Usenet originally launched in 1979, a decade and a half before the World Wide Web, and while it remains a niche protocol, it is a large niche. There’s tons of content on Usenet that can’t be found elsewhere on the Internet. With the right provider and client, you can start using Usenet with a VPN and take advantage of this fantastic corner of the digital world.

What is Usenet?

If you’ve used modern social media or forums, you’re familiar with the legacy of Usenet. Originally launched as a way for universities to share important data with one another, Usenet quickly grew into what could be considered the first social network. It was a place where people could talk about a wide range of topics in a completely uncensored environment and share binary files with one another.

Early in the development of the Internet as we know it, many Internet service providers (ISPs) included Usenet access with their subscriptions. People could dial in to local libraries and read the latest on their favorite newsgroups. Fan art and fanfic started on Usenet, as did the idea of threaded conversations. Not to mention common terms like “spam” and “FAQ.”

When you use Usenet with a VPN, you’re not only accessing history, but also joining a thriving online community. People who frequent “newsgroups” (Usenet “forums”) tend to be tech-savvy, intelligent, and concerned about censorship/online privacy.

Accessing Usenet with a VPN

It’s that last point that sticks with most users. Online privacy is under constant attack. Follow our Twitter feed if you doubt it. Usenet is very secure on its own, but the additional privacy that comes from Usenet with a VPN is essential.

While you might not have heard of Usenet, your ISP probably has. And due to the decentralized, unmoderated nature of it, ISPs frequently don’t like to host Usenet traffic. They might not outright block it, but many Internet providers will severely limit the speeds you can access NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol, the Usenet version of “HTTP”).

Fortunately, it’s very easy to use Usenet with a VPN. Once you’re connected to the VPN, you can still access your Usenet through a newsreader just like normal. The difference is that now your IP address will be hidden and all of your data will be encrypted.

Are There Other Benefits to Usenet with a VPN?

The best reason to use Usenet with a VPN instead is related to what we said above. Specifically regarding ISPs artificially limiting speeds.

Throttling” is entirely legal in many countries. Your Internet company can decide that certain types of data transfer are more important than others. This can mean everything from specific websites (e.g. ones with political views they don’t like) to whole protocols like P2P or NNTP.

When you don’t use a virtual private network, you have two problems: your ISP knows what you’re doing and they keep records of it all. However, when you access Usenet with a no-log VPN like PrivadoVPN, your ISP only sees large data transfers. The VPN hides what you’re doing so that your ISP can’t tell you’re on Usenet, so they can’t throttle you. Moreover, they can’t (and we don’t) keep records of sites you accessed, so your online activity remains private.

Better Browsing, Faster Speeds, More Security

Unfortunately, the World Wide Web proved less complex than Usenet. That being said, it’s easier to use now than ever before. With providers like Easynews, searching and downloading on Usenet a snap.

You could be accessing literal Petabytes of data right now. Give Usenet with a VPN a shot today.