Is a VPN required for Usenet in 2022?

The computer has become a staple part of the household. With the subsequent rise of the internet. You now watch movies, communicate with friends, play games, and work from home since the Coronavirus pandemic. 

With torrents criminalized and the increase in cybercrime, individuals are seeking alternatives. This coincides with an increase in individuals attempting to keep themselves safe online.

This article will explore one such alternative to torrents, the Unix Users Network (aka. Usenet). Arguably, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is essential to access the Usenet.

If you do not use a VPN, you are at risk of your IP address being stored, or even damaging your device.

What Is the Usenet Search Engine?

The Unix Users Network, also known as Usenet, is one of the oldest, most tightly guarded network communication platforms. Developed before the World Wide Web (www), Usenet was an alternative to the US military-controlled Arpanet.

Once you have an account, you can stream. You can also partake in secure file sharing and download unlimited media while discussing topics in forums.

The Usenet browser functions similar to Reddit in many ways, though many call it the best file sharing platform. For example, Usenet contains more than 200,000 newsgroups, similar to Reddit, including discussions and media content. Like Reddit, you can create newsgroups and share content known as ‘binaries’, allowing other users to download for reuse.

What Is a Reliable Usenet Provider?

A reliable Usenet provider will allow you, the customer, to access the Usenet platform with as few issues as possible. With many providers on the market, there are a few things to look out for. 

They focus on high-quality service. This means you will be able to access current posts uploaded to the Usenet and those from previous decades. 

Some providers in the past have promised users unlimited downloads and then charged them once a certain limit was surpassed. reliable Usenet providers keep the promises they make, users are not subject to extra charges at a whim. 

It can also be handy to explore download completion rates. Also, check whether the Usenet provider comes with additional security settings such as Malware security. 

Another thing to consider is network reliability. Some providers do not have the infrastructure in place to ensure your downloads will not be impeded by other internet activity. 

What Is a VPN? 

Virtual Private Networks (VPN)’s were developed in the 1990s to protect an individual’s identity.

At the same time, VPNs hide your IP address. They mask your location while you browse the internet allowing secure networks to be accessed using a public network. Typically this occurs through an encryption tunnel.

VPNs exploded in popularity in 2017, while you may not be doing anything wrong online. Mass surveillance (think TEMPORA) and data farming is an ever-increasing reality. Therefore, It is clear why someone may want to ensure their cyber privacy.

VPNs are also a great tool to access websites that may not be available in your country. For instance, you are paying for Netflix from one location. You may be able to access another location’s selection through a VPN.

Alongside the growth in popularity, as seen from the graph below, the market value for VPNs has grown.


Data source: Grand View Research | Virtual Private Network Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report (2020)

According to Grand View Research, the market has grown from $16.15 billion in 2016 to $30 billion in 2020. Furthermore, the market is expected to grow to a value of $35 billion in 2022 before reaching $92 billion in 2027.

All this growth has led some to wonder whether a VPN is essential. We argue that they ensure you’re safe when accessing the Usenet server.

Torrents vs. Usenet

The Usenet search engine can be considered a torrent site, but many differences exist. Top torrent sites appeared in the late 1990s, e.g., Napster and later Pirate Bay. These websites typically carried links available through the torrent search that allowed customers to download content to a remote device.

Torrent sites experienced problems when many providers were subject to criminal investigations. To simplify, we’ve created a table below.

UsenetTorrent Site
Fast Download SpeedSlow Download Speed
Subscription and Free AlternativesFree
Direct to Server ConnectionPeer-to-Peer
LegalSubject to Criminal Investigations
Automatic DownloadsNo Automatic Downloads

Usenet provides a legal, leisurely, and safer way to download and share media. In the next section, we will explore how you can access the Usenet server.

How Do You Access the Usenet Search Engine?

To access the Usenet server and Usenet browser, you’ll need a reliable Usenet provider subscription or account.

  1. Different aspects, including your location, monthly finances, connections, completion rate, and security features. Will need to be considered when deciding on a reliable Usenet provider.
  2. You will need to set up your index, otherwise known as a Usenet search engine.
  3. Then, find a Usenet client or reader, which will allow you to access, view, and download content. 

There are three types of clients available: Newsreader, NZB downloader, & Hybrid. 

The Newsreader type is typically utilized for simply reading the Usenet. You may be able to download binaries, but it will be more complicated than using the two other clients.

The NZB downloader is, as the name suggests, best suited for downloading binaries of the .nzb type but isn’t the best client for reading. The Hybrid client allows you to read and download. While this is a benefit to have from one software, these often come at a cost. What you seek to use the Usenet for should guide your decision-making.

  1. The final stage of accessing the Usenet will depend on the above decisions. Typically once all the software is downloaded and paid for, you will set up your Usenet client.

It can be slightly confusing to get started on the Usenet, while this guide will aid with getting started. 

You can use other resources such as the Usenet providers Reddit if you need extra clarity.

The following section will explore whether a VPN is required to access Usenet.

Is a VPN required to access Usenet?

While you may access the Usenet server without a VPN, it is still recommended. Why? Although Usenet is safe, if you do not use a VPN when you download, your IP address will be logged and stored.

Your privacy is not in jeopardy while visiting the Usenet server. But, there is the risk that when downloading, you may download malware or a virus that damages your device.  

So, using a VPN is optimal. However, you would not want any VPN such as NordVPN, but preferably one of many reliable Usenet providers. As a consumer, you have the choice to opt for a free Usenet provider.

Reliable Usenet Providers 

Below you will find two reliable Usenet providers which allow you to access Usenet content.


Newshosting is one service provider that has provided access to the Usenet through its servers accessible from various locations across the globe. As a result, Newshosting delivers the most optimal speeds compared to other Usenet providers.

Newshosting provides a time-tested reliable service that has adapted alongside VPN technology.


If you’re in the European Union (EU), a better reliable Usenet provider would be Eweka. Eweka was established in 2001, making it a long-standing trusted Usenet provider.

This software also comes with added protection. If you have any difficulties accessing Usenet, Eweka comes with a support team who can assist.


There are still safe and legal ways to download media that may not be found in your region of the world. 

Once you have a Usenet account, a VPN is not required to access the Usenet platform, but it is recommended. An added VPN can help you protect your devices from malware and viruses. The best Usenet providers also provide those same security features.

Depending on your financial circumstances, you may opt for a free Usenet provider. The standard of service will be no different.

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