New Updates for Free Usenet Browser

Windows Client Update

[UPDATED: 5/29/2015] After receiving some reports of client crashes following the update, a new release 2.1.1 for Windows was built. Customers reporting the errors all maintained Windows XP as their operating system. Newshosting has since updated the public downloads page with the new 2.1.1 Windows software.

The team at Newshosting has been working quietly behind the scenes to deliver the most robust and user-friendly Usenet experience. Now we’re proud to announce a series of updates to our free Usenet browser software across all operating systems: Windows, Macintosh and Linux. See also: Newshosting Client Quick-Start Guide.


The new Newshosting Usenet Browser 2.1 includes many improvements over the current 1.6. version. The update will occur on a rolling basis, so check your account in the next few days to experience:


  • + Import of multiple NZBs, extracts them from ZIP or RAR files if necessary, as requested by users and affiliates.
  • + Improved implementation of PAR2. It’s a bit faster and fixes a few smaller bugs that could affect larger downloads on Windows 64bit.
  • + New queue storage mechanism which improves performance for large queues.
  • + Full support for Retina displays on OS X as well as DPI scaling on Windows 8 and 10 for Ultra HD displays.
  • + Automatic VLC player installation from within the software, also on OS X now.
  • + Upgraded to latest version of UnRAR.
  • + Lots of smaller bug fixes and improvements (typos, formatting etc.)


Sign up with any service plan and get complete access to the easy-to-use Newshosting Usenet Browser. With built-in search, file previewing and download automation, you can browse, read, converse and download from our 100,000+ newsgroups at superior speeds and with the industry’s best retention.

Our developers will roll-out additional updates and features in the coming months. Got an idea for an upgrade? Post it in the comment section below!

Internet Security: Defending Your Data from Cybercrime

It’s hard to imagine how we ever lived without the Internet. Not only has it done wonders for education by bringing unlimited information to our fingertips, but it’s opened up a world of instant communication that many never thought possible. As technology continues to evolve, so do the ways in which we are able to access the Internet. No longer do we need to be tethered to massive home computers and dial-up connections. With the advent of smartphones and wireless routers, most of us are connected to the Internet 24-7.

While the benefits of constant Internet access are undeniable, it creates a range of potential dangers that are often overlooked by the average person. Cybercrime is a very real threat to your privacy and anyone using the Internet should be on constant alert for suspicious activity. As a way to stay proactive against cybercrime, virtual private networks, or VPNs, are becoming increasingly popular among Internet users as a way to protect their data and maintain privacy.


What is cybercrime?

Put simply, cybercrime is any illegal activity that takes place over the Internet. What once was considered a mere inconvenience to large corporations and their servers, cybercrime has evolved into a household danger that puts identities and personal property at risk. Cyber criminals, often located far away from their victims, are able to easily steal identities and even large sums of money with very little risk of ever being caught.

Most people think of cyber criminals as bandits stealing bank account or credit card information and using it to make purchases illegally. While this situation is a major problem that every Internet user should be aware of, it barely scratches the surface of what cybercrime truly is.

One of the most popular forms of cybercrime is to gain control over a person’s e-mail or social media account and use it to send spam messages. Usually these messages contain a fake link that when clicked will download malicious software onto the recipient’s computer. That software can be used to steal information or to gain control over that victim’s accounts as well. These types of attacks are often quite successful because rather than receiving the message from a random entity, your friends are receiving the information from a trusted source: you.


It can happen anywhere

Cybercrime is a constant threat and can affect anyone, anywhere. We now live in a world where Internet access is available in just about every public location we visit. Companies often use free Internet access as a way to draw in patrons and coax them into spending money at their establishment. It’s not uncommon to walk into a coffee shop and see dozens of people sitting around with laptops and cell phones connected to a free, often unsecured wireless connection.

Often times it’s our complacency that puts us most at risk of being the victim of a cyber attack. Most mobile devices have an optional setting that allows them to connect to any available wireless connection in the area automatically. You may not even be actively using your device but being connected may put you at risk all the same. It’s usually best to turn this setting off and connect to networks manually. That way, you’re always aware of when you’re connected and can take any necessary precautions.


It can happen to you

It’s easy to assume that because you are aware of cybercrime and you use virus protection software that you could never be a victim. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by this false sense of security. Just look at the recent breaches of Apple, Sony and Home Depot as an example. These companies have massive budgets dedicated to protecting themselves against these types of threats. Still, their systems were manipulated in a way that caused people’s privacy to be violated and personal information to be stolen.

While the average person may not have the security budget that these large companies have, there are things that you can do to further protect yourself from cyber criminals. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure sensitive information never leaves your computer. This is where VPNs become extremely beneficial.


How VPNs can help

VPNs like Newshosting can be an invaluable tool for taking a proactive approach to protecting yourself against cybercrime. When making online bank transactions or sending private e-mails, especially using a wireless network, sensitive information can easily be obtained by individuals with a little cyber know-how. VPNs help to prevent this situation by encrypting any information you send over the Internet. Even if a hacker is able to obtain some of the pieces sent through the network, the heavily encrypted information will be completely useless to them. This extra layer of protection really goes a long way toward protecting your sensitive date. See also: Newshosting VPN Manual Setup Guides

If you send personal information over the Internet without first connecting to a VPN like Newshosting, you’re doing yourself a major disservice and unnecessarily putting yourself at risk. VPNs are very affordable and easy to use, Newshosting’s VPN-only rates start as low as $8.25 per month.
There is no reason for you to not take full advantage of everything the Internet has to offer, but always be sure to keep yourself protected in the process.

Have you ever been the victim of cybercrime? Share your story in the comments below!


Free Usenet: Unlimited Plans, Flash Sale and Nexus Giveaway

Giveaway Nexus 7 Newshosting Birthday Bash It’s our Birthday, and we’re celebrating in a big way!

Newshosting marks its 16th year of service to Usenet users worldwide on April 28th! On this special day, we invite our users to wish the most reliable name in Usenet (not to brag, but it *is* our Birthday) a “Happy Birthday!” on Facebook and Twitter for some free Usenet. We’ll award (16) 1-Month XL Powerpack subscriptions to our favorite submissions.

We encourage you to use the hashtag #Newshosting so we can track your birthday wish!

Additionally, from now until Thursday, May 28th, new and existing Newshosting customers can enter to win a Google Nexus 7.

Not a Newshosting subscriber? We still have a gift for you!

For a limited time, save 50%-off both our annual and monthly XL Powerpack plans! (That’s unlimited Usenet downloading with the safeguard of a free VPN!)

Improve Completion With Download Automation

Improve Completion Being the content-consumption junkies that we are, our small team at Newshosting is regularly working away to find little hacks that improve the overall Usenet experience. In terms of infrastructure, we’ve built the most robust network in the biz’. Not only do we offer the fastest transfer speeds of our competitors, but we have rack after rack (after rack) of massive storage centers. This storage and speed allow us to bring our users the best Usenet service in the industry, but it’s not always perfect. Sometimes not all of the articles are available or entirely complete. As is the nature of user generated posts, sometimes things are removed or uploaded improperly.

How Do We Improve Completion?

The best way to improve article completion is by using download automation tools like SABnzbd or NZBGet. Both of these are web-based tools that allow users to grab binary article sets as soon as they are posted to a newsgroup. Both applications can receive NZBs via web API, or they can be set to watch RSS feeds for new user-generated article sets. In addition to downloading NZBs automatically, SABnzbd and NZBGet will also process any PAR sets needed for repair and extract any compressed data, like RAR sets. SABnzb and NZBGet are also quite flexible and can run on many platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux, including Raspbian. One of the other key benefits for using one of these tools is the remote management. Because both of these tools offer a web interface, they can be managed from any device with a web browser. There are also Android and iOS apps available for this, which is a whole game-changer in and of itself.


Did we miss something? Got a better suggestion for improving completion? Sound-off in the comments below!


Optimize Your Connection With a VPN Speed Test

VPN Speed TestDue to privacy concerns and the current climate of government surveillance worldwide, many users have opted to use a secure VPN service. While security and privacy are very important today, transfer speed is equally as important. In the digital world, whether uploading, streaming, or surfing, speed is very important to the overall user experience. This becomes especially true for users downloading binary article sets.

Factors to Consider

There are many factors to consider when trying to determine transfer speed over VPN servers:

1) How far away is the nearest ISP server?

2) How far away is the VPN server?

3) What protocol is being used to connect –  OpenVPN, L2TP or PPTP? Different protocols have varied amounts of overhead that can slow a connection down.

4) What hardware or device is being used to connect? Speeds can be greatly effected with older hardware or on mobile devices, as they generally have less processing power than a PC.

How To Test VPN Speed

The most widely accepted and used method for speed testing and benchmarking speed over the internet is Before we can get an idea of speeds that can be achieved over the virtual private network, the first step is to test the Internet connection while not connected to the VPN. Doing this will provide the Internet connection’s overall average speed (both upstream and downstream). To run a speed test of your Internet connection without using a VPN, make sure the virtual private network is disconnected and do the following:

Initial Internet Connection Speed Test

  1. Make sure there are no applications running that are using valuable bandwidth.
  2. Visit (website requires flash to run).
  3. Click the “Begin Test” button (the app should choose a server close to your location). *** If it looks like is reporting location incorrectly, move around the map and choose a closer server by clicking on the glowing white dots ***
  4. The SpeedTest web app will run a downstream test, followed by an upstream test.
  5. After the test has completed, downstream and upstream speeds will be reported in megabits per second. Run the test three more times by clicking the “Test Again” button (record the best up and down speeds for comparisons later).

To perform the VPN Speed Test, do the following:

  1. Launch the Newshosting VPN client.
  2. Choose a server in the closest city with the lowest response time. Select the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol at the bottom of the Newshosting VPN client window and click “Connect.”
  3. Open a web browser in private or incognito mode and repeat steps 2-5 of our initial internet connection speed test above.
  4. Take the best downstream and upstream speeds from the last step and compare it to the best speeds from the initial internet connection speed tests without VPN. The fastest VPN server will be the one that gives a downstream and upstream speed that is the closest to the best speeds obtained earlier when testing speed without connecting to the VPN.

How to Further Improve Speeds Over the VPN

Further improve upstream and downstream speeds while connected to the VPN by selecting a different server in the closest city, or by choosing a lighter weight VPN encryption protocol that uses less bandwidth and overhead on connection, like L2TP or PPTP. In most cases, PPTP will be the fastest protocol, making it ideal to use while streaming video over the VPN. L2TP can also yield similar results in some cases.

Speed vs. Security

Something to keep in mind is that PPTP is the least secure VPN protocol. When looking to reduce the connection’s overhead, while still seeking better security and encryption, always use the second most secure VPN protocol, L2TP.

Get Newshosting VPN

The Newshosting VPN is available for free with all new and existing annual accounts and is available for add-on to our monthly accounts for all new signups. Existing users can add VPN to their service by logging into the user control panel and clicking the “Activate VPN Today” link next to VPN status.

What is a VPN?

It was less than five years ago that the Starbucks Corporation – the trendy super-chain of coffee shops  – made the decision to provide free WiFi access at each and every location worldwide. Since then, we’ve seen an overwhelming mass of public WiFi hotspots appear in nearly every place where people visit that are likely to bring an Internet-enabled device. So, pretty much everywhere. Widespread Internet connectivity makes sense in certain locations: major arenas, restaurants, and airplanes – all likely places where lots of social sharing is going on. But now we’re seeing the surprising rollout of easily accessible WiFi in public parks and local car washes (among other obscure locations), and let’s face it – that extra boost of Internet-juice is rarely a disappointing find.


Wireless access to the internet in these places is made available through largely free and insecure hotspots that anyone in the near vicinity with an Internet-enabled device can get on and use. These open connections prove as both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the lack of any troublesome passwords makes connectivity and breeze. Literally, it’s a matter of toggling one, maybe two connection options and before you know it you’re surfing the ‘net and ready to go. But in a negative regard, security-free WiFi means that none of what you do or the information that you share while on an Internet hotspot is protected. Anyone also sharing the same hotspot could be snooping in on you and watching everything you do (and no, we’re not talking about the NSA here, though that’s a concern in and of itself). So does that mean that you should stop using public access free internet hotspots? Of course not; you just need to add some protection to your connection first.


The key to your security woes is a Virtual Private Network – henceforth referred to as a VPN. Simply put, a VPN is a layer of security between you and the outside digital world. It typically employs some level of encryption to protect the privacy of the data you transfer while connected. Most introductions to VPNs come from the workplace –  when employees need to connect to their employer’s network from outside of the office.


A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your Internet-enabled device and the network or server you’re connected to. Everything you do while connected to a VPN is encrypted, from what you’re viewing and downloading, to your IP address and access point. This tunnel is totally private – not even your Internet service provider (ISP) can see exactly what you’re doing or transferring. Additionally, VPN is a must-have for international internet users looking to access websites that have been blocked or censored by their home country (lookin’ at you, China). If you are very privacy-conscious, and you prefer that your information and all that you do online stay hidden from prying eyes, a VPN is the best solution and a great way to go.


At Newshosting, we offer VPN as both a standalone product and an added feature to our Usenet plans. Start a VPN-only plan for as little as $8.33 per month.

7 Usenet Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask

Usenet Questions You're Too Embarrassed to AskWhen starting out a new hobby, there’s typically a learning curve separating newbies (beginners, new users, whatever) from the more experienced. In the case of the Usenet, many, many users have only scratched the surface. In reality, without any outside help, the newest to the most intermediate user finagles the bare-bones experience: manual searches, header downloads, default protocols, the list could go on forever. We’ve corralled our most frequently asked questions about Usenet best practices to shed some light on those subjects that you’re too afraid to ask. We want our users to get the most out of their Usenet access, without fear of judgement or rejection for asking the n00b Usenet questions. After all, you never know until you ask, right?


1) What is a block account?

A block account is a “block” of data from a Usenet provider that typically serves as a back-up to your main provider. Generally, people have a monthly subscription with one provider, and a block account with a second provider as a fallback. We made this block account thing easy by partnering with Easynews. If you have an XL Powerpack Plan, it comes with a free Easynews account. The idea is, if one provider has deleted one set of articles and another provider deletes a second set with little or no overlap, then the download can still be completed.


2) Who uploads files to the Usenet? Do they gain anything from uploading?

The community-at-large, the users upload all of the files to the Usenet. In fact, only about 1% of all Usenet users upload over 90% of the original user-generated content. As for what they get from it? Nothing. They don’t get anything from it, other than the community of usenet being thankful.


3) I’ve hear that Usenet is far superior to other similar services. Is this true?

Typically we don’t like to talk about the competition, but in this case – yes, Usenet has full superiority. Not only is it safer, considering there’s no seeding and you yourself aren’t uploading any files to individuals, but it’s optimized for better use on the user’s end. Instead of relying on others to be available during the download period, you can just download files from the server. And since you’re downloading from a server instead of another live user, you can normally max your connection speed.


4) Why are some downloads slower than others?

The simplest answer is that it depends on what you’re downloading and how old it is. Older files, while hosted, are archived since they aren’t frequently accessed, whereas newer files are available right away since they’re spread out across multiple servers for speed and redundancy. In essence, the older files take more time to access in this archive and therefore, take a longer time to download.


5) Is Usenet safe?

Skipping over the opportunity to crack a NSFW joke here, the short answer is yes, it is safe – or at least it can be. There are plenty of steps one could take for optimal security and online anonymity when accessing and download from the Usenet. The first is using an SSL connection. A secure sockets layer is a layer of encryption that prevents your ISP from seeing what it is you’re downloading. Additionally, avoid uploading copyrighted content, that’s a big no-no…but that goes without saying.


6) Do you log downloads?

At Newshosting, we do NOT log the downloads of our users. In actuality, we at Newshosting hold personal information about you in the strictest confidence and does not sell or rent that information. Newshosting will not release or divulge any customer information unless ordered to do so by a Court of law. For more information about that, read our Privacy Policy.


7) Do I need to use a VPN when I’m downloading from Usenet?

The short answer is a simple ‘no,’ you do not need a VPN – but there is enough reason to continue using one. If you’re not ready to play with your download and connection settings, a VPN may be the easiest encryption method achievable. Similarly, if you want to keep your ISP from throttling your newsgroup download speed, than a virtual private network would be just the thing. Newshosting offers a VPN for users to achieve this high level of security when downloading, both from Usenet and from the World Wide Web.

If we’ve missed a topic you’d like us to shed more light on, add a comment below!

Spread the Love – Usenet Contests, Savings, and More!

Newshosting Valentine's Day Enter to Win

It’s been widely accepted by the community-at-large that the first rule of Usenet is that you don’t talk about Usenet. Users have been keeping mum about the platform for a long time, but we think it’s time to break that first rule. We want to share the best-kept secret on the ‘net with the world – it’s time to share the wealth and Spread the Love!

Enter to Win

We love our users – I mean obviously, right? We wouldn’t be here without you all! That’s why we jumped at the opportunity to give you a little somethin’ somethin.’ Enter to win a FREE month of our XL Powerpack plan using the Rafflecopter widget on this page. Earn additional entries by following Newshosting on Twitter or by subscribing to our monthly newsletter!

How to Enter
Complete the Easynews Love Letters Campaign entry form.

Promotion Dates
Entries will be accepted from February 6 until February 20, 2015.

Winner Notification
Winners will be selected at random will be chosen from all of the submitted entries from the Newshosting Valentines Day Card entry form. Winners will be notified via email within 30 days of the conclusion of the promotion.

Longtime Love

For our existing and long-term subscribers, we wanted to offer a love more satisfying. Take advantage of our Partner Special – a special rate of $99.99 billed annually for unlimited Usenet access and free VPN service! This special rate will not be publicly available for long so now is the time to take the plunge and commit!


Using a VPN on Inflight Wi-Fi

If you’ve been on a plane in the last year, you know that Gogo’s Inflight Wi-Fi is the only major player when it comes to Internet connectivity in the clouds. Then, if you actually chose to shell out $10.00 for a measly two hours of internet access, you know that it was on par with the 256 kbps dial-up you were running circa 1998. Literally, a snail could travel from one end of the plane longer than it takes to load your Facebook Newsfeed.  Slow speeds aside, there’s a general assumption that if you’re paying for Internet – and low performing Internet access at that, that you’re paying for a secure connection. That was until a Google Engineer realized that Gogo was using fake SSL certificates. You know what they say when you assume…

This is a massive problem. Not only does this expose you and your private data to Gogo (who already have your email address, name, and credit card on file) but by removing this layer of security, Gogo is practically handing the keys to your kingdom of data to anyone else on the network with malicious intent. So why are they doing this? According to Gogo Inflight, it’s all to curb traffic from certain data-heavy websites (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) but we know there are plenty other ways to go about this instead of a MiTM attack.

What is a MiTM attack? It is an instance in which an attacker (in this case, Gogo Inflight) will intercept the data sent between two different systems, allowing it to act as the middle man, get it? If your SSL certificate is returning red flags (because it’s being signed by the MiTM), your browser will warn you with some sort of pop-up or a red “x” in your search browser—though many often ignore this warning.

Luckily, this can all be avoided with a simple tool that many Internet-savvy users already have, a virtual private network. A VPN connects two computers securely and privately over the internet, even if that connection is though a public network. A VPN client on one computer connects to a VPN server on another computer and by using encryption and other security measures, no-one can see what kind of information is being exchanged.

Let’s say we were to hop on a flight today from Los Angeles to London and we use the Newshosting VPN. We’re on and our information is encrypted, but the ISP (in this instance, Gogo) can still see how much data we’re using. This would not be an instance in which the VPN is helpful to access geoblocked streaming content, or any streaming content really. Remember, VPN’s can be tricky when you’re 50,000 ft above and to reiterate, the speed of Inflight Internet is reminiscent of a snail’s speed. But that shouldn’t deter you from checking your emails, reading the news, social networking, and the 1000000 other things you do online.

5 Gadgets That Will Change The Way You Live

You’ve probably seen an overwhelming mass of posts and articles referencing the gadgets from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month. But it seems as though the majority of electronics presented, however fascinating, are items unlikely to come into contact with the average middle class consumer in the foreseeable future. We’ve combed through the best of reported tech, from the Panasonic Smart Mirror that tells you your flaws and offers solutions for a fix, to the best of the best in wearable tech. Here are our finds for this year’s gadgets most likely to impact the way the work and live.


1. Energous WattUp

wattup We all hate having to surrender our devices to a stationary location as it charges for any given period. WattUp gives you the freedom to receive a charge from anywhere within a 30 foot space. The best part? This nifty little router charges ALL of your battery-operated devices (well, specifically 12 at a time) that require less than 10 watts. That means it charges:

• Smart Phones, Phablets, eReaders and Small Tablets
• Smart Phone Accessories, such as Charging Sleeves
• Wearable Fitness Trackers
• Smart Watches, and other Wearable Computing Devices
• Computer Accessories, such as Wireless Keyboards and Mice
• Remote Controls
• Home Device Networks
• Home, Office and Commercial Wireless Sensors
• Gaming Controllers
• LED Lighting
• Battery-Powered Children’s Toys


May low-battery anxiety be a thing of the past. Seems like an innovation winner to us.


Price: $299.99


2. Misfit Bolt


If you haven’t heard, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a reality and it is upon us! The Misfit Bolt is a smart lightbulb that integrates with Android and iOS devices to program custom color, hue, and brightness settings. This bulb is very similar to the Philips Hue lighting system that released back in 2012, only this guy doesn’t have a complicated setup and add-on process. The smart bulb will be sold individually and in a 3-pack to light an entire room. Now remember it is a “smart bulb” – the bulb is much pricier than your typical light bulb but it’s an LED bulb with a life of 23 hours and it does mark a much lower price that is coming to the smart bulb arena.


Price: $129 for 3 bulbs


3. Amazon Echo


For all of you in the peanut gallery with your tin-foil hats ready to “boo” and “hiss” at the integration of smart tech in our daily lives, it’s really time to get over it. Move past the creep factor: Amazon’s Echo is a personal assistant you’ll actually use. The moment it connects to Wi-Fi, the Echo has access to Amazon Prime’s music service and is enabled to connect to iHeartRadio and TuneIn for audio content. Alexa can answer a lot of questions, specifically fact-based ones. If it’s on Wikipedia, Alexa can reference it and read the first paragraph to you. Need measurement conversions? Alexa can knock that out, too. Alexa can also tell you about the weather, what time it is, set an alarm for you, and add items to a shopping list or a to-do list. Plus, any answer Alexa gives or song she plays also shows up on the Echo app too, so you can dive deeper into that Wikipedia entry or manage your to-do list.


Price: $99.99 with Amazon Prime Membership


4. Vysk QS1 Privacy Case


A follow-up to Vysk’s widely successful EP1 case, the QS1 case uses a combination of hardware and software components to protect the details of your life from the prying eyes of hackers. A patented camera shutter is used to prevent hackers from taking control of your iPhone’s cameras and the Vysk Private Gallery app and Vysk Private Text app are used to encrypt and protect your photos, videos and text messages. Similarly, the case blocks the microphone on your device so useful tidbits and discussion points are totally encrypted. As an added bonus, the Vysk QS1’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 120% more battery life for a phone.


Price: $229.99


5. Phorce Freedom


This laptop bag is just oversized enough to say “Hey, I mean business” but it’s what’s inside that you’re gonna love: there’s a backup battery charger with designated compartments for your phone and tablets. Now you can charge all of your devices without worry as you walk through an airport or sip coffee at Starbucks. Since the cables feed through the interior of the bag, no longer shall you find yourself amongst the horde of others guarding precious outlet space with the fervor of a territorial animal.


Price: $199.99