Our TweakNews review tests the European Usenet provider’s speed and bundled software, finding it a solid Usenet service overall
To take advantage of Usenet, you need an account with one of the best Usenet providers. Enter TweakNews, a long-running Dutch Usenet provider with remarkable speeds and reasonable pricing. Our TweakNews review aims to help you make up your mind about whether it’s the best Usenet provideo use.
In case you didn't know, Usenet is an online distributed discussion system first created in 1979 that was a precursor to web-based forums. While it still has a few applications for business in market research and company outreach, Usenet is now mostly used for file distribution.
TweakNews: Plans and pricing
TweakNews has two pricing plans. It's per month subscription costs €8.99 and includes unlimited downloads and speeds, 99.99% file completion, 4,200 days of retention in all newsgroups, 60 SSL-secured connections and a free newsreader with search functionality. It also sports a free zero-log VPN.
Its Ultimate + VPN is a 12-month subscription, which works out at €6.67 per month and includes everything in the per-month subscription as well as a 49% lifetime discount.
The service did offer block accounts but any mention of this appears to have disappeared from the website during this article update.
TweakNews offers consistent speeds, essentially maxing out our 100Mbps connection at an average download speed of around 80Mbps when testing from a computer in Southeast Asia.
The TweakNews servers are in Holland, so expect better performance if you’re located in Europe, and potentially slower speeds in the US. We did find it took longer for the download speed to reach maximum than it did with most other Usenet providers we’ve tested, and the results of searches often took up to ten seconds, making the software feel sluggish in comparison. It also prides itself on owning its own servers rather than reselling someone's else at a markup.
Binary retention refers to how long Usenet providers retain files after they’ve been uploaded. Most cheap Usenet providers delete files older than a few weeks or months because of the high storage cost.
TweakNews has 4,200-day binary retention, so you can download files that were uploaded over 11 years ago. This is on par with the best in the business. It also guarantees a completion rate of over 99.99%, which means that very few files available on TweakNews are missing any pieces.
No Usenet provider stores all parts of every file on Usenet. If you only use one provider, you can often find you’re missing just one part of a file, which can be frustrating. You can plug the gaps using a second provider as a backup, or backfill, provider.
To keep costs low, it’s common to use one unlimited bandwidth provider and back it up with a block subscription from another company. TweakNews’ competitive block subscription pricing makes it an excellent choice as a backup Usenet provider.
TweakNews: Interface and in-use
After signing up for TweakNews, a copy of UsenetWire will automatically download. This is TweakNews’ recommended Usenet client software, and we like it a lot. But it’s a free client that’s available to everyone regardless of whether you have a TweakNews subscription.
Installation of UsenetWire on Windows, macOS, and Linux is easy, and all you must do is fill in your TweakNews username and password to get started. With UsenetWire, you can easily browse through newsgroups or perform searches to find the files you need. Results are filtered by file type, and preview images are available by hovering over results.
TweakNews has a considerably basic support site consisting of five pages. Email support is available in English and Dutch but expect a turnaround time of up to five days.
With TweakNews, you’re on your own, so if you’re new to Usenet, you’ll need to find tutorial content elsewhere.
If you don’t use an encrypted connection when connecting to any Usenet provider, then it's possible for your ISP to see the servers you are connecting to and even which files you download.
All TweakNews plans can be configured to use SSL via ports 443 or 563. This encrypts all content sent to and from the TweakNews server. But if you use SSL alone, it’s still possible for your ISP to see the servers you are connecting to and potentially throttle your internet speed.
The Ultimate plan from TweakNews includes a VPN from PrivadoVPN. This VPN encrypts all your traffic, and your ISP cannot tell what you’re doing online at all. Privado features a kill switch that will disable all outgoing connections if the VPN fails for any reason.
PrivadoVPN has support for WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN, three different VPN protocols. Each has their own pros: WireGuard connects extremely quickly, IKEv2 works well on intermittent connections, and OpenVPN has the tightest security. It’s useful to be able to choose the best-performing protocol for your specific needs.
Alternatives to TweakNews
TweakNews only has EU servers. If you prefer your servers to be stateside, we recommend UsenetServer or Newshosting. These long-running Usenet service providers have excellent retention rates, high completion, and great speeds.
If you don’t already have a favourite Usenet client, we’d recommend Newshosting because it comes bundled with a robust client with search functionality. If you’d prefer to save a few dollars a month and use your own client, however, UsenetServer is the cheaper choice.
TweakNews: Final verdict
TweakNews offers good speeds, competitive pricing, and a useful set of bundled software. Its binary retention is excellent, and it has better-than-average completion, so you'll more than likely be able to find the files you’re looking for on TweakNews.
Its Usenet search response time could be improved, and there’s not much support documentation to help new users with the service. But the inexpensive block subscription pricing means TweakNews is a good choice for either your primary Usenet provider or for backfill.
Further reading on Usenet
Learn how to download from Usenet, if you're interested in downloading files from the platform. It's also worth learning about Google Groups, another modern method for accessing Usenet; and take a look at our other reviews of top Usenet providers, including Eweka, EasyNews, UsenetServer, and Giganews.
One modern way to access some of Usenet is via Google Groups, while it's worth establishing which of the best Usenet newsgroup readers you'd want to use. Once you're all set up, learn how to download from Usenet, as well as how to access Usenet for free.
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