Almost all of the Usenet providers have many options for access to their Usenet servers, but there are basically two types: Unlimited Access accounts, or Block, also called metered access. An unlimited account will allow you just that, unlimited access, while the Block Accounts will allow you a set amount of GB’s downloading.
For some, limited accounts are fine…they don’t do a lot of downloading. While other folks will need more access than a block account will allow. There are many reasons for this, a faster connection will allow you to download more, but slower connection owners may want to purchase less to avoid the dreaded overages. Whatever your reasons you should know about the features and limitations of each account type to be a more informed shopper…
Browsing newsgroups indefinitely, downloading headers, files, and content isn’t limited by the amount. Usually you can renew these accounts on a monthly basis, and get discounts for buying bundled months, i.e. 3 month, 6 month, 12 months. In a weird twist, not only people downloading a lot purchase unlimited accounts, many times the people downloading just a little get them.
If you aren’t sure as to the amount of bandwidth that you use on a monthly basis, it may be in your best interest to check things out by adding up the downloads you made in the last month. You don’t have to get every file you download into the equation, a ballpark number will tell you what you need to know.
Many Usenet providers, such as Astraweb also offer block accounts of many different sizes. An account like these will give you “X” amount of GB’s downloading. Some of these accounts are on a monthly basis, while others are non-expiring blocks, like Astraweb gives you. Unfortunately though, many members equate the limited bandwidth to the overage charges you get from an ISP or a cell phone provider, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Once your account runs out of bandwidth you simply won’t be allowed to download any more until you purchase more bandwidth.
Possible Plan “B”
For those that don’t download a lot, a non-expiring block account from someone like Astraweb may be the way to go. They offer a 1,000 GB account for $50 that will keep a low to moderate downloader supplied for a while. Many members will find that the 1,000 GBs can last 6 months or more allowing for frequent newsgroup updates and moderate downloading.
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