Why is Usenet still Important in 2020?

  • webmaster
  • 26 Mar 2020

Usenet is a worldwide distributed network where people share and exchange news. Users can post information on the Usenet network freely without any interference and minimum censorship. This network is supported on servers referred to as newsgroup servers. This information can then be viewed by the vast majority of people on the Usenet network, acting as a free newsgroup of sorts. One could say it roughly resembles a bulletin board system. Although Usenet was there in the picture long before forums such as social media platforms (Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn), it hasn’t been talked about much or brought into the limelight.

Usenet advantages

One would wonder, if we now have easy to access social media platforms to use as a medium and a platform for distributing information, why should one still be interested in using a Usenet? The advantages of using a Usenet are manifold.

*Usenet is safer than BitTorrent. You do not share any of the files with other users.

*BitTorrent requires you to wait for others to seed the files you’re trying to download. However, there are no such delays with Usenet.

*Usenet achieves higher download speeds via direct downloading owing to dedicated servers. You can take advantage of your ISP’s full bandwidth.

*Usenet makes use of SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to encrypt data being sent to your PC. Other than you and the provider, nobody on the network has any idea what you’re downloading.

Usenet history

Usenet was developed long back in 1979 by two Duke University students named Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott, along with their University of North Carolina friend, Steve Bellovin. Using two Unix computers running on Unix to Unix Copy Protocol, these three were able to successfully transfer information between their two universities.

Thus was developed a possible alternative to the US military-controlled Arpanet system. Usenet could have possibly been the foundational architecture of the Internet that we so widely used today. However, due to its then difficulty of usage, it was shifted into the background.

What exactly is a newsgroup?

One could think of a newsgroup as an active discussion forum available online via the medium of Usenet. Many free newsgroups, as well as paid subscription-based newsgroups, are available on Usenet. These newsgroups are further divided into subcategories. Subcategories are depicted by a dot. An example of a newsgroup category is – ParentCategoryA.SubCategoryA1.SubCategoryA2.SubcategoryA3
The best Usenet provider or newsgroup provider
If you are satisfied with the architecture of a Usenet and want to see for yourself the power of a Usenet server, XS Usenet is a great option.

XS Usenet has a free and premium plan. The most popular premium plan has the following features.

Unlimited Speed
Unlimited Data FUP*
1,100 days retention
99%+ completion
50 connections
SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

The free plan has the following features.

2mb speed
25Gb data
1,100 days retention
99%+ completion
Five connections
No Posting

Several factors place XS Usenet as a popular choice among Usenet users.

*Usenet servers are strategically located worldwide, providing blazing fast connection speeds.
*The sign-up process is completed in a single step and takes under 30 seconds to do so.
*Multiple simultaneous connections can be made with a huge range of bandwidth.
You do not require a contract to use it.

Usenet future

Usenet has been there before the Internet, and it is amazing to see how Usenet has evolved and stayed strong over the years. With the current Internet architecture so advanced and revolutionized, the potential of Usenet as a potential alternative is a radical new idea. Content downloads on full speed, file sharing is done within a split second, and the entire architecture is rock solid. Could one of the oldest communication methods on a distributed network be the strongest and most viable?

Although there is still a comparatively very less number of Usenet users, it is slowly picking up pace. Users are finding it a much more open space to share and distribute content. Moreover, with free Usenet subscriptions offering free newsgroups and free Usenet servers for a limited period, people are getting to experience a little glimpse of how powerful Usenet can be. These free models are pushing people to go for premium subscriptions and unlock the complete power of the network of Usenet.

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