If you’re a cord-cutter, one of the best ways to be able to watch the latest TV shows as within minutes of them airing on TV or Netflix is to sign up with a Usenet provider.
Yes, that’s right; it’s the same Usenet that was popular in the 1990s, back before the internet was a staple utility in people’s homes. Who says old tech isn’t still useful, eh?
You Need More Than a Provider
A Usenet provider is just one part of the setup you need. If you want to automate everything and have the latest TV episodes land in Plex or Kodi as soon as they air, you will also need an indexer, a front-end app (such as Sonarr), and a media management app (like Plex). We have written about the best Usenet indexers if you need more guidance.
Don’t worry; it is not as complicated as it sounds. We’ve explained everything in more detail elsewhere.
For today, let’s just focus on the best Usenet providers for downloading TV episodes.
Eweka is probably the most popular and widely used Usenet provider thanks to the vast number of resellers who offer a rebranded version of the service.
Indeed, if you’ve ever had a Usenet plan with companies such as Astraweb, Newsdemon, NewsGroupDirect, or Usenet.nl, you have used Eweka’s services.
Eweka runs on its own Netherlands and Germany-based backbone. Broadly speaking, you should not pick two providers from the same backbone because the available content is going to be the same.
Also, remember that a US-based backbone is more liable to agree to takedown requests from copyright holders. Eweka is one of the few providers that has a No Takedown (NTD) policy.
Newsgroup Ninja also runs on the Highwinds backbone. Highwinds is one of the most well-known backbones, but it is based in the US.
It allows up to 50 simultaneous connections and has a content retention policy of 4,266 days. That means it will keep uploaded TV shows and episodes for more than 11 years before wiping them from its servers.
A provider with a long retention policy is essential if you want to download old TV series from years gone-by. If you only want to grab the latest episodes of today’s hottest series, it is not as important.
3. XS News
Another popular Usenet provider with dozens of resellers is XS News. It runs on the Dutch Abavia backbone.
Some of the service’s most well-known resellers are Bulknews, Usenet.nl, Newsgrabber, and SMS Usenet.
XS News has a 1,600-day retention policy and allows for eight simultaneous connections. One month of access costs €5. If you sign up for a year, you can get access for €4.
Giganews is a privately owned backbone and provider. Indeed, there is only one other mainstream provider—Supernews—that operates on the Giganews backbone. Usenet.net, PowerUsenet, and RhinoNewsgroups are resellers of Giganews.
The provider allows for 50 connections, unlimited download speeds, and more than 16 years of data retention. You will struggle to find any provider in the industry that offers more than 16 years.
Giganews’ servers are in the Netherlands and the US. The cheapest plan is €5 per month.
Like Eweka, Usenet.Farm has an NTD policy thanks to its reliance on the Dutch-based backbone, It’s Hosted. The Netherlands as some of the most favorable regulations anywhere in the world for Usenet providers who want to host TV shows and movies.
An NTD policy is essential for anyone who wants to download the latest shows and episodes as they become available. If you have a provider who agrees to takedown requests, it is more likely that you’ll struggle to find the newest content. The legal teams of TV networks are quick to spring into action against providers where they have influence.
Plans on Usenet.Farm start at €5.
Tip: Use Multiple Usenet Providers
If you are planning to rely on Usenet for your TV content, it is prudent to have two providers—a main and a backup.
In this article, we have picked five different providers on five different backbones; you can pair any two of them together with a high level of success.
Other Ways to Download Movies and TV Shows
Usenet is just one of many ways to download free movies and TV shows.