We have put Newshosting through it’s paces and finally have completed an In Depth Review and Full Speed Test, including a review of the Newshosting Newreader. The newsreader from Newshosting is new application recently released and available to all customers free-of-charge. Newshosting has long been a major player in the usenet service industry and is known for offering quality usenet service at affordable prices. The addition of the free newsreader is nice bonus for customers, and complements the partnership with Easynews quite well. Newshosting now has robust usenet service via web with Easynews, and their own full featured newsreader for standard NNTP style usenet service.
Our review will cover the usenet service from Newshosting, the web account, and the just released Newshosting Newsreader. First up, the newsreader.
The Newshosting Newsreader itself is relatively small application for Windows. However, Mac and Linux versions are in development. The install is standard and straight forward.
The first thing you see after successful install is the login screen for your newshosting credentials.
Setting your connection type is recommended for the best performance, and the software pops up the dialog when run for the first time.
The layout of the interface for the Newsreader is very intuitive. On the left panel you have basic navigation amongst Binary and Text, and within individual newsgroups. You can add and change what is displayed on the left panel easily. The center panel displays the main views and can be toggled to display posts, search results, transfers in progress, etc. The lower panel displays connection information and diagnostic information.
The Newshosting Newsreader works well for just about any and all newsgroups. It easily handles both binary and text groups, and offers a way to browse, search and add more newsgroups. You shouldn’t have any problem finding the newsgroups of your choice since Newshosting carries everything, and the newsreader software can handle it all.
Searching usenet with the newsreader is probably one of the best features. You can conduct searches quickly and easily, whether it’s within a particular newsgroup or across all of usenet. You can also use some really helpful filters and sort to better sift the search results. The filters are very nicel, offering to limit the search return to items like ISO’s, Videos, Images, etc.
The search settings include adding the ability to incorporate search from a well known web engine: Binsearch.info. This means you can search directly for NZB’s within the actual Newshosting Newsreader. That’s a big plus for people who may have to first search on the web, then import NZB into the newsreader. All you need to do now is fire up the Newshosting Newsreader, search for the nzb, and download. Simple as that.
Search results are easily downloaded, and a simple right click opens up a number of other valuable functions.
When available, Newshosting Newsreader can display NFO files. This is a nice little timesaver and quite helpful.
On the general settings page you have another helpful feature that will delete private data upon exit. This is especially handy for deleting your history, search, etc every time you exit the application.
The downloads settings provides access to the automatic par and unrar features of the software. Since the Newshosting Newsreader automatically checks archives with par files, and unpacks the archives, it makes dealing with large binaries very easy. These two features really are great, and should be considered a “must-have” in any quality newsreader. Enabling the delete file feature will automatically remove the archives after a successful unpack, leaving you with just the finished files.
The additional Download Scheduler can be set to only allow downloads during a certain timeframe. This is very helpful for managing downloads and traffic. For example, you could easily set this so that usenet downloads were done during the evening to minimize use of the connection during the day.
The video settings allows you to link to the very popular VLC Media Player. This will enable video previews from Newshosting Newsreader with your resident copy of VLC.
Starting the preview is very straight forward from a video archive. It will automatically start building a review once you select that feature.
Depending on your connection, it may take just a few seconds to build the video preview and open VLC. In our case, for the below screenshot, the preview was done very quickly. Perhaps 5-10 seconds of building, and then VLC opened and started playing. Needless to say, previewing video archives is a breeze with the Newshosting Newsreader. Oh, and VLC FTW.
Downloading with Newshosting Newsreader is also very easy and there are a number of helpful features. The main download transfer view clearly displays any actives transfers in progress. On the top of half the main panel you have the overall file progress. The bottom half of the panel displays the progress on the individual archives.
The newsreader also gives you the ability to jump directly to the download folder for easier navigation in Windows Explorer.
Once you jump to the folder, the files are displayed! With auto par and unrar enabled, along with file delete, the only thing remaining is the finished file(s). In this case we have our ISO of Ubuntu ready to go now. There was no need to run quickpar, or unarchive – Newshosting Newsreader took care of everything.
The first time you complete a download, a notification window will also pop-up. But don’t worry you can easily silence them for the future. Still, the pop-up is quite nice since it contains a link to the download folder.
One of the greatest features of the Newshosting Newsreader is it’s seamless link to your Newshosting account. From the time you login, the newsreader offers the ability to jump directly to the web control panel. From there you can manage all your account details including payment and subscription information.
For anyone who is into other friendly usenet software applications like SickBeard, you will be happy with the import settings in Newshosting Newreader. The ability to watch a folder for NZB and auto-download, and automatically download without asking really help with the automation. Butler software like SickBeard can be relied on to do the searching and retrieval of the NZB, while Newshosting Newsreader can automatically import and download.
For one of our last couple screenshots, we want to make sure to point out that Newshosting Newsreader DOES in fact work with text, and does it quite well. Browsing the text groups, like alt.politics, is as easy as clicking a mouse. And really, isn’t the text the heart of usenet? Text is perhaps the most important part of usenet, since it enables everyone to come together, discuss, and try to prove each other wrong on various topics of interest. Remember to get your crazy on, and head on over to a text group for a good time.
Alright then, that’s over 20 screenshots of Newshosting Newsreader, covering just about everything under the hood. The newsreader software performed very well in our tests and definitely reflects the hard work put in during development and testing. It’s clear to see that Newshosting incorporated a lot of the feedback from users during the beta. The software is stable and features seem to be functioning as they should. Newshosting is committed to improving upon the software and is still soliciting feedback. So we’re confident you can expect more improvements and new features coming in the future.
The Newshosting service also performed extremely well during our testing. Within the Newhosting Newsreader, and using another major commercial newsreader, our tests consistently maxed the download connection. That’s obvious from some of the screenshots above indicating over 3MB/sec (that’s megaByte, not megabit) download. For reference, that connection is a standard cable modem from Comcast. Download speeds like that make downloading even very large archives much faster. For more evidence, check out the below screenshot of the Ubuntu download and look in the lower left, almost 3.2MB/s!
So the download speeds from Newshosting are obviously fast. How about completion and retention? For our tests we grabbed a random 500mb nzb of about 30 rar archives that were over 1000 days old. We specifically picked an nzb for files that were 1072 days old! The archives downloaded completely, and the unpack was successful. So although it’s not a comprehensive test, it is a good indication that binary retention is very high on Newshosting.
Bottomline on Newshosting and the Newshosting Newsreader is that both of them are high quality. The software is full featured and stable. The service is fast and reliable. As far as the pricing goes, both the per month and annual plans are good value (particularly the special deal). As a final note, don’t forget to check our editors review and read what other users have to say about Newshosting!