1. Old Handle

    Bye bye Usenet

    So I just got an email from my ISP (Charter) warning me they will no longer offer a Usenet server as of Dec 10. I read rec.games.roguelike.nethack very rarely and that's it, so mild annoyance on principle is about all I can muster. Nevertheless, it's a bit irritating because they suggested subscribers who still need it try one of the services on www.newsgroupreviews.com. Well, those all seem to cost $10/mo, and I'm pretty damn sure Charter isn't going to knock that much (or anything) off my bill when they do away with it. Of course the paid servers are probably way better than what I've been getting, but also way better than I have any use for.

    So I'm left wondering two things: Does this have anything to do with the copyright crackdown US ISPs were apparently pushed into recently? And does anybody know a good free or very cheap Usenet service? (Not Google Groups)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Bye bye Usenet

      Usenet is dead! Film at 11!

      But in all seriousness, use your favorite search engine and search on "freenews". I still follow a dozen or so groups, and probably will until they put me in a box. Sometimes via UUCP over dial-up, the way Gawd/ess intended, no less :-)

      Has nothing to do with copyright. Has to do with bandwidth issues and cost/benefit analysis combined with strange ideas that corporate lawyers have about the differences between "editing" and "censorship" and a simple "we don't provide that portion of Usenet".

      My feed is provided by a local Uni that I am an Alumni of. You may have a similar option. Ask. Squeaky wheel and all that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bye bye Usenet

      Well, the copyright thing you mention is probably the cause of you losing it, or at least that is the excuse for your current ISP company to stop spending for it.

      Usenet has copyright dogs though, they do hunt down and throw DMCA notices left an right at Usenet providers. Usenet is not a shield from copyright. Also, I'm not too sure how far SSL encryption will go to hide you from the details of what you are downloading.

      If you are literally just going to read text, use the free ones (plenty out there for text). If you are thinking about *other* use's of Usenet, then it depends on your country. Just make sure you get FREE SSL and at least 10 concurrent connections/threads. In the USA, paid services like Giganews, Newshosting, etc... should all offer this.

  2. M Gale

    Is news.cis.dfn.de still up?

    Just saying, they used to run a nice text-only free service back in the day.

  3. Zaphod.Beeblebrox
    Thumb Up

    news.eternal-september.org is still up, and free with registration

    Retention is very short, but coverage of the groups is pretty good (for those I care about, anyway). Operators have also been responsive when asked to add groups too, so worth a look.

  4. Danny 14 Silver badge

    astraweb will give you a "data allowance" usenet service for a few pounds (cant remember how many GB but it is a fair amount). If you arent downloading lots of binaries then this is worth it.

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