Unlimited USENET vs. Block Access
The vast majority of USENET providers these days offer you the option of choosing between block accounts and unlimited access accounts. Block accounts are accounts that are allocated a certain amount of data that can be downloaded. For some users, these may be the preferred way to go. For other users, particularly those who are very heavy downloaders with fast Internet connections, unlimited access may be more suitable. Comparing the features of the two should give you some insight into which is best for you.
Unlimited USENET access allows you to browse newsgroups, download files and any other content you want to download as much as you wish. These accounts are usually renewed on a monthly or other regular basis. Most of the time, you’ll be given a discount for purchasing a longer term of service. These accounts are very popular with people who not only download a lot but, perhaps ironically, are popular with people who probably download very little. If you’re not familiar with the amount of bandwidth you consume every month on your USENET account, it may pay to pay attention to it. The easiest way to do it is simply to write down the size of large files every time you download them and tally them up at the end of the month. This will give you a ballpark figure of how much download bandwidth you’re actually using.
Astraweb and other providers offer block accounts. These are accounts were you purchase a certain amount of bandwidth every month. Because of the way that most Internet web hosts used to operate, limited bandwidth sometimes makes people a bit more apprehensive than they should. Remember that you won’t receive overage charges for going over your allocated bandwidth. Your account will simply not allow you to download anymore when you run out of bandwidth. If you don’t use the USENET system to download a great deal of binary content, you may be able to get away with a block account for many months without even coming close to exceeding your limit.
Another Way To Do Things
Astraweb offers a one-terabyte block account at an affordable price. For many users, this is probably the best way to go. It ensures that you don’t have to worry about recurring payments and, with one terabyte of download allocated to your account, you shouldn’t run out anytime soon. In fact, that amount is probably at least six month’s worth of data for the average user who downloads moderately and checks the newsgroups for new articles quite frequently.
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