Internet-based USENET access is becoming very popular. The reasons for this are not hard to understand. While many people are starting to pick up the USENET as a great way to share information, newsreaders, binaries, newsgroups and other terms associated with USENET are still lost on many Internet users. Because many sites are porting connectivity to USENET to the Internet, people are rediscovering this service in droves. Security, however, is a concern.
Most USENET service is purchased on a monthly basis. It allows you to connect directly to the USENET server rather than connecting to the USENET server over the Internet. Good providers will offer you encryption when you make this connection. The encryption is generally SSL encryption, which is very secure and which prevents your ISP or anyone else from being able to tell what you are downloading. Somebody monitoring your connection would see a spike in bandwidth if you happened to be downloading something large off of the USENET, but they wouldn’t be able to tell what you’re downloading.
SSL encryption has long been a selling point for USENET providers. With the many Internet-based services available, however, users may want to take a look at encryption for those services so that their privacy is as well protected as it is on a standard USENET connection.
Some USENET providers bundle their service with VPN service. VPN service provides encryption for all of the communications that come from or go to your computer. This includes your USENET traffic, even if you are also encrypted by SSL. Essentially, somebody using SSL and a VPN to connect to the USENET provider has two layers of encryption protecting them.
On the Internet, VPNs provide encryption that protects you from prying eyes. If you’re accessing the USENET search service over the Internet, you may want to add this layer of privacy protection to prevent yourself from being monitored.
If you’re using any type of service on the Internet or through another protocol to download files, you can be certain that your ISP is going to take a look at it at some point. They are currently working with the entertainment industry to monitor user downloads. Any sort of a large file download – even one of the many completely legal files that are widely distributed over bit torrent and USENET protocols – is likely to be noticed. If you want the ultimate in privacy protection when you’re using USENET – whether it’s over the Internet or over a regular newsreader – make sure you have an SSL connection to the USENET server and that you have a VPN running to encrypt the rest of your traffic, as well.