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Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:08 pm
by chainmail
Hitnews.eu usenet subscribers living outside the Netherlands may be in for a rude awakening when they try to log in to their Hitnews account or sign up for another month of service. Web site visitors from Non-Dutch IP addresses are now forcibly redirected to a page at another site - one that offers usenet service at a much higher price than Hitnews.

Huh? I was at Hitnews.EU, what happened?

You've been redirected to this page because Hitnews.EU no longer supports international customers. We'd like to explain ourselves.

The reason is actually very simple and involves, as always, money. International traffic is very expensive. We didn't realize this when we started but it turned out our international customers were actually costing us money.
So we had to do something about this. One option was to just block all international traffic and continue as a dutch provider. But we wanted to keep our loyal international customers satisfied so we set up the website you're on right now: Xennews.Com.

There's really no great way to say this so here goes: Yes, Xennews.Com is more expensive than Hitnews.EU.


According to whois registration, Xennews is owned by VT Media, the same parent company as Hitnews. Not surprisingly, they have made it fairly easy to transfer accountsto this new higher-priced service at Xennews.

Although once the lowest-priced unlimited usenet service available anywhere, Hitnews users recently had prices increased from €6.50 to €7.50 per month, and now non-Dutch users will have to fork over €12,50 (about $17.50 US) if they want to stay loyal to Hitnews' parent company. Xennews does offer a few extras over Hitnews, like better retention and more connections. Although listed at 120 days retention, I grabbed a 135 day file without problem using their free trial.

Americans may fondly remember the days when the US dollar was on parity with the Euro, but now anything priced in Euros is relatively expensive when converted to US dollars. And paying €12,50/$17.50 per month, while probably an average list price for a Dutch provider, is hardly price-competitive for usenet. The only real advantage Xennews offers over other usenet providers is that, like Hitnews, Xennews allows account sharing (however they define that) so users wanting to share their account with friends to save money have few other options than to join Xennews.

Existing Hitnews.EU customers

If you have an active account at Hitnews.EU and you ended up here you can log in with your existing username and password at http://member.xennews.com/login.php. Your account has been transfered including any time you had left.
Please change the server from news.hitnews.eu into news.xennews.com.


Considering that most customers probably chose Hitnews for their ultra-low prices, I expect few users (other than multi-person account-sharing pools) to accept their offer to join this new service with such a steep price increase when there are better deals available.

Hitnews users - presumably smart shoppers - who 'go solo' might do well to consider Astraweb's $11/month unlimited/20 connection/SSL/160 day retention "Kleverig Special" while it lasts, which they promise will never increase in price as long as users keep an active subscription. Probably the best bang-for-buck currently available in unlimited usenet that I know of - although no account-sharing allowed.

http://www.news.astraweb.com/specials/kleverig-11.html

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:47 am
by caramello
Hi, first post here...tho loooong time lurker...
i've been with Hitnews for about a year - i'm in Europe but not NL - and their service has been pretty good up until recently, now headers are erratic in updating and speeds fluctuate wildly. Thought it was too cheap and too good to last! Haven't had my account moved to Xen but have had the probs as above :cry:
Now gone to Astrawebs $11 a month kleverig special.....good deal, good service, thanks for the heads up!

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:18 am
by fernandose
I am still loyal hitnews and is explained well at usenetservers.info, they set themselves a part and not your typical usenet provider.

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:48 am
by salami
I live in Switzerland and I did not get that notice. Might be due the fact that my ISP has a direct fibre connection to the AMS-IX and maintains an open peering with them (which means it costs them absolutely nothing to pump traffic my way), but just to be sure, I topped up for another 6 months for the hitnews prices ;)

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:07 pm
by chainmail
Salami and Fernandose,

Are you aware that the site that you are both advertising (everytime you make a post), FILESPLIT.ORG, does not exist - or was taken over by a cyber-squatter?

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:08 am
by salami
Thanks :) We closed the site some time ago, just forgot to update my signature :)

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:29 am
by chainmail
A close substitute for Hitnews might be Eweka.nl - as they are another Dutch service with the same price (7.50 Euro) even better retention (120 days) and allow account sharing also.

Though I'm not sure how much longer Eweka will maintain its "Dutchness" (as in not censoring any groups, allowing account sharing, and making copyright enforcers jump through more hoops to get content removed) since being bought by Highwinds a year ago. So far, it's still apparently independent (and does not recognize US laws, only [less-strict] Dutch laws) even with the recent Highwinds server consolidation.

www.eweka.nl

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:11 pm
by BlockNews
chainmail wrote: since being bought by Highwinds a year ago. So far, it's still apparently independent (and does not recognize US laws, only [less-strict] Dutch laws) even with the recent Highwinds server consolidation.

http://www.eweka.nl


Just wondering where you read this information or why you believe they were purchased by Highwinds?

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:50 pm
by chainmail
BlockNews wrote:
chainmail wrote: since being bought by Highwinds a year ago. So far, it's still apparently independent (and does not recognize US laws, only [less-strict] Dutch laws) even with the recent Highwinds server consolidation.

http://www.eweka.nl


Just wondering where you read this information or why you believe they were purchased by Highwinds?


I admit that I've speculated about a few NSPs that I think are resellers using Highwinds-Media as their backend provider, based on their behavior, specs, and other evidence. Eweka is an entirely different matter, as they give no clue that they have any connection to Highwinds ... other than news reports.

Beyond mere speculation, Eweka's purchase by Highwinds is public information and was reported in Dutch news last year.

Eweka overgenomen door het Amerikaanse Highwinds Capital

Eweka Internet Services, vooral bekend van hun usenet dienstverlening, is overgenomen door het Amerikaanse Highwinds Capital. Highwinds Capital is net als Eweka gespecialiseerd in usenet dienstverlening. Zo is business unit Highwinds Software producent van verschillende usenet platformen en beweert dat 7 van de 10 grootste Amerikaanse ISP’s gebruikt maakt van hun usenet platformen. Highwinds Media Group biedt ISP’s de mogelijkheid om whitelabel, zonder zelf een usenet platform te hebben, klanten usenet toegang aan te bieden.

De overname door Highwinds Capital is voornamelijk tot stand gekomen om de synergie voordelen die te behalen zijn, zo liet voormalig directeur, nu business unit manager W. Schouten mij weten. Of dit synergie voordeel ook zal betekenen dat de netwerken van Eweka en Highwinds zullen worden samengevoegd wist hij nog niet te vertellen.

“Voor onze klanten is het belangrijk om te weten dat er helemaal niks voor ze zal veranderen. Het is zuiver een verandering van aandeelhouder”, zo verzekerde Dhr. Schouten mij. Verder verandert er niets, behalve dan voor Dhr. Schouten, die nieuwe visitekaartjes nodig heeft.


www.ispam.nl/archives/759/eweka-overgen ... ds-capital

Re: Hitnews hits non-Dutch users with divorce papers

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:05 pm
by daddy_fizz
I'm on hitnews in the US with no problems...