Usenet is a service similar to torrents, you use it for finding and downloading movies, programs and other content you might be interested in.
The first thing we’re going to take a look at when comparing Usenet vs Torrent, is the the download speed. With torrent (P2P) downloading, you need to rely on other persons to seed so you can download faster. Therefore your downloading speed will be restricted by the amount of seeders. If there are few seeders you’re going to download slower.
With Usenet, your downloading speed isn’t restricted by the amount of seeders and lechers. There’s no restriction. The downloading speed in only limited by your broadband. So if you have a fast internet, you’re going to download movies and shows quick. Usenet speeds are as fast as the end users internet connection.
Usenet vs Torerent, which one have the best file availability? The first movies and songs appeared on Usenet even before the birth of Napster & BitTorrent. Even today, the majority of content from top site uploaders gets on Usenet first, and then spread to the P2P communities. This is the way online distribution works, and there is no indication that this will change any time soon.
Content uploaded to Usenet have a close to definite lifespan. Therefore Usenet have a clear advantage over torrents in terms of file availability. Content on Usenet have a retention time of around 900 days and it’s still increasing. Files uploaded to BitTorrent relies on seeders, over time content on BitTorrent will die.
How can we really compare Usenet vs Torrents, when Usenet don’t rely on seeders? Usenet gives you some definite benefits for a relatively low price and when you factor in the tens of thousands of people using dedicated servers and paying for seedboxes that cost more per month than a Usenet unlimited subscription, it kind of moots the argument that nobody pays to play with BitTorret.
To get a half decent speed, you need to be part of some sort of Private Torrent tracker, to be a part of a Private Tracker, you must also upload, or you will be kicked for leeching. As we know 95% of the internet’s population have a Internet connection where the download speed is higher than the upload speed. If you have an download speed of 12 Mbps, the upload speed would be around 1 Mbps. With the ratio 12:1, there’s is no way in the ocean you can download everything you want from torrents. You will always download more than you are able to upload. In this situation, you might be thinking of getting yourself a dedicated server or seedbox, but then the argument that BitTorrent is free disappear. And without this argument, Usenet is superior.
A major concern for many P2P users is the lack of security. It’s a fact that ten thousands have been sued for illegal downloads. Usenet use SSL encryption (Secure Sockets Layer) to secure your privacy. To this day, no one has been sued for illegal activities by using Usenet. As a result Usenet’s security is far more superior.
With torrents, anyone can connect to the tracker and log all the traffic on that tracker if they wish. Not really secure is it? BitTorrent is designed to conect to everyone, everyone upload something, and it’s hard to NOT expose your IP adress. Your IP adress, when using BitTorrent, is at some point exposed, because it has to know where to send traffic… to send files via IP you have to know what the two IP’s are that are talking to eachother about. And since bittorrent depends on a massive swarm of users, it’s easy to hook up a logger to capture active IP’s when you download a torrent. When you’re done, you end up with a list of every single ip that gave you data. You don’t even have to download to get the ips, just query the tracker.
News server access can cost anywhere from 8-11USD for unlimited downloading speed. But if you are unsatisfied with the downloading speed most torrents provide, worried by security and the need of better file availability, then Usenet is worth it. These are all reasons why I changed over to Usenet.
P2P downloading has a clear advantage over those who are unable or unwilling to spend money.
We must remember, that Usenet always will use all your broadband, meaning you will always download at full speed. Whereas torrens don’t.
Have you ever paid attention when you’ve downloaded torrents? You know that the file you download comes is many, many small files that have to be rejoined once downloaded? This concept come from Usenet where the files are compressed (.zip) into smaller files so it takes less time to download.
As with torrents, there are many different clients you can use. Basically, downloading with torrents and Usenet have many similarities; You browse the net and download a small file/link to your computer. Then the client on your computer tells a server what you want to download, and voila, you start gathering information from the server. With torrents, every person who have downloaded something operates as a “server”. Lechers (downloaders) and seeders (Uploaders). If there are many people downloading a file, but few seeders, downloading speed will be extremely awful.
Usenet has existed for 30 years, before WWW was born. There’s an old saying that no empire last forever, and P2P will not sit on the crown forever. While Usenet continues to expand, evolve and focusing on the mainstream public, P2P communities struggles with security problems and download speed. If this trend continues, it’s very possible that soon we will end up where it once began… With Usenet.
If you want to read what other Torrent users says about Usenet, read this: Testimonials.