In the beginning days of Usenet, newsgroup access was granted by ISP’s to their internet subscribers. Access to a Usenet usually came in the form of a server that was run by the ISP. As bandwidth speeds grew, so did the size of Usenet. The demand for Usenet and other high speed applications also grew during this time. What used to be news servers only offering 10 days of retention with 1 Megabit per second connections grew into news servers with retention of 100 days with 5 Mbps broadband connections. During that time, many third party Usenet providers started appearing in the market to try to meet these growing needs of these customers.
Usenet providers offer many types of packages. How do you know which one to choose? Well, let’s look at a few features to consider when selecting a Usenet provider.
1) How often you will use the service? Usenet providers many types of accounts based on usage or give you unlimited monthly downloads. For example, on the market today, there are Usenet accounts based on how many GB you can download in a given month, accounts based on unlimited usage and even accounts based on duration (can buy an account for 1 to 3 days- usually unlimited downloads). Depending on how you plan to use the service, you may want to choose the account that best matches your need.
2) Does the account come with SSL? SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. This option on the service allows you to download from a Usenet providers servers with greater security. SSL also helps you get around speed limits set by your ISP. So if you want to be able to download at your full connection speed, get an account that has SSL.
3) Does the Usenet provider offer a free Newsreader or Usenet search feature with their service? Many providers want to provide a total Usenet experience to their customers. They will sometimes work with Newsreader program companies to offer a bundled package. Some Usenet providers have their own newsreader or their own search service. For example, Easynews offers a web interface for Usenet as well as a Usenet search feature with their service.