NewsgroupDirect

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NewsgroupDirect is a popular Usenet service which has been operating in this crowded market for over a decade. Founded in 2004, the company aims to offer high-speed Usenet access without compromising on price. This provider currently caters for more than 110,000 customers, making it one of the larger newsgroup operators out there.

Performance

One of the worst things you can do is choose a Usenet platform that doesn’t have a decent retention rate – this means you simply won’t retain access to articles for long (as they’re removed from the system once the retention period is up). Fortunately, NewsgroupDirect doesn’t disappoint here. Currently, there’s binary retention of 3,169 days, which is one of the best figures we’ve come across. A ton of providers are still yet to reach the 2,000 day mark.

The firm also promises it’s growing this retention rate, which is obviously a good thing – and a further promise is a 100% completion rate, and 100% uptime to give you the best Usenet experience possible.

Speed and UI

NewsgroupDirect maintains a network of its own servers, which should help on the performance front. According to the firm, its customers constantly max out their connections with the service.

The user interface is another important element to consider when choosing a Usenet service. There are plenty of platforms that look outdated and/or require significant technical experience when it comes to operating the UI. NewsgroupDirect has identified the importance of offering an easy-to-use interface, and that’s exactly what it has crafted. 

Once you sign up, you can access an online control panel where it’s possible to track your usage and change plans if necessary. You also get an auto-recycling feature, which gives you a fresh allotment of bandwidth should you run out of road in terms of data allowance before your monthly billing period is up.

Security and support

You don’t have to worry about security, either. As is the case with most Usenet providers out there, NewsgroupDirect delivers bank-grade SSL encryption to ensure that the data you download and upload is secure (it’s available on all but the most basic plan). With the top-end subscription plan, you can also make use of Ghost Path VPN to further boost the security and privacy of your internet connection.

This provider runs a tight customer support operation as well. If you experience an issue with the platform or have a question about subscriptions, you can contact a member of NewsgroupDirect’s support team online. Additionally, there’s a FAQ and knowledgebase answering common questions about the service.

Pricing

Just like most other Usenet services, NewsgroupDirect offers both monthly and block price plans. All plans include 3,169 days of binary retention, free posting, free headers, header compression and a 7-day, 15GB money-back guarantee.

The cheapest monthly plan costs $4.95 (£3.85, AU$6.60) and gives you 20GB of data and 20 connections – but unfortunately you don’t get SSL encryption. The mid-range plan gives you the latter, along with double the data allowance (40GB) and 50 connections for $6.95 (around £5.40, AU$9.20) per month.

If you’re looking for a more powerful option, the unlimited plan is your best bet. Costing $17.95 (£13.95, AU$23.85) a month, this allows for unlimited downloads, 50 connections and SSL encryption plus the aforementioned VPN service. 

Of course, monthly plans aren’t for everybody, so you can opt for a block account instead, where you purchase a straight block of data (as opposed to a subscription). There are a few to choose from, but the cheapest costs $10 (£7.80, AU$13.30) for 50GB of data. The costliest block will set you back $150 (£117, AU$199) for 2000GB of data.

Final verdict

When it comes to finding a good Usenet service, you can be overwhelmed by choice. There are plenty of powerful options out there, but many of them are overpriced and/or difficult to use. NewsgroupDirect is an option that offers pretty much everything you’d want from a Usenet provider: ample retention, good security and quality customer support. The only real disappointment is a lack of SSL encryption on the basic plan.

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