Move over giganews here comes astraweb and half of my next iPad !


For many years now I’ve used Giganews‘s excellent but some-what expensive service as my usenet (newsgroups) provider. Recently I’ve been open for change, especially the kind of change that saves me money. The latest thing to get me going was looking into some VPN service that looks interesting and costs $5 a month, so that got me thinking abut how much I’m currently spending on online services, and the most expensive service is Giganews. Plus, a friend at work said he was using a different – cheaper provider called Astraweb and that he was very happy with them. Astraweb is a well-known provider that I’ve heard about for years, so I finally decided to try them out and I’m very glad I did !

Astraweb has two pricing systems: unlimited subscription plans and pay-by-download plans

Unlimited Subscription plans

  • All plans have unlimited quotas.
  • Plans are either limited to 10mbit speed or not limited at all.
  • 20 connections.
  • Cost: $10/m with 10mbit speed or $20/3m.
  • Cost: $15/m with no speed limit or $39/3m.

 

Pay-by-download

  • Pay for a download allowance that has no time limit.
  • No recurring payments.
  • 50 connections.
  • Variety of download packages: 25gb / 180gb / 1,000gb
  • Costs for packages above: $10 / $25 / $50
  • Bandwidth per dollar: 2.5gb / 7.2gb / 20gb !

 

Although I’m a pretty heavy usenet user and as such would usually look for the unlimited subscription plan, I was actually drawn to the 1,000gb (1Tera) download package worth $50. After checking my Giganews account I discovered that it took me around 9months to reach 1,000gb last year. That means that if you divide $50 by 9months – it comes down to about $5.5 per month. Currently I’m paying Giganews $25 a month so that’s a huge difference which translates to about $240 a year – half of my next iPad 🙂

What I recommend to anyone who wants to check astraweb out for themselves before making the switch is goto their account and suspend it for a period of time while you check out the competition (I suspended mine for 2 months). If you see that it works well for you, just go back to Giganews to cancel your account completely.

 

Astraweb Miscellaneous

  • 1413 days retention.
  • Accept PayPal and credit cards.
  • Have both US & EU servers.
  • Supports SSL connections.
  • Normal Ports: 119, 23, 1818, 8080
  • SSL Ports: 443, 563

 

Process

  1. Suspend Giganews account.
  2. Buy astraweb 1,000gb plan for $50 using a simple PayPal payment.
  3. Sabnzbd (usenet client) – configured one server to astraweb’s european server and left the other on Giganews, then I disabled the old Giganews server and enabled the new Astraweb server.
  4. Tested download – got my full 15mbit with a 25 connections setup.
  5. Re-enabled Giganews server and at the end of the month, after the giganews suspension kicks in, I’ll re-enable the new astraweb server, and later on I’ll probably cancel Giganews all together.

Happy savings and happy hunting !

 

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