Eweka Usenet Review 2017 – In-depth Guide and Breakdown

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Eweka is a Usenet service from the Netherlands.  It’s got low prices, a crystal clear privacy policy and an attractive pre-paid plan option.  But how quickly would a Usenet beginner be able to figure out Eweka?  To find out whether or not we should recommend Eweka to our readers, we decided to put it to the test.

First, we took a close look at Eweka’s pricing plans to determine which one is the best deal. Next, we rated it for software compatibility and bonus features.  Then, we went through Eweka’s policies with a fine tooth comb.  Finally, we tried downloading a few movies with Eweka to see how it works first hand.

If you are new to Usenet, read the first section of the article to get up to speed on why you might want to use Usenet instead of torrents to download content.  But if you already know the basics, feel free to use the table of contents to skip down to the main body of the review.

Recommended reading



What is Usenet?

Usenet is an anonymous, high speed file sharing system.  All kinds of content are available via the Usenet, including programs, movies, and more.  But in order to access the Usenet you need two things:

  1. A Usenet service provider
  2. A Usenet browser (aka a “newsreader”)

Once you’re logged in to Usenet, you can search for, and download any file you want in total privacy.

Usenet privacy is protected by SSL— the same type of encryption system that’s used everywhere on the web whenever sensitive information is exchanged.  SSL protects everything from your financial information when you buy things online, to the contents of your private emails.

As you’ll soon see, Eweka is one of the few Usenet providers who do not include a Usenet browser with their Usenet plans.

How to access Usenet

You can’t use a regular web browser like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer to download Usenet files.  You need a special piece of software called a Usenet browser.  After you login to your Usenet browser, you can search for files and download them to your computer.

Tip: Usenet browsers were originally called “newsreaders.”   The first Usenet browsers came out in the 80s, back when people logged on to Usenet to talk about news, hobbies and other subjects.

Eweka Usenet Review Summary

Pros

  • Straightforward privacy policy
  • Pre-paid plans
  • SSL-encrypted anonymity  
  • Reasonable prices
  • Usenet browser setup tool

Cons

  • Broken free trial signup page
  • No North American servers
  • No bitcoin payments
  • No free VPN
  • No free Usenet browser
  • Only 20 connections max

1 minute movie downloads

Like all the Usenet providers we’ve covered so far, Eweka allowed us to max out our 80 Mbps internet connection.  If your internet connection is 80 Mbps or greater, it’ll only take you a minute or so to download most movies with Eweka.

Straightforward privacy policy

Some Usenet companies hide their attitude toward privacy in complicated or vague language, but Eweka’s privacy policy is very clear and file-sharer friendly.

Pre-paid plans

If there are only one or two hard-to-find files on Usenet that you can’t get via torrents, you can choose from one of Eweka’s pre-paid plans.  Most Usenet providers only have monthly usage plans.

SSL encryption

Almost all modern Usenet services have SSL, and so does Eweka.  SSL keeps you anonymous when you download and upload files via Eweka.

Reasonable prices

Eweka has 3 payment plans: 1 pre-paid plan and two different monthly plans.

Eweka’s standard “pay one time and that’s it” plan and its 50 Mbps monthly plan both cost €7.50, or a little less than $9 USD.  If you get the 50 Mbps monthly plan, there are two ways to upgrade to 300 Mbps:

  1. Buy 3 months of service in advance
  2. Pay a bit more each month (€9.60, or approximately $11.30 USD)

Usenet browser setup tool

Eweka doesn’t give you a free Usenet browser to use.  However, the member’s only section has a tool that shows you how to setup 8 different shareware/freeware Usenet browsers for Eweka.

No North American servers

Eweka has only one server farm (news.eweka.nl) and as its name suggests, it’s located in the Netherlands.  It doesn’t have any server farms in the US or Canada yet.

No bitcoin payment option

Eweka has a strong privacy policy.  However, the fact that the company doesn’t offer a bitcoin payment option means that you have to tell Eweka your name and address if you want to subscribe.

No free VPN

Some Usenet service providers offer a complimentary VPN when you subscribe, but Eweka does not.  VPNs encrypt everything you do on the web, but Usenet only keeps you anonymous when you download or upload to Usenet servers.

Broken trial period signup page

Eweka’s website states that you can sign up for a free trial of Eweka without giving out your payment info.  But when we tried to actually get a free trial, the site generated an error message.

Value

Eweka is a stripped down, no-frills Usenet service.  $8.82 USD is a reasonable price for Usenet access, but Usenet access is pretty much all you get.  Other Usenet providers thrown in a free VPN, free software and other perks.

Eweka’s pricing table terms, explained

Whoever designed Eweka’s pricing table probably meant to make the company look impressive.  But by filling it with jargon and terminology, they made the chart a pain to read.  Here’s a quick breakdown.

  • 3094 days retention.  What this means is that if someone uploaded something up to 3094 days (or about 9 years) ago, it’ll still be available for download.  Usenet servers automatically delete old content on a regular basis in order to make room for new files.
    • Note: According to Eweka’s main page, Eweka now offers 3277 days retention.
  • Newsgroups.  Newsgroups are folders that hold Usenet files.  All Usenet providers offer equal access to all of Usenet’s newsgroups, so this feature isn’t very impressive.
  • Worldwide newsfeed exchange.  This is just a complicated way of saying that anyone in the world can upload a file to the Usenet.
  • Backbone.  The term “backbone” refers to the hardware used to link Eweka’s Usenet servers together.
  • Completion.  In the past, download errors were common on Usenet.  However, new technology has made download errors extremely rare.  Now every Usenet provider brags about their high download “completion rates.”
  • Connections.  To allow for quick downloads, Usenet files are separated into hundreds of tiny pieces. The more times you can connect to a Usenet server, the more pieces you can download at the same time.  Eweka’s 20 max connection limit is actually a very low figure compared to the competition.  Most other services allow you to open around 50 to 60 connections.

Payment options

Eweka’s uses iDEAL, which allows you to pay directly from your bank even if your bank is not based in the Netherlands.  Alternatively, you can pay via PayPal, SMS or credit card. Unfortunately, bitcoin is not an option.

The best Eweka plan

Eweka offers 3 payment plans:

  1. Standard
  2. Monthly
  3. Monthly high speed

The standard plan

The standard plan is Eweka’s best offering for casual Usenet users.  It’s a good deal if all you want to do is download a handful of rare programs that you can’t find via BitTorrent. With Eweka standard, you only have to pay one time and one time only.  However, your download speed is limited to 50 Mbps on the basic plan.  Also, you get 8 max connections. (In other words, you’ll only be able to download 8 file fragments at a time.)  And after 30 days, Eweka will shutdown service on your account until you buy another month.

Monthly plans

If you’re planning on getting all your content from Usenet, you will want to signup for some type of monthly plan.  Eweka’s monthly plan is cheap, but you get what you pay for– other providers offer better value.  You can upgrade to the high speed (300 Mbps) monthly plan for free by paying for 3 months of service in advance.  An alternative way to get the high speed plan is to pay €9.60 ($11.30 USD) per month instead of €7.50 ($8.80 USD).

Device Support & Compatibility

Unlike other Usenet providers, an Eweka subscription does not come with a Usenet browser.  All you get is a suggestion to find your own Usenet client via Google.

However, there is a tool on the member page that shows you how to configure a handful of popular Usenet browsers.

Privacy & Data Logging Policy

In order to see if Eweka was hiding anything in its policy documents, we analyzed them for problematic language.  We also looked up the company’s address on Google Maps to see if we could spot an actual physical office.

Company info

Eweka’s contact page contains a street address and a telephone number.  Additionally, there’s a special address setup for reporting content that depicts child abuse.

On Google Maps, the Staten Bolwerk address resolves to what appears to be a large office building in the Netherlands.

Here’s a closer look Eweka headquarters.

Analysis: Notice and takedown policy

This clause states that it’s up to individual content owners to identify and report copyright violations.

The role of Eweka as a service provider is limited: we are only able to remove content which is considered offensive, abusive or which infringes copyright.  Due to the size and volume of Usenet as a platform, it is technically impossible to act on these types of content in a pre-emptive manner.

Analysis: Acceptable use policy

Here, Eweka states that it does not monitor and is not responsible for what its customers upload.

Eweka cannot monitor the content of the information exchanged, made public, or available to third parties using Eweka’s network. Therefore, the customer is the only person responsible for the content of information exchanged, made public or available to third parties using Eweka’s network.

Analysis: Privacy policy

Eweka’s privacy policy is the most straightforward one that we’ve encountered so far.

Eweka does not monitor or record your activities online. We do not monitor which newsgroups you post to or download from or what you put in news articles that you post.

Features

Eweka advertises the following features:

Here’s our analysis of Eweka’s feature set.

Usenet access

All Usenet providers offer Usenet access, so this “feature” isn’t really that impressive.

Unlimited access

In the past, Usenet providers placed limits on usage.  But today, pretty much every standard Usenet plan includes unlimited uploads and downloads.

3277 days retention

Like most modern Usenet providers, Eweka guarantees that it will save every file that gets uploaded to the system for about 9 years.

Note: This chart states that Eweka offers 3094 days of retention.

Maximum 8 connections

A standard pre-paid account maxes out at 8 connections, but monthly subscribers get 20 connections.

SSL protection

Like almost all Usenet providers, Eweka uses SSL encryption to allow its users to upload and download anonymously.

No usage limits

Eweka’s standard pre-paid plan gives you a full month of unlimited downloads.  There are no data caps.

No contracts

We’ve never heard of a Usenet provider that forces its users to sign contracts, so this isn’t really a feature either.

Email support

We sent Eweka an email about its broken trial signup page and contradictory retention stats to test the support team’s response time.  They never bothered to respond to our questions.

Ease of Use

As stated above, Eweka is a fairly bare bones Usenet provider that does not include a Usenet Browser.  However, Eweka does offer a browser setup tool to configure third-party browsers that is useful.

Speed

Eweka is super fast.   When we downloaded movies with our premium high speed 300 Mbps Eweka account, we quickly maxed out our 80 Mbps internet connection.

How we measured Eweka’s speed

For test #1, we downloaded the classic 1968 horror movie Night of the Living Dead.  For test #2, we downloaded Reefer Madness— a 1936 film about marijuana.  We chose these two movies because they are both in the public domain.  Or in other words, anyone can download either movie for free without having to worry about breaking copyright laws.

Both test were conducted using a high speed 5G 80 Mbps WiFi internet connection.  We briefly jumped over our max speed limit both times we tested Eweka for speed.

Reminder: All information provided in this article is produced strictly for educational purposes. We do not condone piracy, and are not responsible for how you decide to use the information provided.  

Trial #1

When we downloaded a Night of the Living Dead movie file from Eweka’s servers, we quickly maxed out our 80 Mbps internet connection.   The downloaded started out at around 30 Mbps, but then after a few seconds it quickly jumped all the way up to 90.2 Mbps.  It only took 2.2 minutes to download the entire 1.45 GB file.

Trial #2

During trial #2, we were able to confirm that trial #1 was not a fluke.  We maxed out our internet connection again when we attempted to download a much bigger file.  The uncompressed Reefer Madness copy we found was 11.72 Gigabytes in size.  It only took 20 minutes and 59 seconds for us to download the whole thing.

Speed test conclusion

Our test proved that Eweka is just as quick as all the other Usenet providers we covered. If you have an internet connection that’s 80 Gbps or greater, you can download a movie in 1 minute or less.

Content and Data Retention

As mentioned above, files on Eweka remain on the servers for almost 9 years before they get deleted.  According to Eweka’s main page Eweka retains files for 3277 days, or 8.978 years.  In other words, with Eweka you can access files that were uploaded to Usenet in 2008.

Support

According to Eweka’s site, its support team typically responds to its customers in 1 to 3 days.  On 9th of August 2017, we sent an email to support to report that the free trial form seems to be broken and that the Eweka site contains two different retention numbers. We’re still waiting for a response.

Eweka review summary

If all you want is cheap, temporary access to Usenet, Eweka could be the Usenet service you’re looking for.  But if you plan on using Usenet on a regular basis, other Usenet services offer far better deals.

Eweka is still fast compared to torrents, but it’s slow compared to other Usenet services. Also, you don’t get any extra perks for signing up.  Some providers offer a free Usenet browser, but Eweka doesn’t.  You don’t get free VPN access, either.  There is a tool that will show you how to setup several popular freeware/shareware Usenet browsers, though. Beyond that, you’re on your own.  Eweka’s support team totally ignored us when we sent in a few questions.

We liked that Eweka’s privacy policy is very clear.  Also, Eweka’s “pay once and you’re done” standard plan is a convenient way to get what you want if you’re looking for a rare file and you can’t find it via torrents.

How to Register

The first thing that happens after you sign up for a Eweka account is that you get an email with your username and password information.  Then after you login to the site, you land on the “member’s area” section.

In the member’s area you’ll find Eweka’s server name as well as your Eweka username.   If you need help setting up your Usenet browser for Eweka, you can find a tool for setting up alt.binz, GrabIt, Newsbin Pro, Newsleecher, NewsReactor, Spotnet, SabNZBD, and Unison in the Newsclient Examples section of the Support menu.

If you have any comments about your experiences with Eweka, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Value7
Software compatibility6
Policies & privacy10
Features5
Ease of use7
Speed10
Amount of content (retention)10
Support2
7.1
Summary
Eweka is a fast, inexpensive, bare-bones Usenet service. It's a good choice if all you want to do is download a few files that you can't find on torrent sites. With the basic plan, you can download as much as you want for 30 days and Eweka will never bill you again. However, with Eweka all you get is Usenet access. You don't get a free Usenet browser or a free VPN. Also Eweka's support system is weak. Support is supposed to respond to email requests in 1 to 3 days, but they ignored us when we sent in a question.