Highwinds is the Donald Trump of the Usenet industry. Initially simply a provider of the industry standard Newsgroup Server backend software, over the past 5 – 10 years they invested heavily in building a huge Usenet infrastructure and then bought some of the largest Usenet providers in the industry. They took the best features and operations from each and built a Mega-Usenet provider backend with great connections to all the major internet backbone providers.
Highwinds doesn’t sell directly through their own name. Instead, access to their systems is done through other companies that buy from them and re-sell to end users. Generally, we don’t recommend resellers because they often introduce weak links in to the delivery chain, but at least 2 of the resellers are actually owned by Highwinds, so we feel comfortable recommending them: Newshosting and Usenetserver. Two other resellers that we have confidence in are Easynews and NewsDemon because their management has been reliable and Easynews has a super-cool online interface that lets you find attachments visually and bundle them for easy downloading.
Because much of the Highwinds system was cobbled together through acquisitions, there had been many hiccups over years as the equipment and software of purchased companies was incorporated in to the system. They stopped acquiring and merging systems a number of years ago, and things have been very stable for the past 2 years now.
Usenet providers that use the Highwinds newsgroup servers benefit from a low-cost backend that lets them offer very competitive rates – particularly for unlimited download accounts. You simply need to be prepared to live through an occasional hiccup in the service and reduced retention.
An important recent update is that HIghwinds headers and articles are now fully synced. Previously they only had headers for the last 500 days, but new software has brought their header system up to date with all the articles, so if you’re looking for something 2 or 3 years back, you can use your newsreader’s header search for it again!
Quite frankly, we feel the Highwinds companies and resellers are pretty much the best value in the market right now. Stability, longevity and features and low price move them to the top of our recommendations list.