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Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

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Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:57 am

After weeks of hard work, our Premium News Server Guide has been relaunched, the first of many overhauls to our newsgroups guide. There are many improvements:

* Tabbed browsing between server categories
* Additional information on each server (retention, pricing, SSL, payment options)
* Numerous aesthetic improvements
* Most importantly, user ratings and comments have been restored.

We're very proud of our new and improved guide. Enjoy!
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby Maestro120 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:27 pm

Thanks for the guide.

Boy... Usenet-News doesn't even make the list...
Not that I blame Slyck. They have been promising what seems like forever now, greater retention in the Binaries beyond the 110 days I typically get. But so far I've seen squat. Seriously thinking of giving Astraweb a go when my current block account runs out. Their 160 day retention sounds good plus they are cheaper than Usenet-News in the 100 Gig block range too.
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:29 pm

Sure they did, tab over to "All by Name". Here's a direct link: http://www.slyck.com/ns.php?id=80
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby Maestro120 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:37 pm

Ok... I see it now, thanks.

Still pissed off with their current retention though. I can't tell you how many times I've been fustrated upon searching for a file on Usenet only to find its just out of my reach at a measly 125 days. :pissedoff:
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby SlyckTom » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:44 pm

You should rate it and submit a comment then. If you're not happy, then definitely consider switching...
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby gorlov » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:16 am

The new server launched a couple of weeks ago is increasing its retention with 1 day per day, and will reach well past 150 days when finished.
I find it interesting that both Newsdemon and usenetserver are "Slyck recommended", when they deliver exactly the same service as we do. Newsdemon are even much more expensive for the same thing.

Best Regards,

Goran
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby NewzSurfer » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:38 pm

Well please remember that Tom is probably taking more into consideration than just the retention and the price.

Dependability, support, additional servers, payment options, plan options, and other factors can help set providers apart.
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby Fartingbob » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:56 pm

Well as a semi-regular user of usenet-news.net i havent got any complaints. I tend to switch between them and astraweb (actually have block accounts active with both, when one runs out i compare to see who's offering what at the time). Apart from the retention in which astraweb has been ahead for a while now there wasnt anything wrong with the service and i preferred its block size options.
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby gorlov » Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:26 am

NewzSurfer wrote:Well please remember that Tom is probably taking more into consideration than just the retention and the price.

Dependability, support, additional servers, payment options, plan options, and other factors can help set providers apart.



I wrote "exactly the same", and that's what I mean. Newsdemon are, just as we are, Highwinds resellers, reselling the exact same servers, exact same retention, exact same reliability, but at a higher price. Our support has also always been one of our strongest points, (always a reply well within 60 minutes, 24/7/365), and we have been established longer than Newsdemon. (Ngroups.NET celebrates 5 years right now, and we started our Usenet.SE service over a year before that.)
Usenetserver.com also use the exact same servers.

But of course, with Newsdemon you get a free T-shirt. With us you can only get up to 3 months free... (At Ngroups.NET, before Nov 30)


Regards,

Goran
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby NewzSurfer » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:20 am

Newsdemon.com has live support, offers free usenet to a variety of charities, and offers more plans than either your site or UNS. Also, Newsdemon is not just a UNS reseller AND they provide a free copy of Newsrover.

Consider this constructive criticism. Your site is slightly harder to navigate than Newsdemon and the payment pages at Newsdemon are a little cleaner and more secure looking...who is CCDeb? I have never been a big fan of leaving a site to make payment. Just a personal preference. I remember the old days where IBill.com had a lot of the market in online credit card processing and at one point their employees were not only selling the email addresses to spam vendors but were also stealing the credit card numbers.

I think to some degree, its about size too. People tend to flock to crowds and my guess is that Newsdemon and UNS are both larger than Ngroups. I would definitely say they get more press.

Just my two cents....and its probably not worth that much...
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby Fartingbob » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:46 am

NewzSurfer wrote:Just my two cents....and its probably not worth that much...

With the recent stock market crash, its only worth 1.3 cents now. :lol:
And i dont know about ngroups.net, but usenet-news.net is pretty well known around these parts, and i see no reason not to recommend it. Its got a 5 star rating with 14 votes on the slyck list.
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby NewzSurfer » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:58 am

I would be worried that the main page still has a note about moving their US Server farm on September 27th....
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby gorlov » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:11 am

NewzSurfer wrote:Newsdemon.com has live support, offers free usenet to a variety of charities, and offers more plans than either your site or UNS. Also, Newsdemon is not just a UNS reseller AND they provide a free copy of Newsrover.


We have considered implementing live support, but as long as our normal ticket support is as quick as it is, haven't made it a priority. It has to be as high quality, not some Indian support center where they can't help anyway. (I don't mean that's what Newsdemom has - I'm sure it's not.)
I'm not sure what you mean by "Newsdemon is not just a UNS reseller" - they sell exactly the same servers we do, no more, no less. They used to, and so did we, resell other Highwinds servers too, but I don't think they do, any more.
[Edit:] I think their limited service is still connecting to another Highwinds server, which I wouldn't be surprised will be consolidated into the same soon.

Granted: They offer plans with access to only the US or EU server. But their limited plans are similar, but fewer, than our block accounts at Usenet-News, AND you have to pay more PER MONTH than the same amount of download cost for a NON-expiring block at Usenet-News.

Ok, a free copy of News Rover may be fine - IF you are new to Usenet and need a newsreader, AND like News Rover. But most users already have a newsreader, and/or prefer another one. We could offer a similar deal, but then the account would only be more expensive for those who want it - I don't see why all others have to pay for something they don't want, don't need, and don't use.


NewzSurfer wrote:Consider this constructive criticism. Your site is slightly harder to navigate than Newsdemon and the payment pages at Newsdemon are a little cleaner and more secure looking...who is CCDeb? I have never been a big fan of leaving a site to make payment. Just a personal preference. I remember the old days where IBill.com had a lot of the market in online credit card processing and at one point their employees were not only selling the email addresses to spam vendors but were also stealing the credit card numbers.


I agree about the web site; It's long overdue for a redesign. It's the same as it was 5 years ago...
CCDeb is our own central card processing system. Since we have several web sites, we created a central system which is located on it's own dedicated server, completely hardened, entirely PCI-DSS compliant even tough credit card data isn't even saved in the system, but only at the processing bank.
I'm not sure I understand why you prefer to give your card data to 10 different companies instead of one, that just increases the risk that one is crooked, but that's not relevant here.

NewzSurfer wrote:I think to some degree, its about size too. People tend to flock to crowds and my guess is that Newsdemon and UNS are both larger than Ngroups. I would definitely say they get more press.

Just my two cents....and its probably not worth that much...


UNS are certainly larger; They are one of the major providers, since many years back. I'm not at all certain that Newsdemon are larger then us; at least they haven't been, always. Perhaps they are now, I don't know, but we haven't pushed our services much lately, only relied on word of mouth.
In Slycks Newsserver list our Usenet-News service used to be on top in the old list, with a solid 5.0 feedback rate and 14 votes. Now they are at the bottom of the list, since the new list is alphabetic. Ngroups.NET has had less press, with only 4.0 and only 6 votes. But Newsdemon also has only 4.0, and only 7 votes, compared to our 20 votes total for the 2 services... so I'm not sure that newsdemon has had "more press", at least not historically.
But I really appreciate the feedback - It's interesting to see how a non-customer sees us, and what we need to do to get more customers to trust us in the first place. Those who already are become costomers are another thing - there the services themselves are what is judged.

NewzSurfer wrote:I would be worried that the main page still has a note about moving their US Server farm on September 27th....


That is on purpose - We are still getting support questions from old customers about that, since their old headers doesn't work. But it probably will be removed soon.


Regards,

Goran
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby Dark Horizon » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:02 am

As some one who just left NGroups.net for a higher retention provider, I'd still recommend them to anyone who asked. I was with them since their Oktoberfest deal last year and I can't remember ever having any downtime at all. Although, I'll agree that the site is in need of an overhaul. I had a hard time finding out how much I was currently paying when I was on the site and ended up just digging up an old credit card statement to find out. I'd probably still be with them if I knew they were going to upgrade retention to 150+ days so soon. :(
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby NewzSurfer » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:16 am

Goran, I agree that its a lot of small things that are different. But small things add up I guess and I don't suppose you can assume every Usenet user is an experienced user. The Newsdemon website is just more robust. It offers a better user experience for both the experienced and non-experienced Usenet user. Here are three links I like about Newsdemon:

http://www.newsdemon.com/blog/
http://www.newsdemon.com/whatis.php
http://www.newsdemon.com/charter_directory.php

They are actually trying to go through all the groups in the Usenet and log the newsgroup charter for each group. Its kind of cool. Here is an example: http://www.newsdemon.com/newsgroup-info/rec.arts.books.reviews

I am only able to find an ashburn and amsterdam server for ngroups.net. Newsdemon is listing a total of five servers you can access: http://www.newsdemon.com/ports.php

As for pricing, I do not pay full price, they offer coupons: http://www.retailmenot.com/view/newsdemon.com

I pay $14.39 for Unlimited access.

The traffic on the two sites appears to be somewhat similar. Alexa has Newsdemon ranked higher though.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/ngroups.net
http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/newsdemon.com

As for the reviews on slyck, the voting process has not been open for a long time I don't think. Its time for them to reopen that feature!

Whew! Thats a lot of info....did not mean to ramble on like this. I hope this helps you understand my perspective a little. Good luck with your site!
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby gorlov » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:43 pm

NewzSurfer wrote:Goran, I agree that its a lot of small things that are different. But small things add up I guess and I don't suppose you can assume every Usenet user is an experienced user.


Yes, as I wrote, our web site is long overdue for an overhaul... a work that has actually been in progress for some time, but I don't have a date for the new site lauch yet.

NewzSurfer wrote:I am only able to find an ashburn and amsterdam server for ngroups.net. Newsdemon is listing a total of five servers you can access: http://www.newsdemon.com/ports.php


They list all the server addresses there; We have the same, Ashburn and Amsterdam, SSL and Non-SSL. That's four. They list their server as being in Atlanta, but obviously haven't updated their site. The Atlanta server farm is closed now.
The server they have that we don't have, is the one for their non-premium users, as I mentioned. That's newshostings server, I think, (also Highwinds, and similar to the other US server), but as I mentioned I wouldn't be surprised if that gets consolidated into the same pretty soon.

NewzSurfer wrote:As for pricing, I do not pay full price, they offer coupons: http://www.retailmenot.com/view/newsdemon.com

I pay $14.39 for Unlimited access.


We don't offer coupons, but instead have special offers for all a few times a year. As now, with our 5-year anniversary special, where you get the first 2 months for $19.99, (less than $10 per month), and less than $12 per month thereafter. Plus the chance of getting the first months entirely free, in our anniversary lottery. "Dark Horizon" above had our "Octoberfest" offer from last year, which then was $9.99 per month, for life. We don't offer a lot of extra bells and whistles, but affordable usenet for power users.

NewzSurfer wrote:The traffic on the two sites appears to be somewhat similar. Alexa has Newsdemon ranked higher though.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/ngroups.net
http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/newsdemon.com

As for the reviews on slyck, the voting process has not been open for a long time I don't think. Its time for them to reopen that feature!

Whew! Thats a lot of info....did not mean to ramble on like this. I hope this helps you understand my perspective a little. Good luck with your site!


You are correct; According to Alexa Newsdemon has more visitors, although I think it's more equal if adding both our sites together. But on the whole I think they have passed us.
But the slyck voting being closed affects us as much as them, I think. Or perhaps not, any more, since almost nobody finds our site in the list now. :-(

Again, that's, and thanks for the feedback. It helps a lot.
I also think I should get back here and be as active as a couple of years ago... :-)

(P.S. One thing that some users think is positive with us; Our user database and our legal home aren't in the US...)


Best Regards,

Goran
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby SlyckTom » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:57 pm

But the slyck voting being closed affects us as much as them, I think. Or perhaps not, any more, since almost nobody finds our site in the list now.


Have you tried voting yet? DId you see this part of the forum post: * Most importantly, user ratings and comments have been restored.

You can definitely rate and comment on news servers now...
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby gorlov » Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:40 pm

SlyckTom wrote:
But the slyck voting being closed affects us as much as them, I think. Or perhaps not, any more, since almost nobody finds our site in the list now.


Have you tried voting yet? DId you see this part of the forum post: * Most importantly, user ratings and comments have been restored.

You can definitely rate and comment on news servers now...



I didn't check it myself, since I'm biased and don't vote, I just assumed the previous poster was correct. But my comment on his statement still stands, since it was down for some time, and we now are kind of off the list...

Best regards,

Goran
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Re: Premium News Server Guide Relaunched

Postby Neoworld » Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:25 am

I was with Usenet-News on the Octoberfest Lifetime $9.99 deal. However I left them for Astraweb mainly due to the 160+ days retention (according to Astraweb 200 days isn't to far of) for an extra $1.

While I was with Usenet-News I had no complaints except the hard to read usage meter IMO. The service was fine. Only their retention is lacking IMO but according to a post above they are looking to hit 150 days (they should aim for 200 days).

If they eclipse Astraweb in retention and introduce an Octoberfest type plan cheaper than Astraweb's $11 "ongoing rate" I'll return. But as their cheapest unlimited current "ongoing" subsciption is $11.99 I beleive they need to introduce more competitve pricing to compete at their current retention rate. Maybe time for a Decemberfest :?:

Just my 2c from the point of view as a customer.
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