This is a sponsored article and was made possible by UseNeXT. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Usenet is older than the Internet as we know it. It also happens to be one of the first distributed discussion systems in the world. More importantly to some people, it can also be used for sharing all manner of files.
In order to access Usenet, you’ll need a Usenet provider. ISPs used to offer Usenet access, but this is becoming less and less common. That’s where a provider like UseNeXT can come in handy.
What Is Usenet?
Usenet was first conceived in 1979 and was introduced to the public a year later. Though there isn’t a complete one-to-one mapping, they can be considered the precursor to Internet forums and sites like Reddit.
The big difference, aside from age, is that Usenet is decentralized. Where an Internet forum has a central server, Usenet threads are stored across various services on the Internet. Imagine the Git version control system combined with Internet forums, and that’s sort of what Usenet is.
UseNeXT gives you access to Usenet, offering various plans that vary depending on speed and available bandwidth. Both of these factors are important since Usenet can also be used for sharing large files.
UseNeXT offers a total of six different plans split into two tiers: saving plans and starter plans. Saving plans offer the best speed-to-price ratio but require a longer commitment. Starter plans operate on a month-by-month basis but typically cost more.
A 14-day free trial is available to let you try out the service. This will renew by default to the Smart+ plan, but you can cancel your service or change your plan before the renewal date. However, UseNeXT is offering a special 25% discount to Make Tech Easier readers who opt for a paid plan. They will also enjoy a longer trial phase of thirty days.
The Smart+ plan costs 7.95 Euro per month (roughly $8.90) and offers download speeds of up to 800 Mbit/s for up to 30 GB of data per month, with a 12-month commitment. The 9.95 Euro per month Comfort+ plan offers download speeds of up to 200 Mbit/s for up to 80 GB per month with a nine-month commitment. The 19.95 Euro per month Premium+ plan offers the same speed, but for up to 250 GB per month with a 3-month commitment.
The Smart plan costs 13.95 Euro per month and offers 60 GB per month. The Comfort plan is 16.95 Euro monthly and has a bandwidth cap of 120 GB per month. Finally, the Premium plan offers a bandwidth cap of 300 GB per month for 26.95 Euro monthly. All of these offer speeds up to 200 Mbit/s. They also include SpyOFF VPN access at no additional charge.
After the cap, all of these plans are charged at a flat rate. For the Smart+, Premium+, and Premium plans, downloads over the cap are limited to 2,000 kbit/s. The Comfort and Comfort+ plans have a limit of 1,500 kbit/s. For the Smart plan, the limit is 1,000 kbit/s.
When it comes to speed, UseNeXT is very clear about what you’re getting for the price you pay. It also claims a retention time of over 3,800 days, which is more than many other Usenet providers will offer. In our testing UseNeXT seems to live up to its claims.
When it comes to support, UseNeXT has plenty of tutorials on its website to help you get up and running. In case this isn’t enough, the service also has a support team. UseNeXT says it aims to reply to every message within forty-eight hours but that someone will usually reply to you within twenty-four hours.
Security and Privacy
When it comes to encryption, UseNeXT offers 256-bit SSL encryption. Its login process is encrypted as well. UseNeXT promises it doesn’t share your IP address and that it doesn’t censor what data is available via Usenet.
As mentioned above, UseNeXT’s Starter plans also include SpyOFF VPN access. Whether you use this or another VPN provider, using a VPN can help to further ensure your security and privacy.
In order to actually access Usenet, you’ll need a newsreader application. UseNeXT doesn’t provider a reader of its own, which doesn’t come as a surprise. Most Usenet providers don’t offer a newsreader of their own.
UseNeXT has recommendations depending on your platform. Both Momentum and holmez.com are recommended whether you use Windows, macOS, or Linux. No matter what platform you use, UseNeXT has setup instructions available to help you configure your newsreader of choice.
If you decide to cancel your UseNeXT service, whether it’s a standard subscription or the free trial, be aware that the process isn’t straightforward. Unlike many services, you won’t find an easy link to cancel your subscription. Instead, you’ll need to email or call UseNeXT.
That’s not the only aspect of the cancellation process that can be confusing. Depending on your subscription type, there are cancellation notice periods to keep in mind. For month-by-month packages, the notice period is seven days from the end of the term. For longer subscriptions, the notice period is one month from the end of the contract term.
If you cancel outside of these periods, you’ll end up being charged for another term. The one exception is the free trial, which you can cancel any time until the last day of the test period.
UseNeXT is an extremely solid Usenet provider with fast speeds and large data caps. The service also lives up to its claims when it comes to data retention. However, UseNeXT’s dated cancellation process is also worth considering.
Yet, with the UseNeXT free trial, it allows you to get a feel for the service before you commit. And don’t forget that Make Tech Easier readers get a bonus in the form of a 25% discount and a longer thirty-day trial.