If you were accessing newsgroups through your local ISP until November
1st, there is no reason you cannot continue using the same client you
were using before then. What you need now is a *server*.
www.eternal-september.org is free, and they do a very good job of
Newsguy.com is good. I like the fact that they toss in a web site for
my use. About $65/yr, less than 20 cents a day. When you pay, you can
have expectations. Looks like it may not be the best deal in town, but
it's been working fine.
And you use it for binary downloads - or just text?
The only thing I expect if I were to pay to access a usenet server would
be to download binary posts. Do you have other expectations?
My binary downloads are satisfied gratis by one-click hosters (aka
If the services *you utilize* includes binary downloading, then great.
More power to ya.
If you're paying for access to text groups (and you don't download
binaries) then that's ok too. You're happy to pay for something that is
widely available at no cost. It's your right to do it.
I just don't understand why you wouldn't clearly and unambiguously admit
For the narrow-minded simpleton who believes *HIS* way is the only 'right' way:
A paid provider -- even if used only for text groups -- may well provide
any, or *all*, of the following benefits:
1) longer retentions of messages
2) _faster_ responses by the servers -- because they're geographically
'closer', or less heavily loaded, or have 'bigger pipes', or higher-
performing hardware, etc., etc., ad nauseum.
3) 'more extensive' lists of newsgroups (including 'text only' groups)
4) fewer falsely "filtered out" messages
5) *TELEPHONE* support, when need/desired
6) "higher reliability" in the delivery of service. *EVERY* 'free'
NNTP server operator that I am aware of has had at least one
'significant' outage (as in multiple hours) within the last 5 years.
As have the 'bargain-basement' paid providers like Astraweb, and
Major 'commercial grade' providers-- like the former SuperNews,
NewsGuy, Giganews, etc. -- have had a _combined_ 'downtime' over
the last TEN YEARS, that is measured in the low tens of minutes.
7) *assurance* of availability "tomorrow". Contractual -guarantees-
of at least 30-90 days notice are important to some people.
8) Better, more complete, support of 'optional' components in the
NNTP protocol, which can result in _order-of-magnitude_ (or more)
higher performance in a news client doing sophisticated 'selection'
(or, conversely, 'filtering') of messages for display.
These things _DO_ matter to some people.
There are other people who think USENET is a valuable resource in it's
own right, and are willing to spend some of their own money in an effort
to ensure that it remains available for the long term.
I sure don't think my way is the only right way, BUT, I am sure
Eternal-September works in every way (other than binaries) as Giganews
worked when Comcast provided it.
Never been an issue for me.
None of this has been an issue for me. I send a message, I get it back
almost instantly. It's been years, but I notice little difference in
speed of D/l between Comcasts Giganews and E-S. If there is a
difference, it is too little to notice.
8000 groups is plenty. Never looked for a non-binary group E-S didn't
The only way I know you could "know" this is by noticing a difference.
I have not noticed a difference, period.
E-S has a group that works well and web based support. Never needed it
but looks like it would serve.
I've only has Astraweb since Sept, and no problems. E-S I've had for
years, since Comcast dropped usenet, and I vaguely recall a problem with
something that changed and I had to reset all my groups, don't recall
what it was, but the server was never down that I know of.
Perhaps, but I recall more than once Giganews was down for many hours,
and when I contacted Comcast, they had no idea what was going on, and I
was told by at least one tech that they didn't provide newsgroups, when
they did. After lots of BS, I found someone that did, and he simply
said the server was down. I was obvious to me that comcast support
staff was clueless when it came to usenet, the people at E-S are not.
I reckon, but to most people, newsgroups are just a nasty hobby.
I don't have a clue about the above, and after too many years of this
stuff, whatever that means is meaningless to me, cause I haven't
noticed, not with Giganews, E-S nor Astraweb.
Most of them sound like they would matter, but not one of them has been
noticeable by me between Giganews, E-S or Astraweb.
Are you thinking paying money for access will increase it's longevity?
My thinking is eliminating the free access by the main providers
(Comcast and Verison) damned near killed newsgroups, and the free ones
like Eternal-September, and the cheap ones like Astraweb and
Usenet-news.net is about all that keeps them going. If they go, then so
will Usenet, imo.
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
The fact that it is not an issue _for_you_ does not mean that it is not
a valid concern for other people. I personally, have, on rare occasions,
needed to track down a posting that was several years old.
Demonstrating, again, that you "Dont know what you don't know" about
what is important to other people.
_YOUR_ expectations/experiences are *NOT* universal.
"Ignorance in action." I "know" it happens because I have read posted
complaints by users of various 'free' systems that they see responses,
but -not- the message that is being replied to. When -multiple- users
from the _same_ service complain about the absence of the SAME messages,
It is pretty conclusive evidence. When one of them posts a copy of a
message *from* the provider _admitting_ that those messages were dropped,
That is *conclusive* proof of it happening.
Proving only that _you_ have not 'noticed' it -- it does not even prove
that it 'doesn't happen" with the message threads you do read. It only
BTW, it happens that I *do* 'notice' the same thing, 'falsely dropped
messages', on paid providers, as well.
I happen to use a newsreader that displays 'state' information for
-every- message 'referenced' in any 'newer' postings -- even if the
message is 15 (or more) levels of response prior to the current message.
*YOUR* opinion is not -universal- on that matter.
I know people that have used Astraweb for multiple years. Within the
last twelve months, there has been 'more than one' occasion where they
have reported -- using alternate access methods -- that specific newsgroups,
at least, have failed to display *any* new articles for periods of -days-.
DESPITE other newsservers showing several hundred new messages in that
Again, you "don't know what you don't know".
The TOTAL downtime for either of Giganews' US server complexes since 2004
is approximately _12 minutes_, spread across 5 separate incidents.
What you were hit by was a failure of the "authentication server' -- owned,
operated, and maintained by the 'reseller' (or the wholesale-services-buying
Comcast has a long-standing reputation for cluelessness. Especially if it
doesn't involve Windows boxes, the world-wide-web, or their hosted email
*MANY* newsreader programs -cannot- filter on content in headers that are
not in the 'XOVER' headers, nor accessible by XPAT'.
Those newsreaders that -can- so filter are ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE slower at
so doing, Because they cannot make -one- request to the server for a
certain group/class of articles, and get a list of matching IDs, but have
to make a separate retrieval request for the headers of -each- article
find the selected header and check the content thereof.
Proving only that you have 'limited experience' with such matters.
It is a fact that -none- of the 'free' providers would continue to exist if
the pay providers went away. They simply would not be able to afford the
resources -- particularly in staff, but also in 'bandwidth' costs -- to
maintain the required connectivity to other nodes.
Somewhere over 90% of _all_ USENET traffic passes through one of a handful
of remaining 'backbone' sites. The former widespread 'mesh' of multiply-
connected sites has very nearly collapsed into a 'star' topology.
Ain't that the truth!
I remember talking to one of their drones and he had no idea what a
newsgroup was. And he, apparently, concluded that if he did not know what
is was, he did not have to help me. Not that he could anyway.
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