Has anyone used put.io around here? They used to have free accounts earlier, but I guess they've stopped now. I've found their service to be pretty good. Their basic plan is 5 bucks a month for 10 GB storage and I've found it to be sufficient. It's not capped at the amount of data transferred. Their tiers are based on the maximum storage that you can get at a given point of time. That is not so much of a problem unless you are interested in really large files, because you can always flush and repeat. I have a cubenet block too, but I hardly use it. It is far easier to find torrents (which work with put.io) than to find nzb files.
All of your talk convinced me to drop my $7/month thecubenet plan and just grab a block account. I don't use it nearly enough. Someday I'll set up a couch potato and sickbeard server but until then it's just a waste.
Well, for $6 I'd decided to see what their unlimited storage is like.
1. They resell storage from storageninja.com
2. The account details, once they were set up, says that i have 10TB storage. THis isn't "unlimited" but, okay, its 10TB... close enough,
3. Their webpage to upload and download files is a freaking joke. There's no way this is going to be useful for someone with a large number of files to manage. And as icing on the cake, their "My Account" link at the bottom of the page 404s.
Highwainds is one of the major usenest companies and they are based in the United States and therefor follow DMCA takedown notices very fast and effectively. Some people do not like this and prefer independent or a Dutch usenet provider.
Google is your friend! The lifehacker article is out of date with software & providers but the info is good!
Thundernews is also a Highwinds reseller so you'd have the same issues!
reps to you for the Thundernews info -- and thanks for sharing the visual diagram!
i've actually been a Thundernews subscriber for a few years now, and have been wondering why the number of their mp3-related posts seems to have been gradually decreasing. (i guess because of their association with Highwinds?) the only thing is that i have never had trouble finding/downloading items found on nzb-indexing sites (using Thundernews servers). so maybe what i search for isn't high on any DMCA list?
not sure how much more i'll find with Astraweb or Tweaknews...
Here is a good visual diagram of News Servers I found last year!
I have kept Astraweb as my primary server and have a Tweaknews block as my backup server (Use SabNZBD) and have zero issues whatsoever.
Tweak is slower due to the distance traveled by the packets but necessary for completeness.
If you only download a little a month then a block plan is the way to go. You'll find that many won't openly talk too much about Newsservers as it's been a rough couple months with NZB sites shutting down, DMCA takedowns, and private invites getting slimmer.
I'm not a member of any private sites and have been using Usenet for well over a decade now (remember Agent and 300 day retention on Giganews? anyone?)
If you know what to do just use binsearch or nzbclub to find older stuff!
I'd definitely recommend Usenet to anybody especially those who like to store bluray or 720p/1080p web-dl quality of movies and tv shows. I've been on Highwinds for about a year (thecubenet unlimited currently and something else before) and honestly have found very little problems for the most part. On my Synology NAS, I have over 10TBs of movies (old and brand new) in 720p/1080p BRrips, 150+ tv & anime series in 1080p/720p (when available) and some games. I've set up Sickbeard and couchpotato so I literally have to do nothing while my NAS grabs everything for me and downloads at top speeds. Combining this with Plex, I'm in media heaven.
For some of the newer shows (particularly HBO) the high quality versions of new episodes and previous season Blurays get DMCAed but for the new episodes, there are always reposts (usually got to get them in a week for the rare shows). The regular sdtv and hdtv rips that all the torrent sites have are almost always up for a long time. Personally, I love/need 1080p/720p Web-DL (rips off the iTunes store with DRM removed) as they are the best quality available until the Blurays come out (which I then upgrade to) and torrents almost never have those along with high quality Bluray rips of even common shows.
DVDrips of everything are usually up for me and I've found things that are 1600+ days old working fine. I'm always trying to find the best current shows, but kind of obsess with having backlogs of all the best movies and tv shows from before and Usenet is honestly the best for that (if you have an unlimited account). I can easily go 2+ TBs in a month although now I'm having just a harder time finding new shows and movies that I even want to collect.
You can use hosting sites like uploaded.net, rapidgator, netload, etc but you have scour forums and manually input everything into jdownloader (can't have it automated like with usenet), deal with the same takedowns, run into more inconsistent speeds (I have to stop and start jdownloader all the time for some reason), and it's usually more expensive and has monthly download caps unlike an unlimited usenet account. However, they are good for some rare high quality shows that get DMCAed on usenet and are a bit older so I sign up for a month maybe every 6-9 months to get rare things (at 720p/1080p quality) that I'm picky about and can't find on usenet or torrents. However, sites like tehparadox.com are awesome to grab some rare things or see what you might have missed.
It's also great for movies especially getting Bluray quality copies of everything from the newest movies to classics released 5+ years ago. For movies older than 6 months, usenet is a breeze and almost always come through for me. For the newest releases, when they first come out with 720p/1080p bluray releases, the first ones probably get DMCAed in a day or less but only for the very popular movies. However, there are constant reposts and you'll eventually get it. If you don't want to have to search and scour all the time, set up Coachpotato which automatically searches indexes and grabs those movies when they are available at a certain specified quality that you want. It's better than torrents in my opinion because you can't get those movies in the beginning anyway because there are so many leechers and so few seeders. But if push comes to shove and you can't get a certain movie after a few days, I'll torrent it (very rare).
In terms of games, usenet is not the best for it. There are a decent # of posts and reposts and the new games will stay up for a couple days (I only know for XB360) but they go down and stay down. I don't really download too many games but I usually use torrents if it's an older game. If you stay up to date and like the newest games immediately, usenet works well.
In terms of privacy, nothing is untraceable. But compared to torrents, usenet is better. You're provider keeps basic logs of somethings (and some don't at all) but these almost in all certainty will never be used against you. Sharing is where they can get you, and you don't do that at all on usenet (you just download off of foreign servers). Usenet has SSL connections and combined with a VPN, you're pretty much good (unless you do something sick like download child pornography). I don't even use a VPN or proxy for my usenet downloading because I'd rather have the extra speed but a VPN for torrents is a must.
If you're a massive downloader, demand the best quality, and want a large collection or backlog of movies and tv shows (like me), usenet is for you (especially an unlimited account). If you don't download that much, but kind of want an automatic tv and movie PVR of the latest things, get a block account and set up the automation software like Sickbeard (for TV) and Coachpotato (for movies). At least try it out. SABNZBD is the best downloader in my opinion and has so many options, settings, automatic sorting and download automation /scheduler options. It even has a check before download feature if you're worried that something is DMCAed and don't want to waste downloading part of it to find out it's incomplete (I use this for some rare NZBs that are very large and I'm not sure if they're up). It also works in conjunction with so much other software. It also runs perfectly on my NAS. It blows jdownloader out of the water in my opinion (but obviously they're for very different purposes).
I'll also give some help on indexers since everyone seems to be complaining since the NZBMatrix got killed. People say the first rule of usenet is to not talk about usenet but that's stupid. Honestly, my downloading has gotten infinitely better after NZBmatrix went down but that might also be because I'm better at identifying what I want, at what quality, and what will work. The main advantage of NZBmatrix was the community commenting on various NZBs about its quality and if it was up or not. There is no equal among the new indexers for that but a lot of the info can just be found in the accompanying .nfo file (quality, language, stats, what files are included, etc). And for seeing if a file is still up, there is some basic feedback but you can kind of figure out the basic time frame for when a brand new Bluray movie or 1080p Web-DL of Game of Thrones will be down. You can also check if it's up with the SABNZBD feature before you even download a single byte (this does take a bit longer in the beginning though).
There are a bunch of indexers popping up almost weekly. I've been able to grab free invites and even some free VIP invites (found smackdownonyou.com right here on SDN) to like 5+ of them. For free invites and membership, most will have a limit on how many NZBs you can grab a day like 5-10 and how many API hits you can take a day (this is a premium feature at a lot of indexers too). API hits are important if you set up Sickbeard or Coachpotato to scan for new releases every 30mins, hour, etc. I haven't had to pay for a single indexer so the fear of them going down isn't a big deal to me. But I haven't had any of them go down since I've signed up after NZBmatrix got killed. Some of the best ones are: omgwtfnzbs.org, nzbsrus.com, filesharingtalk.com/nzbs, smackdownonyou.com, nzb-matrix.eu
I think that you may have to be on the lookout for invites for free accounts, but paid accounts are mostly open to anyone. NZBRUS is probably the best paid site right now and omgwtfnzbs is a solid second. However, if you don't want to pay, filesharingtalk is pretty good in having the main releases up. If you want to set up automatic grab software like Sickbeard , getting a premium account for their API feature is a pretty good resource, but Sickbeard even has their own free indexer which works pretty well (might be behind like 15-30 minutes on the newest releases compared to paid sites).
My #1 resource by FAR though is nzbclub.com. This site is a BEAST. It is a search engine that goes through every single NZB release group and shows everything that's been released in like the last 1700+ days. If you know what you want, I don't even look at the indexers and just go straight here. There is no list comprehensible list of what is released that a newbie could follow like on indexers because they congregate everything. The only way is if you have certain alt.binary groups that you like to follow like for HD tv or anime. They have everything with pretty good sorting options (size, date released, relevance). Reading the .nfo files are critical here as they are critical in making sure you download what you want (and don't get like a German version of something). It can be a bit overwhelming so ease into it. But if you get a hang of this, it's absolutely money for building a good catalog of movies, shows, music, etc. I even sometimes use free accounts on the indexers just to see what is being released and grab the NZB from nzbclub so I don't use up a free grab. Also, you can start recognizing the best releasers for movies and tv shows and don't even have to read .nfo files. You can trust their quality (ie SINNERS, MacGuffin, AMIABLE, SPARKS).
That's a ton of info but I think that it gives a good overview of usenet and alternatives. In summary, usenet is awesome especially if you're a massive downloader, want solid privacy, want the best quality, and want to set up automatic grabbing services that serve as a PVR. It's still good if you're not a heavy downloader but just go with a block account or just try an unlimited account for a month if it's this cheap. Also, life still exists post-NZBmatrix. It's a bit harder to navigate but the quality is there. You just have to put some more time setting it up first, but once you get a hang of it, there is even more content available than what NZBmatrix offered. Hope this helps.
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