Searchtech Limited is the owner and operator, based in Singapore.
They provide premium Usenet services with server farms in US and Europe.
Usenet Present vs History
Back in 2004 Usenet was nothing special to get excited about. Usenet provider Astraweb had a retention of about 14 days and the speed wasn’t great either. Giganews was better with already offering 50 days of retention but also being pricey. In my opinion this all wasn’t really worth the price back then.
Today however, things are looking totally different. Broadband penetration is higher, cable and ADSL speeds increased while fiber is slowly reaching more and more households. While computers and internet connections became faster, the need for utilizing your max download speed became a natural fact. It’s not often that you can download with the maximum speed on peer to peer networks with the connection you pay good money for. Here’s where Usenet shines the best.
Have you wondered how much time you could save downloading mega content and large files? Of course, it all depends on how fast your ISP’s connection is, but let’s say it’s 120 Mbit/s, a full DVD (4.7GB) should be downloaded in no more than 4 minutes. You can easily imagine what the result of a 200 Mbit/s connection will be.
Astraweb has greatly improved over the years and I have been watching the retention increase to 430+ days. Very impressive compared to 14 days just 5 years ago. They currently have one of the highest retention’s, being the second best while Giganews is still leading by just 9 days, now (2009) being at 439 days, although the huge price difference can’t justify it. Storage is cheap these days while still expanding, so I wouldn’t be surprised seeing the retention continue to grow at this peace. Most likely it will be beyond 500 days in 2010 so keep in mind this Astraweb review is done in 2009 and updated in October 2016.
After having a serious look for an unlimited and cheap Usenet provider, Astraweb caught our attention-
- Excellent Price – Best Value for Money Usenet
- Retention – 3000+ days and constantly increasing
- Anonymity – No logs are kept, Anonymous Group Requests, Anonymous Posting
- Uncensored News – No Discussions are Censored
- SSL Enabled – Free SSL on all accounts
- Completion – High number of peers. 99%+ completion
- Speed – Multiple Links to High Quality Providers
- Connections – 20 Simultaneous Connections
- Posting Propagation – Excellent propagation of posts with many peers
- US & EU Farms – Serverfarms in the US and EU
- We Run Our OWN Servers – We do not resell. We have total control over our own servers and farms.
In short you get this with unlimited downloading for just $8 / month. A hard to beat offer for a truly premium service like this. It’s no bullshit, they deliver what they advertise and my experience has been exactly like that. I have yet to see any other Usenet provider with this price and value. Who knows, the competition is getting stronger and there are many more providers then 5 years ago. So, this Astraweb review helps you to decide.
If you combine this with Spotnet and a newsgroups search engine like binsearch.info or nzbindex.nl, you are all set. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to download about anything. It’s even possible to share your account with friends, although make sure you both don’t use it at the same time. For the best cross platform usenet client check SABnzbd.
* This is a SPECIAL offer. Available for a Limited time only through this link, it’s not on their main-page.
Speed & Connectivity
The last few months of testing this service has been great. The 200 Mbit/s cable connection is maxed out with just 5 connections.
There are plenty of ways connecting to Astraweb servers, if your ISP throttles (traffic shaping) Usenet you can circumvent this by using different ports or SSL encryption.
Secure news servers (SSL 256 bit encryption) on ports 443 or 563
- ssl-eu.astraweb.com (European servers)
- ssl-us.astraweb.com (U.S. servers)
News servers on ports 119, 23, 1818 or 8080
- eu.news.astraweb.com (European servers)
- us.news.astraweb.com (U.S. servers)
This is something that shouldn’t be ignored. Although I didn’t have any problems so far, it is always a good thing when you can count on service support.
For the sake of it, I send them a message just to test them out. Fortunately, the same day I got a nice reply.
Besides that they also have a good online knowledge-base which answers the most questions. You can cancel your monthly subscription at anytime without problem.
Payment methods: PayPal, iDeal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, EuroCard, Discover, JCB, Diners Club and Debit Cards with the Visa/MasterCard Logo
It can be safely concluded that Astraweb currently offers the best price ($8) for the service you get. The speed, retention and service support are great while watching the retention constantly increase.
It has come to our attention that in recent times Astrawebs completion has been bad and therefor no longer recommend them.