Astraweb Review

Astraweb Review
3 / 5
Astraweb Review
Rating 3 Stars
Price $8.00 / Month
Retention 3335 Days
Free Trial 24 Hours
Features Free SSL
US and EU servers
Complete Headers
Payment Credit Cards, Paypal & Bitcoin

Astraweb is a well-known USENET provider that offers quite a few attractive features. With Astraweb, you can get low-cost unlimited accounts, as well as block accounts, and you have the option of paying via Bitcoin.

Quick Facts

  • Unlimited and Block Accounts – a variety of various plans.
  • Reduced Prices for Longer Terms of Service
  • Accepts Bitcoin, iDeal, Major Credit cards – other payment options available
  • 24-Hour Support
  • SSL (Privacy Protection)
  • Runs Own Servers

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Binary Retention

Astraweb current has  3335 days of retention for binaries.

Pricing

Astraweb has a mix of unlimited and block accounts to choose from. Standard accounts are limited to 10 Mbit per second. DSL accounts feature unlimited download speed and quantities. Block access plans have no limits on speed.

Name Price Download Limits Connections
Unlimited 10 Mbit/s $10/month Unlimited 20
Unlimited 10Mbit/s $20/3 months Unlimited 20
Unlimited DSL $15/month Unlimited 20
Unlimited DSL $39/3 months Unlimited 20
25 GB $10 25 GB 20
180 GB $25 180 GB 20
1,000 GB $50 1,000 GB 20

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Special offers for UsenetReviewz visitors at $15 for two months special,  $11 month / time limited special or $96 year time limited special if you are looking to get a good deal.

Free Trial info

There is 24 hour free trial available from Astraweb but you will need to contact them via email to ask for this.

Special Offers / Coupons

Check out the time limited special offers for UsenetReviewz visitors at $15 for two months special,  $11 month / time limited special or $96 year time limited special if you are looking to get a good deal.

Speed Test

Astraweb is fast. While their standard accounts are limited to 10 Mbit/s, their unlimited and block accounts have no speed thresholds. Most users should easily max out their broadband connection speeds using this provider.

Connections

Astraweb gives all users twenty connections. Most users will not need this many connections, but it’s always good to have extra if your setup can handle it.

News Servers / Ports / Configuration

General Servers (Non SSL) on ports 119, 23, 1818 or 8080:

  • news.astraweb.com
  • eu.news.astraweb.com (European servers)
  • us.news.astraweb.com (U.S. servers)

Secure Servers (SSL) on ports 443 or 563.

  • ssl.astraweb.com
  • ssl-eu.astraweb.com (European servers)
  • ssl-us.astraweb.com (U.S. servers)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is 10 Mbit/second fast enough?
A: For people who have very fast Internet connections, probably not. Most users, however, will likely find 10 Mbit/sec to be plenty of speed. If you’re not sure, you can buy a low-cost block access package and see how fast you can download off of USENET. If you get better speed than 10 Mbit/sec, get a DSL subscription or stick with block access; either offers unlimited speed.

Q: Why would I pay for USENET access with Bitcoin?
A: Some nations are restrictive in terms of what information people are allowed to access online. Bitcoin provides an easy, anonymous option for getting USENET access for such customers. Some customers simply prefer Bitcoin because it is almost completely anonymous, and that layer of security is desirable for such users.

Q: What does it mean when providers say they operate their own servers?
A: Some USENET providers are resellers, meaning that their service gets its USENET servers from another provider. In many cases, whether or not a USENET service operates its own servers will have no bearing on the end-user experience. However, companies that operate their own servers obviously have more control over them and, for some users, it’s the only type of company they’re willing to work with. It’s not really a strike against any company if they don’t have their own servers but, at the same time, companies that do have an edge, in some regards.

Q: I see this company has headquarters in Singapore. Is their English-language tech support good?
A: Yes, Astraweb has good tech support and English speakers will find themselves entirely accommodated by this company.

Q: Is a ticketing system good for support?
A: The answer to this question depends upon the company. As far as Astraweb is concerned, they’re responsive and do a great job of attending to their tickets. Ticket systems are not as fast as live chat, of course, but they can be nearly as fast when you’re working with a good company. Telephone support may be faster, in some cases, but may also involve more time on hold and ticket systems and live chat can actually be faster than phone support in the end.

Q: Does this provider offer a newsreader?
A: No, Astraweb does not offer a newsreader. Many of our top providers do, however. With Astraweb, you can use most any newsreader and downloading app you want, but you’ll have to bring your own.

Q: Is there a security advantage to picking a company located outside my home nation?
A: That depends upon the privacy laws in your nation but there very well might be. Some USENET users prefer to get access outside their own nation so that their USENET records are subject to the laws in a nation that may have better privacy protection than their own. Astraweb says that they do not log user activity at all and, in such cases, there would be no user logs for anyone to check, anyway.

Q: Is the SSL connection really secure?
A: SSL provides excellent security. It only protects your USENET usage, however, so keep in mind that, if you want security for all your Internet usage, you’ll need to look to a solution like a VPN. Some of our top providers—Newshosting and NewsDemon, for example—offer discounted VPN services with their USENET products.

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 Support

Astraweb has a ticketing system on their website where you can submit issues directly to support. Support is available around the clock and response times are good with this provider. In addition to the ticketing system, Astraweb has a very detailed FAQ and knowledgebase section you can use to research answers to your questions.

Contact Information

Searchtech Limited
#16-20 UOB Plaza 2
80 Raffles Place
Singapore 048624
Submit help ticket: http://helpdesk.astraweb.com

Security /Company Privacy Policy

Astraweb says that they do not log user activity. They do log server performance information but, according to the company, this information is completely anonymous.

Payment Options

Astraweb takes major credit cards, iDeal, Sofort and Bitcoin for payment. You can pay for block, monthly or tri-monthly subscriptions.

Our Opinion

Astraweb is a solid USENET provider, particularly for those who need block accounts. The company has been in business since the late 1990s, so they aren’t among the companies that come and go quickly. They’ve been around for a long time and appear to be here to stay.

Astraweb’s block access accounts are particularly good deals for those who don’t consistently download off of USENET, but who need access now and then. The 1,000 GB block is a particularly good deal. For many users, this will cover their usage for an entire year. That translates to USENET access with unlimited speed for less than $5 per month, if you manage to stretch out the allotment for twelve months.

Astraweb also offers competitive subscription programs. The $10 per month Unlimited plan, despite it being limited to 10 Mbit/sec, might be enough speed for many users and the price is certainly good.

Astraweb doesn’t stand out as the very best provider for subscription USENET access but, for block access, they are definitely among the top providers in the business.



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24 Comments about Astraweb Review


  1. David R on July 25th, 2009

    I’ve had good experiences with Astraweb. There is no reason to pay $30 plus for Usenet acesss when Astraweb has this $11 special. Im rating them 5 stars all around

  2. cerjy on August 24th, 2009

    11/month. cheaper than a seedbox, constant download speed, much better collection of HD content.

  3. Dhampir on September 14th, 2009

    I’ve had only amazing experiences with Astraweb. $11/month is a great price. My 10Mbps connection is always maxed out. Never had any issues and I’ve been using it for a year… and using it a lot.

    Full stars because it completely deserves them.

  4. Jayme on October 31st, 2009

    Have used several access providers and Astraweb is the best.

  5. Timmah on January 4th, 2010

    Have used Astraweb for a couple of months now and have found it to be execellent in retention, speeds and price. Would highly recommend.

  6. UserX on August 8th, 2010

    I’ve been using Astraweb’s block accounts for the past 3 years. I don’t download much so it is extremely convenient. Their retention and blocks have increased year by year and they don’t nickel and dime for stuff like SSL. Great company, great prices.

  7. Enn Vee on August 17th, 2010

    I’ve been using Astraweb for years now and have had a great experiance. I recommend them highly.

  8. Zaac on September 21st, 2010

    Been using astraweb for about 4 months now. This is by far the experience i’ve ever had. The speeds are always consistent, I have 50mb internet and it always maxes out my connection. I used a lot of other service providers over the years and this has been the most reliable and fastest i’ve ever used. The retention is great – it looks like ive found the best of the best with the best prices.

  9. Johny on September 25th, 2010

    Simply the best service available. You can use PayPal instead of your credit card number, also cheap per month subscription and high download speeds (9MB/s are no problem), very simple and straight forward website. Sounds almost like a dream!

  10. Tiamat on November 1st, 2010

    Their 96 USD/year is the best you can achieve now and the speed is great (my 100Mbps connection is often used at 100% and the average speed here in eastern Europe using the american Astraweb server is 80% of 100Mbps).

  11. Chris W on January 4th, 2011

    Joined their 11 USD/Month deal and very pleased so far.
    Excellent speed and reliability from the European server (I am in the UK)
    I can highly recommend them.

  12. kostik on January 7th, 2011

    I did the same as Chris did, joined the 11 $ plan and so far im pretty pleased of the 120 mbit connection i got i normaly get 100 – 110. Good stuff

  13. Davidy on February 12th, 2011

    After reading the other customer reviews, anything I would say would just be redundant. Astraweb is hands down the best bang for the buck. If you want value (which in NSP terms means speed, SSL connectivity, access to the most newsgroups and retention)look no further. The annual rate is even sweeter.
    After all that, you might guess that the service is perfect. I will tell you that I have had a couple of “newsgroup not found on server” notices (not many) and unfortunately, more than should be “article not found” notices. If you have a wad to shoot, go Lexus and get Giganews. Never had ANY messages from their service, and if I could afford it, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. That said, for the “on-a-budget” crowd, Astraweb is NSP home.

  14. Jacki on April 7th, 2012

    I’m maxing my connection with 11 megabytes (MB) / sec

  15. Larry on May 4th, 2013

    I stopped using them and got a Newshosting account because Astraweb’s drives seem to or are becoming less and less reliable ! To many files are missing pieces to the point where qpar can’t repair because not enough blocks get downloaded ! I’ve been back and forth with them on overcoming the problem and they refuse to face their own problem !
    Unfortunately, Newshosting has their own problems (stops and starts on downloading). I’ve tested the net and it is definitely them. Giganews doesn’t have either problem but, at 3 times the price . . .

  16. Drake Jones on May 16th, 2013

    I used Astraweb for a several years. Astraweb folks are posting phoney positive reviews on websites like this one. There pretty bad as Usnet servers go. Your money can be better spent. Astraweb is honestly at the low end of the scale as far as retention and incompletes go.

  17. Alan on October 2nd, 2013

    I have been with AstraWeb for four years now. Before, I had Giganews, Newshosting and Easynews. Until AstraWeb upgraded their servers at the end of August, 2013 they’ve been a first class Usenet provider, with 20 simultaneous connections, free SSL, 6.5 – 6.9 MBs download speed and 1.1 MBs upload speed, etc…
    Unfortunately, speed is not the only factor. Starting in the last months, more than a third of the posts available on their servers have ALL their files 20-60% corrupted. PAR2 files can’t help, since more than half of the blocks are bad, including those in the PAR2 files itself. The posters of the corrupted files are among the best and reputable on Usenet, and I’ve never had problems with their post before. I’ve contacted AstraWeb technical support, but so far they did not acknoledge the problem. I intend to go back to Newshosting, as soon as possible.

  18. Bruv on November 29th, 2013

    @Alan That’s called DMCA, mate. Affects most/all Usenet service providers.

  19. Marion Marshall on November 29th, 2013

    Correct Bruv. Alan in your case I would recommend an account with Newshosting for $9.99/month or Giganews Platinum $15/yr with VPN – and a backup block account from Astraweb to fill in missing parts would be the best way

  20. Thomas Bukholt on August 23rd, 2014

    i have been using astraweb for over 10 years, never had any problems or complaints always buy a year at a time. five stars ++

    of course they got DMCA’s like the rest.

  21. MrMaster on December 1st, 2014

    I’m very unhappy with AstraWeb….my guess it that 10% are missing.
    Why do AtraWeb get 5 starts….they should have 1 start!
    They might get DMCA’s…but that’s not really my problem. I buy a service, and they don’t deliver

  22. Marion Marshall on December 5th, 2014

    Missing posts are common to any USENET provider and are an effect of DMCA laws. One strategy for Astraweb is to utilize connections on the EU server and on the USA server. The takedowns time vary among the various servers to be sure you have setup two connections on the astraweb EU server and one to the astraweb US server.

  23. yuppicide on January 12th, 2015

    I was using Astraweb. I liked their service. I am on one of the unlimited speed plans, because I have 105Mbps internet at home. I get between 7-12MB/sec download. I can only download 25GB, though. I decided to spend more and just purchase a bunch of gigs. Then I realized a lot of stuff I want is incomplete. I end up downloading all this stuff for nothing and wasting my GB.

    I switched to EasyNews.. I still have Astraweb since I purchased so many GB, but with EasyNews I get faster speeds up to like 16 or 17MB/sec and those files that weren’t complete completed. I downloaded a tv show that’s not been released on DVD.. and it was pasted about 5.6 years ago to Usenet! Downloaded no problem.

  24. ray merrick on December 19th, 2015

    I have been with astraweb for about 6 months, and I find that almost every file has missing blocks, incomplete. So much that some 80% of what I try to download I cannot complete.. Wasted data and time.
    Next payday I will find another provider for the fills.

    I never had this problem with Giganews in the 8 years I was with them.

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