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Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby jjdavola » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:53 am

I hope this is posted in the right place and sorry for the n00bish question, but I'm brand new to newsgroups, although I've done a bit of research. What are the most important factors when deciding on a Usenet provider and newsreader? I assume it's retention days and completion rate, but I'm not sure about what else I should be looking for.

Reason being, Supernews has the $9.99/month deal and I also received a "special" link from Astraweb with the $96/year offer and I'm trying to decide which is better.

As far as newsreaders I received an invitation for Newzbin, but noticed they only have a 240 day retention and they indicated they had no plans to increase it any time soon. On the other hand, NZBMatrix has a 450 day retention and one item I'd like on NZBMatrix is 300 days old.

So of the two providers, which is better, Supernews or Astraweb and why?

Then which newsreader is best and why? FYI I don't necessarily care about the one 300 day old item, but I'm looking for a newsreader for the long haul.

Thank you! BTW this is a great and informative site. :)
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby ntscuser » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:30 am

jjdavola wrote:As far as newsreaders I received an invitation for Newzbin, but noticed they only have a 240 day retention and they indicated they had no plans to increase it any time soon. On the other hand, NZBMatrix has a 450 day retention and one item I'd like on NZBMatrix is 300 days old.
Those are not "newsreaders", they are search engines and indexing sites. Of the latter, "Binsearch" probably has more retention than you will ever need and is totally free.

A "newsreader" is a downloading client such as "Grabit" (free but with very limited technical support) or NewsBin Pro (not free but has full technical support). The retention you get with these depends entirely on the newsserver you are subscribed-to.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby jjdavola » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:45 am

ntscuser wrote:
jjdavola wrote:As far as newsreaders I received an invitation for Newzbin, but noticed they only have a 240 day retention and they indicated they had no plans to increase it any time soon. On the other hand, NZBMatrix has a 450 day retention and one item I'd like on NZBMatrix is 300 days old.
Those are not "newsreaders", they are search engines and indexing sites. Of the latter, "Binsearch" probably has more retention than you will ever need and is totally free.

A "newsreader" is a downloading client such as "Grabit" (free but with very limited technical support) or NewsBin Pro (not free but has full technical support). The retention you get with these depends entirely on the newsserver you are subscribed-to.


Thanks!! I told you I was a n00b. :oops:

So I really don't need Newzbin or NZBMatrix??

Do you have any thoughts on my Astraweb vs. Supernews question?

Thanks again!
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby ntscuser » Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:52 am

jjdavola wrote:So I really don't need Newzbin or NZBMatrix??
Strictly speaking, you don't need an NZB site of any kind, it just makes searching quicker and more convenient.
jjdavola wrote:Do you have any thoughts on my Astraweb vs. Supernews question?
I've always used GigaNews myself so can't really comment on the other two.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby jjdavola » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:10 am

ntscuser wrote:
jjdavola wrote:So I really don't need Newzbin or NZBMatrix??
Strictly speaking, you don't need an NZB site of any kind, it just makes searching quicker and more convenient.
jjdavola wrote:Do you have any thoughts on my Astraweb vs. Supernews question?
I've always used GigaNews myself so can't really comment on the other two.


Thank you!!! :toast:
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby Wrinkles » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:24 am

I would not feel comfortable paying for a full year of service with anyone. I know you are new...but following the usenet landscape over the years with little legal issues here and there and then providers going belly up...to iffy for me. Supernews is run by Giganews which some people have started noting that certain articles are being removed from the servers rather quickly (within a weeks time).
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby ntscuser » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:25 am

jjdavola wrote:Thank you!!! :toast:
You're welcome :toast:
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby jjdavola » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:31 am

Wrinkles wrote:I would not feel comfortable paying for a full year of service with anyone. I know you are new...but following the usenet landscape over the years with little legal issues here and there and then providers going belly up...to iffy for me. Supernews is run by Giganews which some people have started noting that certain articles are being removed from the servers rather quickly (within a weeks time).


Thanks! Good point.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby ntscuser » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:33 am

Wrinkles wrote:I would not feel comfortable paying for a full year of service with anyone. I know you are new...but following the usenet landscape over the years with little legal issues here and there and then providers going belly up...to iffy for me. Supernews is run by Giganews which some people have started noting that certain articles are being removed from the servers rather quickly (within a weeks time).


This official response from GigaNews to a similar question may explain the deletions you have mentioned:

http://www.p2pnet.net/story/23239

# Liz from Giganews Says:
June 15th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Hi Reader,

Thanks for the question, I used to work at SuperNews and worked on your account back in the day.

No big mystery here- we do provide longer retention for our Member Accounts versus our ISP Accounts. This was done as the requirements of the ISP Market were vastly different then what our direct members wanted.

For our members we have 309 days retention, and spooling up to 365 days- this is not a claim but a truth :) And we have this amount of retention amongst all the groups.
Check it out by trialing our service for free:http://www.giganews.com/?a=p2pnet

Feel free to email me liz@giganews.com with further questions and/or comments.

Thx,

Liz
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby Wrinkles » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:48 am

I dont think thats it. I was talking more about HBO type shows and then many say the Dark Night gets taken down quick. Obviously if this is hapening wide spread it is just a matter of them being the bigest target due to size. I am assuming since Supernews is a part of them...these takedown requests affect them to.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby ntscuser » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:54 am

Wrinkles wrote:I dont think thats it. I was talking more about HBO type shows and then many say the Dark Night gets taken down quick. Obviously if this is hapening wide spread it is just a matter of them being the bigest target due to size. I am assuming since Supernews is a part of them...these takedown requests affect them to.
Thanks for the clarification but as a regular GigaNews user I'm not aware of any takedowns on copyright grounds?
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby Hoosierdaddy » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:40 pm

jjdavola wrote:I hope this is posted in the right place and sorry for the n00bish question, but I'm brand new to newsgroups, although I've done a bit of research. What are the most important factors when deciding on a Usenet provider and newsreader? I assume it's retention days and completion rate, but I'm not sure about what else I should be looking for.


Retention and completion are hugely important factors when choosing a Usenet provider. Not the only factors, but VERY important. A newsreader/usenet client? That's just the software you use to connect.

jjdavola wrote:Reason being, Supernews has the $9.99/month deal and I also received a "special" link from Astraweb with the $96/year offer and I'm trying to decide which is better.


Isn't the Supernews deal just an introductory offer, with the price going up to $11.99 a month after the trial period ends? I'm on Astraweb. I've tried several of the other providers, and they all have their pros and cons. But I've found Astraweb's $11 a month unlimited DSL offer to be irresistable.

jjdavola wrote:As far as newsreaders I received an invitation for Newzbin, but noticed they only have a 240 day retention and they indicated they had no plans to increase it any time soon. On the other hand, NZBMatrix has a 450 day retention and one item I'd like on NZBMatrix is 300 days old.


I see you've already been corrected on that. No need to be embarassed. We all learned somewhere from someone. Better here than at some blog run by a 12 year old who has no clue what he's talking about.

jjdavola wrote:So of the two providers, which is better, Supernews or Astraweb and why?


Never used Supernews so I can't comment about them specifically. However, I have been with Giganews, and Supernews is a reseller of Giganews service. Giganews was indeed awesome, with very hands on customer service. However, after I got past the stage of needing hand holding and learned my way around Usenet, I needed that aspect of their services less and less. I made the transition to Astraweb over two years ago now, and in terms of performance, I can't tell much of a difference. Yes, there are times when Astraweb doesn't seem to deliver on the speed they promised. And there are other times when it maxes out my connection. But then, that happened sometimes with Giganews too. And I'm not sure that can always be blamed on the Usenet provider. It could just be a slowdown on my end...perhaps my isp's node is flooded due to network congestion. Lots of things can effect your download speeds. If it happened too often, I'd complain. As it is, I just write it off as an anomaly.

jjdavola wrote:Then which newsreader is best and why? FYI I don't necessarily care about the one 300 day old item, but I'm looking for a newsreader for the long haul.


That is very much dependent on your personal preferences. Me? I'm an old school Usenet guy who likes to download headers and browse a group manually (even though I also use NZB sites). So I prefer a full featured newsgroup client like Newsleecher. Others just want to subscribe to a good binary indexer (like Newzbin) and download NZB files. If that's you, then an app like AltBinz is the ticket...and it's freeware.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby Dreamcast » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:03 am

Hoosierdaddy wrote:Isn't the Supernews deal just an introductory offer, with the price going up to $11.99 a month after the trial period ends? I'm on Astraweb. I've tried several of the other providers, and they all have their pros and cons. But I've found Astraweb's $11 a month unlimited DSL offer to be irresistable.


Supernew's deal is for life, not an intro, which is why you have to use that special link.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby HEAT84 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:22 am

ntscuser wrote:
jjdavola wrote:A "newsreader" is a downloading client such as "Grabit" (free but with very limited technical support) or NewsBin Pro (not free but has full technical support). The retention you get with these depends entirely on the newsserver you are subscribed-to.

What's the difference between NewzBin's and GrabIt's tech support? Does NewsBin make housecalls? :lol: GrabIt has a forum. I can't imagine what issue can't be resolved posting a question there. I see NewsBin has an IRC channel whereas GrabIt doesn't. Yes I know some companies do give better tech support to paying customers but GrabIt doesn't seem to discriminate.

And I prefer GrabIt as my newsreader BTW.

Edit: Hmmmm GrabIt's forum seems to be "Temporary not available". :shock: Anybody know whats going on? Maintenance? Illian is no longer developing GrabIt? He said he was working on a new version in the release notes of the latest version. That was 5 months ago though. :(
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby ntscuser » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:56 am

HEAT84 wrote:And I prefer GrabIt as my newsreader BTW.
So do I. I find it very intuitive with a shallow learning curve. It's useless for text messages though, I use a separate newsreader for those.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby BiG » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:23 pm

jjdavola wrote:
Wrinkles wrote:I would not feel comfortable paying for a full year of service with anyone. I know you are new...but following the usenet landscape over the years with little legal issues here and there and then providers going belly up...to iffy for me. Supernews is run by Giganews which some people have started noting that certain articles are being removed from the servers rather quickly (within a weeks time).


Thanks! Good point.

Not to mention I can't recall the number of times over the last 8 years that, for whatever reason, a perfectly good provider's service has nosedived. I remember this happening with both Newshosting and UNS.

I've caught myself wondering if Astraweb's service is going to be pulled out from under my feet sooner or later, but so far so good! :lol:

For a reader I use the free version of altbinz. It's pretty simple, free and it seems to work just fine, at least it does what I need of it. I've used altbinz for about a year, before that I used Newsleecher for about 6-7 years.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby Benzima » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:17 pm

News Group Provider: Ngroups
News Group Indexer: NZBMatrix
News Group Reader: SABnzbd plus

This combination has served me very well.
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Re: Silly n00b question about choosing a provider and newsreader

Postby Gab » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:22 pm

Provider: Astraweb (11$/month, it's about 8€)/Giganews, Diamond (29,99$ per month to get exactly what you get with Astraweb)
Reader: NewsLeecher and Grabit, but I do prefer NewsLeecher
Indexer: nzbs.org and NZBMatrix, also bin-req.net
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