case you’re a newcomer to Usenet, we’ll begin by explaining what it is, what it’s good for and what you need to get started using it. We’ll then talk about Newshosting, their plans and what they include, what devices and operating systems they support. Then, we’ll have a more detailed look at the main features of Newshosting and talk about some extra features that are also available.
Because not everyone is knowledgeable about Usenet, let’s have a quick look at what it is, how it compares to torrents and what you need to use it.
Where Does Usenet Come From?
Usenet is one of the oldest message and file-sharing systems on the Internet. In fact, it predates the World Wide Web by about 10 years. Originally intended for universities and research facilities, it eventually went into public use. Back then, most ISPs and many other organizations were offering free Usenet access. Unfortunately, it was soon “hijacked” by unscrupulous users who turned it into the place for all sorts of illegal content. In reaction, most suppliers discontinued the service and it fell out of favor.
Recently however, several suppliers have started offering paid Usenet subscriptions. As a result, it has become an ever-growing way of downloading files–much like torrents have been for years.
How Does It Work?
Without getting overly technical, here’s an overview of how Usenet works. It is at its core a messaging system, and its basic unit is indeed a “message” (which can contain text or binary data). These messages are stored on Usenet servers (also called news servers), which are interconnected and keep their messages synchronized. Users use a special type of software called a newsreader (or Usenet browser), which connects to Usenet servers to browse existing messages, read them, download the files they contain, etc. Messages are limited in size, with large files being split into fragments that are each stored in individual messages. Most newsreaders can handle the reassembling of file fragments that are downloaded.
For more details on Usenet, we suggest you read our recent article: What is Usenet? Is it Legal? How to Get Started With.
Is Usenet Better than Torrents?
Whether Usenet and torrents is better for downloading files is an ongoing debate. Proponents of each option will argue that for this and that reason–theirs is the best and the other is worth nothing. In reality, they both have pros and cons and deciding which is objectively best is almost impossible. Here are a few comparison points:
- Torrents are free while Usenet costs money. Torrents are a clear winner here.
- Usenet is encrypted and generally more secure than torrents. This time, Usenet wins.
- Torrents are easier to use than Usenet, especially when first starting. Torrents win.
- Usenet is faster than torrents–much faster. Another point for Usenet.
We could go on and on and find just as many characteristics in favor of one or the other. The truth is that, in the end, they’re both very good options and choosing the best is, more than anything, a matter of personal preference. We do, however, tend to prefer Usenet for its speed, security, and privacy.
We’ve recently published an article comparing Usenet to torrents. We recommend reading it for all the details: Usenet or Torrents, Which is Better for Downloading?
What’s Needed to Get Started?
In order to start using Usenet, a few things are needed. First and foremost, you need to subscribe to a Usenet provider such as Newshosting. Another thing you need is a newsreader or Usenet browser, which is the software you’ll use to browse the content of the news server, read and post messages and download and upload files. There are many options to choose from, but your Newshosting subscription comes with a newsreader available at no extra charge. We’ll tell you more about it as we review Newshosting in a moment.
Another thing you might need is an NZB indexer–the search engines of the Usenet world. NZB indexers scrape the contents of Usenet servers, building and maintaining indexes of their content. They also offer web servers that provide users with a search engine to assist in finding content. An NZB indexer is not absolutely required as some newsreaders offer search capabilities. However, for the best experience, you might choose to use one.
We recommend that you read this recently published article. It will help you find the best free NZB search engine: The Best Free NZB Search Engines – Finding Content on Usenet
Now that you know what Usenet is, how it works and what you need to use it, let’s jump to the core of the matter and talk about Newshosting.
Newshosting offers three subscription levels. There is the LITE plan for 10 dollars a month that will give you Usenet access, a free newsreader or Usenet browser, up to 50GB of download per month and up to 30 concurrent connections.
The next subscription level is called UNLIMITED and, as its name implies, it removes the monthly download limit. Its base monthly cost is $14.05. You can get a better deal by paying in advance for a year, bringing the monthly cost down to just $12.95. Other than that, it is identical to the Lite plan.
The top level, called XL POWERPACK, has all the same features as the Unlimited plan plus it allows up to 60 concurrent connections. Furthermore, it includes free access to Easynews, a web-based Usenet solution that works from a web browser. We’ll tell you more about Easynews as we discuss Newshosting’s features.
Every Newshosting plan includes the following:
- Access to over 100,000 newsgroups
- Retention time of over 3,300 days (and it increases every week)
- 256-bit SSL encryption for enhanced security and privacy
- Unrestricted download speed (You will download files as fast as your Internet connection permits it)
- Free 24/7 customer support (by email)
- A 14-day or 30 GB free trial
Device Compatibility and Support
The Newshosting Usenet browser is available for Windows, MacOS or Linux. But you can use any platform you like, including Android and iOS-based devices as long as you use your own newsreader software. Newshosting will let you access their servers using any software you want. If you’ve been using Usenet with your own favorite newsreader, switching to Newshosting will let you continue using it. All you’ll need is to reconfigure it accordingly.
NewsHosting offers a 14-day trial to test it risk-free. Please note that Addictive Tips readers can enjoy unlimited Usenet and VPN from just $8.33 a month with our discount.
Newshosting Terms of Service
Not everyone reads the fine print before signing up for a service. It takes time, the terminology is complex and confusing and, to be honest, it is very boring reading material. That’s why we’ve read the terms of service for you. It is fairly standard and it clearly states that Newshosting does not monitor user activity. This is good for your privacy.
Other than that, Newshosting also has a standard DMCA policy where they will honor takedown requests and remove any copyrighted content upon receiving a complaint.
Main Features of Newshosting
We’ve given Newshosting a trial run. Some of the features we’re about to show you are exclusive features of their software, while others are features of their service and will be available no matter what newsreader you use.
If you want to know more about what features are important when choosing a Usenet provider, we recommend you read this article: Choosing a Usenet Provider: How to Pick the Best.
The Newshosting Usenet Browser
Newshosting subscriptions all include their free Usenet browser software. It is a very good piece of software that will make your Usenet experience better. Let’s have a look at it:
At the top of the windows is a row of handy buttons with icons. You’ll use them to access most of the software’s features.
Newsgroups is where you go to bookmark any newsgroup in order to be able to browse its content. It shows you a list of all available newsgroups, and has a search bar at the top so you can easily find any newsgroup among the 100,000 or so that are offered. Once you’ve found the newsgroup you’re looking for, double-clicking it will allow you to add it to your bookmarks.
Once you’ve added a bookmark, clicking it in the left pane will take you to the Overview screen and the content of the selected newsgroup will appear in the right pane. You can read all the messages and download binary content easily.
If you know exactly what you’re looking for and where to find it, this can be a great way to quickly find it. But most of the time, you’ll probably want to search the whole message base for a specific file. This is where the search screen come in handy; you access it by clicking the Search button from the top button bar.
The Newshosting search functionality will help you quickly locate and download specific content. It works relatively well and eliminates the need to use an external NZB search engine.
As a test of Newshosting’s search capabilities, we’ve searched for Reefer Madness, a movie known to be in the public domain and, therefore, free of copyrights. The right pane got populated within seconds with 55 results. Then, it’s a simple matter of choosing the file you want to download and double-click it.
Upon double-clicking, you’ve got the option to either download the file or show info about it. Selecting download immediately starts the process. If you want to follow the download process, you may click the Transfers button in the button bar to see all your current downloads.
Once the download is complete, the Newshosting Usenet browser will automatically uncompress all the file fragments and reassemble them into the original file. Once all this is completed, a message pops up. You can click the link to go to the download folder.
Newshosting’s Auto Search
Another cool feature of the Newshosting Usenet browser is its Auto Search function. You access it via the Auto Search button in the top button bar. The Auto Search will automatically search for a given file every hour until it finds it. And when it does, it will either alert you or automatically download it. How convenient!
This is a beta feature at the time of this writing so, it could eventually change or be improved. A warning to that effect is displayed the first time you use it. You must acknowledge it to use the feature.
Using Auto Search is fairly easy, you enter your search terms, specify size limitations and type of media file and the action you want to perform upon finding the file. This can come in very handy to ensure you don’t miss episodes of TV series you’re following and download them as soon as they are available.
Other Notable Features of Newshosting
Newshosting has several other interesting features. Here’s a summary of the main ones:
- Error correction is a feature of Newshosting that reduces download errors. These are quite common on Usenet, making this a welcome feature. Downloads have a completion rate in excess of 90%.
- NZB integration is another useful feature. If you choose to use external NZB search engines, your search results will generate and download NZB files. Well, simply double-clicking these files will open them in the Newshosting Usenet browser and automatically start the download.
- SSL Encryption is an important security feature of Newshosting. They provide 256-bit SSL encryption between your newsreader and their servers, making sure no one sees what you’re doing. And this is true no matter what newsreader you’re using as long as it too supports encryption. These days, most newsreaders do.
Bonus Features of Newshosting
Though not directly related to their service, Newshosting also offers a few bonus features:
For added security and privacy, nothing beats a VPN. Newshosting offers one for $4.99/month with their LITE and UNLIMITED plans and free with their XL POWERPACK plan. Their VPN is nothing fancy but it will give you the protection you need not only when using Usenet but whenever you connect to the VPN servers. It is a separate thing from their Usenet service.
Easynews Free Access
The Newshosting XL POWERPACK plan also gives you free access to Easynews, a web-based Usenet solution. With Easynews, you don’t need any software or access to a Usenet server–it is a completely integrated solution that you access from anywhere using any browser. Easynews is a very useful as a complement to your Newshosting account. It will give you Usenet access from any computer anywhere.
In our opinion, Newshosting is the best Usenet service provider. Their service is super fast and super secure, thanks to its 256-bit SSL encryption. With over 100,000 newsgroups and the longest retention of all providers, you’re almost certain to find what you’re looking for. Their full-featured software means that you won’t have to install or configure anything else. But if you prefer, their service will work with any standard newsreader software. Just like their included software will work with any NZB search engine.
There are some negative points about Newshosting, though. After all, nothing is perfect. They only offer email support, and although they claim it is 24/7, you still have to wait for someone to respond to your email.
In order to preserve their privacy, some people prefer to use anonymous payments methods such as Bitcoin. Others prefer to use electronic payments such as PayPal. Unfortunately, Newshosting only offers credit card payments, which could be a dealbreaker for some.
Newshosting is certainly one of the top Usenet providers available, if not the best outright. And if you’re new to Usenet, you’ll love its simple-to-install and easy-to-use Usenet Browser. On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned user with all your favorite software, it will still work seamlessly with Newshosting.
Have you tried Newshosting? How was your experience? And did this article manage to answer all your questions about it? We love to hear from our readers. Share your thoughts using the comments below!