Giganews is the concrete post of Usenet providers. They have been solid over the past 10 years that we have done reviews, while the rest of the industry had ups and downs as the smaller players were gobbled up by a few big companies. The other companies grew by acquisition while Giganews grew (mostly) through natural growth.
Here are a few key points to know about Giganews:
Giganews and its closely held partners have “up-time” that is measured in years not months. They rarely, if ever, have any downtime. We’ve had a chance to talk to some of the technicians and principles at the company, and they tell us it’s because they have multiple levels of redundancy and make any changes slowly with many check-points along the way. That redundancy includes not only multiple locations, but also backup equipment running in parallel at most of them. Another thing we’ve picked up on is their billing system – although a few people have written in to tell us that they thought they were having problems, we’ve almost always found out later that it had something to do with expired cards or empty PayPal accounts. Other providers (especially the smaller resellers) are notorious for billing incorrect amounts, continuing billing after a user cancels their account, etc. Not so with Giganews.
Giganews support desk is open 24 hours a day, so you will get a response quickly, even if it is the middle of the night.
Giganew’s big claim to fame is that they have the longest retention in the industry – and they were the first to hit 1000 days of retention. More importantly, at those outer edges of retention, you’ll find all the parts are complete. Even more amazing is that the days of retention they advertise on their website really are what they say they are – including headers. Other sites say they have long retention, but only the articles, not the headers needed to download them. It is this massive retention that makes them the ideal company to use when you first install your news readers software – you can reach far, far back to get the articles and attachments not available with other providers as you populate your local usenet newsgroup reader program history. While we feel that one year retention is enough for most users once they get rolling, starting with the maximum retention is an important part of getting the complete Usenet experience.
In 2011, Giganews released an nifty custom newsreader (MIMO) that makes accessing and downloading Usenet messages easier – especially since it is free with their Diamond account. And even MORE recently they announced an online backup service (ala Carbonite, Norton backup, etc). It leverages the huge storage and bandwidth infrastructure already in place at Giganews. The coolest part is that EVERY Giganews usenet account gets to use the service – 5GB for all accounts, or 30 GB for their Diamond Usenet newsgroup plan customers.
But perhaps the most important special features is free use of a VPN service called VyprVPN. If you sign up for the Diamond Usenet Service, you get a free VPN subscription that protects not only your Usenet activity from prying eyes, but all your internet activity such as web surfing, chat, email, P-2-P and even Skype. And you can use the service on any computer you own, even your iPhone. If you have their VPN service, you really don’t even need the SSL Usenet feature offered on lower accounts because ALL your activity is encrypted anyway. It’s a pretty cool value add for their premium customers – worth about $15 a month!
Check out the Anchordudes’ VPN service information and VPN Review site.
There are lots of other unique features including inclusion of all the usenet newsgroups – even the unqualified and low-activity groups – but when it comes down to it, the main reason to choose a Giganews account over the others is simply: Reliability.
Ask the guys in their sales and marketing department and they will tout their retention, but from our point of view it’s the fact that they are rock-solid that gets our vote. Their service has not had a significant hiccup, either in newsgroup access or in billing activity, for years. They have very fat connections to all the major network carrier backbones in the US, Europe, and in Asia so you’ll never get slowed down by having to go through a no-name carrier like you sometimes do with small resellers. And when they say they have a certain number of days of retention, you can believe that all the articles up to that date are really there.