Over the last year, USENET providers have continued to add more binary retention to their services. The amount of retention they have has become a major selling point for many of them and several services have binary retention rates in excess of 4 years at this point. Does it matter?
On Internet forms, there have been debates lately if whether or not having many years of retention matters. Some users suspect that, with binaries getting taken down, it may not make any difference. If there are missing parts of files due to them being removed, is there any point in having that much retention?
Many users, however, report that they’re able to access most binaries going back to their service’s longest retention rates. While there may be some binaries that are removed here and there, the older ones aren’t all gone and it’s still worthwhile to have a long retention rate on your USENET service.
There will be those instances, for certain, when a post is missing pieces and when, even though it’s still on the system for many long years, it is essentially unavailable. There are solutions to this.
Many USENET services offer block access. This is a block of bandwidth that you’re allowed to download. NewsDemon recently added a version that never expires. This download bandwidth is very inexpensive—1 TB for $35 in the aforementioned NewsDemon offer. Also Astraweb has had block USENET access for a while now also—so it’s worth it to purchase it as a backup. Between having two USENET access providers that have long retention times, it’s possible to find the missing parts of most posts, adding value to paying for the longer retention times.
USENET providers are constantly adding more retention time to their servers. It’s worth it; it’s not just a gimmick. That retention time means that posts remain available for many years after they’re put up, creating a repository of information that can be easily accessed by anyone with a newsreader for a long time. It adds another source to verify information—or invalidate it—found on the regular Internet. Where binaries are concerned, it’s possible to find missing pieces of posts by using two services, in the event that some of the post is gone missing but, in most cases, users should find that the entire post is available.
It’s worth it to pay for more retention from a USENET server, and to have a block of backup just in case.