Updated · Jun 06, 2022
Best for: One-off block usage
What Is NewsgroupDirect?
While NewsgroupDirect isn’t the first Usenet internet service, it has been providing access to Usenet binaries and bulletin board system-style texts since 2004. It offers retention of over nine years.
Its regular plans are unlimited and uncapped, meaning you can download as much as you want. There is no limit on the speed at which downloading occurs. It’s not the fastest Usenet service provider out there, but it’s stable and gets the job done.
Like all the best Usenet service providers, NewsgroupDirect comes with a native newsreader and a VPN service that protects you from being tracked by your ISP and others. The NewsgroupDirect VPN is provided in conjunction with Ghost Path VPN. It works on any device, and you can even set it up from the router level. It keeps no logs, is Torrent-friendly, and doesn’t have any noticeable effect on speed.
Depending on the type of binary newsgroups or Usenet-style internet forums you want to access, retention can be a big deal. NewsgroupDirect retention is over nine years or up to 3500+ days.
Since the company provides access to many newsreaders, you’ll never struggle to use the Usenet browsers or download the files you want. There are Usenet clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Speed and reliability are paramount if you want to download sizable binary Usenet files. Luckily, there are no speed caps, which means they will give you as many resources as possible.
It’s worth noting that while you aren’t held back, this doesn’t make it the fastest Usenet internet service. During the tests for our NewsgroupDirect review, we experienced a consistent 44-45Mbps download speed while connecting to the VPN. Without the VPN, it is slightly faster.
When overall activity is low, speed is much faster, but things can slow down during peak times. However, it’s still a pretty quick service. Some regular ISPs still can’t manage speeds this fast.
All plans come with 100 SSL encrypted connections for fast simultaneous downloads and solid infrastructure. Should one go down, there are plenty of others to pick it up. The company uses this to guarantee 100% uptime.
SuperNews supplements the NewsgroupDirect backbone. Even in the unlikely event that all main servers go down, data and files are backed up and accessible via SuperNews.
And what about the VPN? As with all VPNs, Ghost Path will reduce speeds because it routes traffic to hide your IP. Yet this difference is negligible compared to the benefits you receive. Furthermore, the VPN keeps your data private when accessing an Usenet news server.
NewsgroupDirect’s customer support is more than adequate for an Usenet internet service provider. The site gives you full access to the NewsgroupDirect port and relevant Usenet server details.
Apart from that, it comes with an FAQ and knowledge base. You can find recommended newsreaders and other Usenet services, on top of guides on connecting to SSL servers, performing a traceroute, and more.
You can contact customer support directly via a form or email support tickets. There also is a community forum where you can post queries. Furthermore, the company has social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook, but they haven’t been very active in the last few years.
All regular NewsgroupDirect plans come with unlimited download data, 100 connections, no speed caps, SSL encryption, and VPN access.
- NGD + Super News: $7/month (includes Super News access)
- Unlimited six months: $40/six months
- Unlimited one year: $75/year
You get a 30-day money-back guarantee on the subscription plans. The company calls this a “free trial,” but you have to pay upfront. Remember that you can’t use more than 15GB to be eligible for the refund.
If you don’t want to tie yourself down with a subscription, you can purchase individual data blocks. There are no speed caps, and you can use the data for as long as you like. The prices for these are:
- 50GB: $5
- 100GB: $7
- 250GB: $10
- 500GB: $15
- 1,000GB: $30
- 2,000GB: $45
Block accounts aren’t eligible for the money-back guarantee.
NewsgroupDirect Review - Verdict
NewsgroupDirect is a solid Usenet provider. You can quickly access Usenet forums and download binaries with no inherent speed or usage caps. The unlimited plans are great, but we also like the option to buy blocks of data.
Even though there are many privacy features, from a great VPN to encryption and payment via BitPay, the fine print makes us slightly uneasy. Many other NewsgroupDirect reviews also show concern about how the company uses customer data. Retention is also somewhat lower than other top-level providers.
To conclude our NewsgroupDirect review, we think it could be a top-tier service if they tightened a few loose ends.
A qualified journalist and longtime web content writer, Keelan has a passion for exploring information and learning new things. If he's not writing or pushing his own brands, you'll find him watching pro wrestling or trying not to rant about politics online.
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