How To Stay Anonymous On USENET

If  you are a USENET user and especially if you are downloading binary files off of USENET then you will probably want to stay as anonymous for several reasons.

  • First, its really nobody’s business what you do online however unfortunately most of the time ISPs, government and various monitoring services have way too much information about exactly you do online.
  • Second, if your ISP knows exactly what you are using USENET and they deem it a low priority then they may slow down your USENET access in what is known as bandwidth shaping. USENET traffic is typically given a very low priority by your Internet service provider so, most likely, if they know what you are doing they will slow you down.
  • Third, legal protection. Say for example, when downloading many messages and files off a newsgroup you could happen to accidentally download some copyrighted material. This can happen with a few misplaced clicks and in this  present litiginous world its always better to keep your ISP knowing less than giving them too much information.

Fortunately, we have three recommendations for you USENET users on how to stay anonymous online.

  • First, we recommend that you always enable SSL when you are connecting to your USENET service provider. Not only will your downloads and uploads stay away from prying eyes but also your ISP will be less likely to regulate and slow down  your USENET traffic.   To enable SSL, you will need a newsreader that supports SSL (almost all of them do ) look here at our newsreader comparison pages. Interesting, most USENET newsreader do not give show you SSL security by default.
  • Second,  use tunneling software when possible or easy to do.  If you are a user of Giganews ( a top tier Usenet provider ) then you can take advantage of their USENET tunneling and  acceleration application called Giganews accelerator.   Also you can use a similar software called stunnel with other USENET service providers. It ‘s not as easy as Giganews accelerator but then again its not to hard either. Also detailed here are some directions on how to setup stunnel to work with your USENET service. These directions will work for any USENET service and will also provide compression which should speed up message header download from USENET much faster.
  • Third, and saving the best for last. Use a VPN to connect to USENET . A virtual private network can be used in conjunction with SSL and tunneling.  A virtual private network encrypts the traffic between your ISP and the VPN’s server so if , for example, you were located in south america but wanted to watch tv service in the United States then you could do so by using a VPN service located in the USA. One particular example which comes to mind is VyprVPN.  VyprVPN is a new service that is being promoted by the creators of Giganews. Read our review of VyprVPN for more information but now until June 2010 VyprVPN is included free with Giganews Diamond plans.

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