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Brian McCane has been operating Usenet servers since 1987. He began developing and hosting his website about free Usenet servers and newsgroups in 1993. Visit his site for a list of free usenet trials from commercial providers.

Giganews Usenet Review

Limited Offer

Giganews is offering a special price of only $17.49 for the first 3 months on their Diamond account. This is over $50 in savings, and, as always, includes a 14-day free trial account.

Giganews has long been at the cutting edge of the Tier-1 NNTP service providers. Their custom Usenet server software provides fast, redundant, distributed access to newsgroups, with server farms in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Giganews has always been at the forefront of new services for their customers, including VPN software, custom written Usenet client and now online storage.  Many of their services are included for free for their Diamond account holders, or they can be purchased separately from their developers at GoldenFrog.

Account Features

Free Trial – Giganews provides a 14-day free trial with up to 10GB of content downloaded from their newsgroup servers.

Tier-1 Provider – Giganews is one of the few Tier-1 providers still operating and selling accounts to the general public.  Some Tier-1 providers only work through resellers to avoid the hassles of billing customers and collecting payments.

Redundancy – Giganews has custom server software which provides fast, redundant, distributed access to Newsgroups.  This redundant network has data farms in the USA, Europe and Asia, and is part of the backbone for their online storage product as well.  Redundancy helps to ensure that in the event of the loss of servers or  possibly a data farm, you will still have access to articles from one of the backup machines that has a copy.

Retention – Giganews has Powered by Wordpress Plugins - Get the full version!
days of binary newsgroup articles. To my knowledge, this is the highest retention level in the Usenet server industry. In order to maintain their advantage, they are adding redundant storage as needed to increase their retention 1-day, every day.  The nice thing about them increasing their retention every day is that you no longer have to download an article immediately, if you come back for it next week, it will be there.

Unlimited Download Speeds – Giganews does not put any restrictions on your download speed or amount.  During my testing with the MIMO Browser I was able to easily max-out my internet connection, completing a download of a 4GB AVI file in about 40 minutes. People with a 100MBit/s connection should be able to complete the download in 7 or 8 minutes.

Giganews Accelerator – Giganews provider header compression for improved download speeds and 256-bit SSL encryption for all user accounts.  This application provides what I call “poor man’s privacy” for your account, ie. encyption prevents your ISP from seeing what groups you are downloading from, etc. However, it is still possible for yuor ISP to know what sites and/or what services (HTTP/S, NTTP/s, etc) you are using on those sites, which can be used for various things, including throttling or blocking your connection.

Premium Features

As I have already mentioned, Giganews has always provided the extras to their Diamond account holders.  These features are also available separately, for a price, but in my opinion, the additional monthly cost for the Diamond Bundle outways the individual costs for these features.

VyprVPN – Giganews, and their partner GoldenFrog, have released a Virtual Private Network package.  VyprVPN is free to Diamond account holders, if you were to purchase it standalone it would cost you a minimum of $14.99 per month. They have currently released it for Mac OS X, Windows XP or newer, Linux, iPhone, iPad and Android. They also have 8 different locations you can appear to be originating your connection from, with more planned in the future.

MIMO Browser – Giganews has made a nice, full-featured Usenet client available to their Diamond account holders for free, of course.  It has integrated search and binary handling, make it extremely easy to work with for people that are new to Usenet.  For those of us that had to learn to install all the pieces by hand, this is a welcome change; setup is simply a matter of installing and then typing your username and password.

Dump Truck – Don’t let the name fool you, Dump Truck is Golden Frogs’ Online storage solution and it is provided for free with all Giganews accounts. Dump Truck surprisingly fast & easy to work with on Windows, Mac OSx, iOS and Android devices.  Diamond users get 30GB of free storage on high-speed, distributed, redundant servers for anything they want to save including pictures, videos, music and even tax returns.  I am pleased to also mention that non-Diamond users have access to 5GB of free storage online as well. Just as a point of reference, 50GB of online storage costs only $9.99/month.


Giganews is THE premium Usenet Server provider; they may be a little more pricey but you receive a lot of extra value over other companies cheaper Newsgroup server accounts.  All of their accounts include free online storage, and their Diamond account includes VyprVPN for the ultimate in personal privacy and a free newsreader.  I have had an account with Giganews for at least 12 years and have never had a problem with their service. I often recommend them to people that have gotten tired of problems with their current Usenet server.

All Plans
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days retention
20 connections
5GB DumpTruck
256-Bit SSL
Giganews Accelerator
Unlimited Plans
Diamond Plan
$17.49 per month for the first 3 months, over a $50 savings
50 connections
$25/month saving on:
Free VyprVPN
30GB DumpTruck
Free MIMO Browser
Platinum Plan
$24.99 per month
Limited Plans
Silver Plan
$14.99 per month
50GB Download/month
Bronze Plan
$9.99 per month
10GB Download/month
Pearl Plan
$4.99 per month
5GB Download/month
30 days retention

Recent Blogs from Giganews

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Newshosting Newsgroup Client Review

Newshosting provides their Usenet browser free to all of their customers. This is no watered down, or under-powered application, it is a full featured newsgroup reader capable of downloading, extracting and displaying/playing binaries all in one package. On top of that, installation is extremely simple; enter your username and password once and it just works. Combine all these great features with one of the best prices available for an unlimited data plan and you have a great way to enjoy Usenet. Continue reading Newshosting Newsgroup Client Review

Free Usenet Binaries

The truth about free Usenet

After you have spent some time trying the various free servers on my newsgroup search site, it should be apparent that it is no longer possible to download from the alt.binaries newsgroups for free. Many of us thought we had it all nailed down 20 years ago and were set; now we are going to the commercial Newsgroup providers because our university or corporate provider have stopped giving us access for free, due to increased cost and in some cases, legal concerns. Continue reading Free Usenet Binaries

Alternate Usenet Ports

In the past, many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) began blocking or throttling peoples Usenet connections to outside Newsgroup Servers.  This was done because most ISPs provided Usenet and they wanted to discourage people from reading Newsgroups from other providers which could use a lot of the ISPs Internet bandwidth.  Although most ISPs no longer provide Usenet on their own networks, it is still common for many ISPs to block or throttle Usenet for the same reason, bandwidth.In order to be able to provide better service to more people, most NNTP server providers allow alternate ports that a subscriber can use to connect to their Newsgroup servers.  By using alternate ports it is more difficult for an ISP to use technologies, such as traffic-shaping to place caps on only Usenet users.  If you have noticed that your Usenet downloads seem significantly slower than downloading in your web browser, your ISP might be throttling your connection, and using an alternate port could help you to get around it.

Some ISPs have used software in the past which is able to recognize the protocol that is being used on a port, and based on the type of traffic they can throttle or block your Usenet.  Although NNTP and HTTP use plain-text messages to transfer data back and forth, the commands and responses (although using similar result codes) are different enough to be easily differentiated. Because of this, and privacy concerns, Usenet providers also allow users to connect to their NNTP servers securely, using 256-Bit SSL connections, which render the content of dialog between a Usenet client and the Usenet server, unreadable or recognizable.

Below is a table with various commercial Usenet providers and the optional ports you can use to connect to them.

Alternate NNTP Ports
Usenet Provider Server Addresses Encrypted Ports Standard
80, 443, 563, 8080 119
443, 563 23, 119,  1818, 8080
443, 563, 8080 21, 22, 80, 119
Easynews Web
81,443 80
Giganews Usenet
443, 563 23, 80, 119
80, 81, 563 23, 25, 119, 443, 8080
Newsgroup Direct
80, 81, 563 23, 25, 119, 443, 8080
NewsGuy 443, 563 80 , 119, 8080
Newshosting 443, 563 23, 25, 80, 119, 3128
80, 81, 465, 563, 993 20,23, 53, 119, 443, 2000, 8080, 9000, 9001, 9002
PowerUsenet 443, 563 23, 80, 119
443, 563 23, 80, 119
80, 81, 563 23, 25, 119, 443, 8080 443, 563 23, 80, 119
443, 563, 8080 23, 25, 119, 3128, 8000, 9000

Ports Used

Almost all of the ports used by Newsgroup servers as alternates are actually defined for a specific purpose. This is done so that ISPs will be more reluctant to simply block the port and thus interfere with other users ability to use those services. Below is a table which tells what service typically is run on each port.

Defined Ports
Port Service Description
119 NNTP Network News Transfer Protocol
20 FTP-DATA FTP Data Channel
21 FTP File Transfer Protocol
22 SSH Secure Shell Login
23 TELNET Telnet Login
25 SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
53 DNS Domain Name Service
80 HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol
Web Browsing
81 Not Defined
465 URD URL rendezvous directory for SSM
993 IMAPS Internet Message Access Protocol over TLS/SSL
1818 ETFTP Enhanced Trivial File Transfer Protocol
2000 Used by Cyrus and/or Cisco Equipment
3128 Typically used for Web Proxies
8000 Not defined
8080 HTTP-ALT Alternate port for HTTP
9000 CSLISTENER CSlistener
9001 ETLSERVICEMGR ETL Service Manager
9002 DYNAMID DynamID authentication