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Providers of Newsgroup Access

Check out Newsgroup Service Providers

Newsgroup Service Providers typically are solely focused on providing newsgroup access, many times to groups numbering in the hundreds-of-thousands (see complete list of newsgroups). Access is usually given via login & password, which is nice as you can access the newsgroups from anywhere you can get internet access. I find it handy because often I want access from home, work, or an internet cafe while on the road.

Let's start with a few definitions:

- completion: postings of binary files (e.g. pictures) are typically posted in multiple parts due to their size (and "post size" restrictions of the newsserver). To download the entire file and have it work properly on your computer, all the parts of the post must be available on the newsserver. If all parts are not available, more than likely the file downloaded will not work properly when you go to access it. A completion rate (usually expressed in terms of a percentage (%) over 90% is considered excellent.

- retention: how long posts exist on a newsserver. News servers typically expire posts as newer postings are added to the newsgroups, and based on the amount of available disk space on the server. This is useful for both binaries and text-only groups since the longer the retention, the farther back in time you can go to read or download postings. Over 30 days is considered excellent.

- speed: how fast posts are downloaded/uploaded to/from your computer. This will be important to those users downloading large (over 100Kb and especially multi-part) posts. If you have a DSL, cable, (or faster) internet connection you'll want to consider this option when researching a provider.

Determining the best newsgroup providers is not cut-and-dry, as it really depends on how you want to use newsgroups. I've tried many newsgroup providers and have been happiest with the following newsgroup services:

Newsgroup-Binaries.com Appears to have the highest completion and retention rates, especially for the binaries newsgroups. The download speeds are extremely fast and it's the one I recommend when someone cares about speed. Any newsreader application can be used for this service.

Newsgroups-Download.com this is the fastest service I've used yet. They allow 8 connections/streams from any newsreader, and have servers located in USA and Netherlands. The downloads/uploads I was seeing were as fast as my Internet connection could muster. Cable/DSL users should give this one a try.

Usenet-Access.com Block (monthly) and daily limit accounts of all sizes available. This was my first newsgroup experience. Support was helpful in getting me online and are friendly. Access is via a newsreader application.

Give any of them a try...


 

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