Common Questions:

What is the settings for the public server that doesn't need an account?

Configure your client to use the server and port 119 or 443. You can also enable SSL and use port 563 or 80. No user name or password is required. This is basicly the same server as our pay servers, with the exception that you can not post and there is a speed cap in place that will make downloading articles much slower than our pay servers.

What is SSL? Why and how do you use it?

SSL is an encrypting tunning protocol used by many services including secure web sites. Using it has several advantages including better privacy, less likely to be traffic shaped by your ISP, and due to the compression (gzip) it allows you to download text 5-10 times faster than your Internet connection would normally allow.

Some news clients have SSL built in and you don't have to do anything except check the 'use ssl' option when setting up the server. If your news client does not support SSL you can use a program called stunnel to allow your non-ssl client to access a ssl enabled news server.

Stunnel Mini Howto

Go to and download:

Unzip the into C:\Windows\System32
Run the stunnel-4.26-installer.exe to install stunnel

You can use the included stunnel.pem file if you just want compression 
and weak encryption or you can generate your own key files for better 

You can use the website to make a 
stunnel.pem file for you or you can open a dos window and type the 

cd "C:\Program Files\stunnel"
openssl.exe req -new -x509 -days 999 -nodes >stunnel.pem

The above command will generate two files stunnel.pem and privkey.pem. 
If you use the website it will combine the files into one (stunnel.pem) 
and you should then comment out the key = privkey.pem line below.

[ While re-reading it occurred to me that you may not even need a 
certificate (stunnel.pem) to use stunnel in client mode, but it can't 
hurt. ]

Edit the stunnel.conf file in the stunnel directory. Here is an example 
that will work and connect you to (yes we run nntps 
on port 80 so isp's don't traffic shape).  Replace to connect=ip:port 
with any ssl enabled server of your choice that supports zlib 

cert = stunnel.pem
key = privkey.pem

; Some performance tunings
socket = l:TCP_NODELAY=1
socket = r:TCP_NODELAY=1

; Some debugging stuff useful for troubleshooting
;debug = 7
;output = stunnel.log

; Use it for client mode
client = yes

; Service-level configuration

accept =
connect =

Then just configure any news client to use the server and port 
119.  Instant 5-10x speed increase when downloading headers and text 

Want several servers at once?  Just use a different port for each by 
just adding a new entry at the bottom:

accept =
connect =

Then you can add a second server port 120 to your news client.

If you don't put the in the accept line stunnel will accept 
connections from anywhere, for example another computer on your lan or 
if your firewall is open you may find others using "your" news server. 

You may be asking yourself, what is the catch? No one is giving away raw NNTP news server access like this...

The Usenet news system was designed for the free exchange of information and we wanted to do our part to help restore that original idea. To that end we are offering free, unrestricted access to to anyone that requests it.

Are there any limits on what newsgroups can be read?

Our news server carries all newsgroups. If you know of a newsgroup that we don't carry let us know and we'll have it added.

I have a fast broadband Internet connection. What download speeds should I expect?

We do not limit download speeds. Your speed is limited only by your connection to our server. We have seen people download at speeds up to 100KB/second.

Are there any download limits?

To be able to provide access to largest possible number of people we have limited downloads to 50 megabytes per day.

Can my limit be raised if I pay?

Yes. We offer several packages that allow greater download limits.

Can I upgrade a free account later if I choose?

Yes. You can upgrade your account at any time. Click on the 'Manage Account' button and select the 'upgrade' option.

What happens when I reach my download limit?

Your account is deactivated until the next day. Actually the download limit is reset during the billing of our regular customer. That happens between 2 and 4 AM. If you hit your limit you will receive an error message stating your password was not accepted. You will NOT be automatically upgraded.

What counts against my download limit?

Article and xover header data is counted against your download limit. Posting does NOT count against it. You receive unlimited posting even with the free account.

What if my ISP or government blocks all news servers with a firewall?

Our service is for you. We run our servers on both the standard (119) and a non-standward (443) ports. This solves most ISP port blocking/firewall issues.

Why can't I cancel a message I posted?

There is no real way to delete something from Usenet once it has been posted. From the moment you posted your article it was transferred to our peering machine and propagated to 40 other servers. Each one of these servers did the same thing and within 60 seconds your article had been stored on 10,000 news servers around the world. Some servers allow what is called a cancel message. It's a message that requests that a certain article be removed. This cancel message has to propagate just like the original message. The idea is that it will follow the same paths as the original message. Our server, as do many others, does not accept cancel messages due to the huge amount of abuse caused by these. Had we accepted the cancel message your posting would have only been deleted on our server and other servers that accept cancel messages. Your message would still have been available on many other servers. Cancel messages are a waste of resources due to the high amount of abuse (anyone can can issue a cancel for any article) and the low amount of effectiveness. We will never support cancel messages.

What if I can not connect?

Things to check first:
1. Login to the account manager and confirm your account status is active AND you have available download credits.
2. If you are getting a 480 error message it means you do not have the option to send a password enabled in your client settings.
3. If you get a 502 error message it means you have the wrong username and/or password setup in your client.
4. If you get a Hostname not found message it means your ISP is having some type of prople with their DNS servers. Using the IP instead of the server names will solve the problem temporally.
5. If you get connection refused/unable to connect and you are sure your settings are correct, you should then look at things like your firewall/anti-virus. Some anti-virus packages are good (AVG for example) some cause more damage than good (Norton for example). It's also possible that your ISP is blocking Usenet newsgroup access.

How do I know if my ISP is blocking me?

1. If they are blocking, most likly they are blocking the normal 119 port. Try changing port numbers to 443.
2. You can test basic connectivity by loading a DOS window (Click start->run, type cmd and hit enter) and then type 'telnet 119' or 'telnet 443' into the black dos window. If you see a welcome banner message then you can connect to the server and your problem is purely client setup and/or password related. 3. If you don't see a welcome banner when using telnet, start turning off firewall/anti-virus/etc software until you find the one that is causing the problem.
4. Try using XNews (It's free from on a friends computer and see if you can make it work there.
5. Most computer problems are solved by first isolating the problem.

Why does it take so long to see my own postings?

Since we offer a free/public Usenet access many people attempt to abuse the service. We have anti-abuse system in place that has a nearly perfect record of preventing abuse. Our system works in two ways. There is an automated anti-abuse filter that either approves or rejects new posts. This filter can be very strict because anything that it rejects is queued for human moderation. This two part process will cause delays for new posters and/or articles that are high abuse risk (pictures, exe's, etc...). We try to process to moderation queue each day and in gernal you should see your posts within 24 hours of posting. If you don't see your posts after 24 hours send us your username and we will lookup the reason.
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