2 2 6 8 Days of Retention

giganews blog

Corporate culture, personal experiences, and unique observations about Giganews, Usenet, Newsgroups, and Usenet related technologies.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Help Giganews Review our Services and Features

Giganews is celebrating our 10th anniversary next year and this year has been one of the most exciting in our history. We've made lots of advances and have worked very hard to provide improved and updated service for all our customers.

In an effort to keep improving and to make our 10th year a memorable one, we're asking Giganews customers to do a review of our services so that we can better understand what you all are thinking.

In an effort to get a thorough Giganews review, we're asking that our blog readers leave comments reviewing a variety of aspects of our service and customer care. Please, feel free to give an honest review of your Giganews experience. Do remember that the comments on this blog are moderated, so try to avoid inappropriate comments which may not make it through moderation.

Giganews is asking you to review:

- Retention
- Completion
- Giganews Accelerator
- 256-Bit SSL Encrypted Usenet service
- Customer service
- Control panel
- Website
- Etc.

If you can think of anything else we should include in our Giganews review, feel free to comment on that, as well.

Thanks for all of your help!
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giganews has been nothing short of amazing for me. However, the only recommendation I can make is to offer a choice of ports for the Giganews Accelerator. It uses port 119 by default, but Giganews also hosts on (at least) 563, 443, and 80. On my ISP, I can only use port 443, so I am unable to take advantage of compressed headers.

7:31 PM 
Blogger Neil said...

RE: GigaNews Accelerator, it would be nice to know what servers it's connected to -- e.g. whether it's connected to the European or U.S. servers.

Also a throughput graph would be nice.

3:27 AM 
Blogger google said...

Everything is working great with Giganews, although I have a suggestion: I would like to have one more digit of precision in the speed reported by Accelerator: eg 2.5Mbs or 20.3 Mbps instead of 2 and 20.

10:10 AM 
Blogger Eric said...

I'm with Giganews since many years and there are the best.

Using the accelerator since it's out, but sometime the speed is terribly slow. Can get better than 65KB/sec. The speed test page give me my max Internet speed. Don't understand why the accelrator is so slow... Forte Agent is geting headers faster than with the accelerator tonight, maybe it's not connected to the right server ?

But for all the services (web page, etc), continue your great work. Giganews is the more reliable news service. Thanks.

4:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm really impressed by giganew's service. two things I can think of that could possibly make it even better: a web-based interface to download binary posts and a search interface. Also how about rollovers of unused bytes? Right now there's no incentive not to cancel my subscription for one month and re-signup as and when I require downloading.

4:53 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to suggest that you create a server with less retention because spending 2 1/2 days downloading the headers for a single newsgroup was just getting to be a little nuts. But then I saw the comment about the accelerator and realized I had never tried it. WOW! 5 minutes into downloading the headers and it's 25% done!!!! That's a HUGE difference...

But that said, it would be nice to be able to work with smaller retention. Some newsreaders simply can't handle the volume and while the one I use can, most of the time, sometimes it gets messed up because of it and I have to download the headers from scratch. 99% of the time, one or two weeks is plenty of rention, though there are times when 200 days definitely comes in handy. It would be nice if you had alternate servers with lower retention, though I can understand how that wouldn't be feasible if it couldn't share data with the servers that have the 200 day retention.

9:49 AM 
Blogger giganews said...

Anonymous,

Don't forget that if you would like to limit header downloads you can do so within your news client as well as through the Giganews control panel.

Granted, with the Giganews Accelerator you probably won't have the need to limit header downloads any more, but the features I mentioned above are there if you need them.

Thanks,
Giganews

7:46 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Giganews ist the best Usenet provider, right now you don't have to change anything.

But I think it would be great if you could make the download accelerator kind of open source or at least document the interfaces well so that newsreaders could implement the feature. I don't like it to install and run many programs when I don't need to.

Another very nice feature would be an offer of non expiring block accounts!

Thank you very much

9:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a rollover system for the silver and bronze accounts or blocks accounts
or maybe lower prices, giganews u guys chose. Any one would put giganews on top of anyones list for sure.....

3:31 PM 
Anonymous Jelle said...

It would be nice if you could use the Giganews Accelerator if you don't have an Giganews account. My ISP has a contract with Giganews which is very cool, but the only downside is that I can't use the Giganews Accelerator.

1:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giganews is fast, complete and it has a great retention. One suggestion: An extra accounttype at the price of a diamond account, with the same specifications as the platinum, but with accountsharing. Nevertheless, I will stay, because Giganews is simply the best usenetprovider I know!

1:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe an account allowing 2 ip connections.So that 2 users can connect sharing the cost of service for the reduction of 2 accounts say 10% off the price of 2.

1:54 AM 
Anonymous Claude said...

Giganews Accelerator is so easy to install and use... I really like it! That's why I'm a new member here. I don't care to pay $10 more for a Diamond account. The 256 bits SSL encryption is what I want FIRST. It works like a charm for me. :-)

9:10 AM 
Anonymous fm said...

From Amsterdam the speed is really great, although sometimes at night (CEST) it looks like the total bandwidth is being capped at 800 KB/s even with all 20 streams open, while a bandwidth test from my own server in Amsterdam to home shows a limit of 872 KB/s.

For the control panel, perhaps allow the user to sort the Detailed Transfer Stats in reversed order, so the most recent rows are on top of the list. That saves some scrolling. :)

Bug: in the control panel > Address Change > Name: every part of the name is being capitalized while a lot of names officially have some name elements in lowercase.

The retention and 256-bit SSL are great too, no problems so far.

Keep up the good work!

6:44 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get rid of the limit of one IP address being able to access an account at a time-limit the user ID to 10 connections. Some groups have incredibly large numbers of headers, and I have to leave computer running while I go to work. It would be great to be able to log on while I'm at work too so if there's something I need I won't have to wait until getting home at night.

7:46 PM 
Blogger Andy said...

I've been using Giganews for a while with my iMac, any chance of an OSX version of Accelerator?

Seems a little unfair that windows users get this great product and Mac users dont :(

4:44 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Signed up a week ago after upgrading my Virgin Media broadband to 20mb.
Your EU server fills my bandwidth, your retention is fantastic and the accelerator is amazing.
A completely happy customer.
David.

4:46 AM 
Anonymous kenitec said...

I am a french customer. I have a diamond account. I connect my client on the giganews-europe server and it works fine! I must use SSL beacause my ISP apply filters on my connexion, but I can't use Giganews Accelerator like said in the 1st comment (I can't select the port 443 in the Giganews Accelerator so my ISP apply filter on my connexion when I use G. Accelerator).

The retention is better now :) I can download files aged of 210 days sometimes !!!
Very good completion


I think GigaNews must purpose more offers than actually (only 4 ?!)
Maybe an offer were we can choose our options ( choose ssl or not, choose unlimited traffic or 25Gb/50Gb/75Gb/100Gb/200Gb, choose the number of simultaneous connections).
It should allow users to really adapt the price according to their use.
You see what I mean ?!

100% Happy customer! Thanks to you GigaNews :-)

7:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of us with multiple NICs, GigaNews Accelerator needs an option to bind to a particular NIC. Because I work from home, I have two seperate dedicated network connections on my machine. Without going into the specifics of my setup, it would be so helpful to be able to tell GNA "only use this NIC" as well as "only use 443" also.

1:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree with that. There does seem to be a bit of a jump between 25Gb a month to the Diamond unlimited package. Scrap the Platinum package because there is no difference between that and the Diamond package. You should offer maybe a 100Gb package. It does seem strange that their is such a jump between 25Gb and unlimited. Aside from that, you guys are the best. Giganews all the way!!!

3:11 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use giganews since 2 years ago and i'm a very happy customer.

I just want to know if giganews will add a http webpage possibility (no need to use a news software)

Thank giganews

8:54 AM 
Blogger PacoBell said...

I second the request for a native OSX Accelerator! =D

3:13 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More retention! :)

6:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The giganews accelerator is brilliant, but I have noticed that it takes an absolute age for connections to time out after a random disconnect and IP change (ages since I havent used the accelerator, so Im not sure its even its fault :p). I have had to wait 15-20 mins or so before I can start downloading again at times.
Apart from that minor problem, I love the service, and dont think I could live without the header compression that the accelerator offers.

4:16 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another vote for OSX

9:16 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like more retention and an OS X accelerator.

9:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a great service and am very happy with it. One thing I would like to see would be for the server to virus scan everything that's uploaded, even if it means a slight delay it seeing posts, it would make more more comfortable using it.

6:11 AM 
Blogger google said...

I like how there are now decimals for the speed in Accelerator. But it would be enough with one decimal.

1:02 PM 
Anonymous Dennis said...

My review of Giganews.

Retention: 206 days perfect and going for 366 days :)

Completion: As advertised getting close to 99.9% in every group, again perfect.

GA: The accelerators headercompression works perfectly and it cuts the download time in half.
The program does cause a problem with Norman Virus Control in the module Internet Protection.

The option to choose wich server to access for the header and/or article download would also be helpfull.

256-bit ssl: this feature works great.

CustomerService: In the past 3 years i've used it once, other then that no comment = perfect.

Control Panel: Works great.

Website: Good information and everything you need within reach.

Feature add-on: A seperate frontend server(s) wich recieves the same newsfeed and has the same retention as the rest of the servers, wich customers can access trough a application on the website, in wich they can select any of the available newsgroups carried, enter a primary and a secondary entry the want to search for (as in Newsleecher), the server then searches in that newsgroup for those words, then showes the headers, but also show the completion and the state of the posts on the servers.
You can even add an option to select the headers and generate a NZBfile from it to download.

Just a thought.

2:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mac version of the Giganews Accelerator would be much appreciated- I'll second the recommendation earlier.

2:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 year retention!

That would be truly epic.

4:44 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I agree to what was said by another customer here that there is a big gap between the 25gb and the unlimited account. What about a 50gb or 100gb account? Other than that,a perfect provider with perfect service!

5:29 AM 
Anonymous love-da-mac said...

Another vote for OSX support! (please)

7:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really like the giganews, especaiallly the polite and fast to reply customer service and support staff.

my only two suggestions would be an email on rebill or before rebill (setable via control panel) and the second would be to fix the broken images in the comments section of this blog :P

1:22 PM 
Anonymous ryan said...

Retention, completion, SSL and the website stuff is all perfect in my mind. I can't comment on customer service since i've never used it (which in itself is a plus).

I think the prices are also very fair. People who think they aren't are just being picky/cheap and probably don't realize how much bandwidth really costs these days (go look up the prices for dedicated hosting at the amount of bandwidth you use w/ giganews per month). Speeds are great too.. any slowness is caused by my horrible ISP.. not you guys.

The Accelerator is still pretty new, which i guess explains why most of these comments relate to it. The thing has always worked perfectly for me.. people having firewall/virus issues with it should realize that's a problem on THEIR computer or network and has nothing to do with the Accelerator. Perhaps having easily-accessible documentation or having the program auto-detect when it can't connect (and suggest what you can do to fix it) would solve most of those complaints.

Personally, i think the Accelerator could do with a simplification.. the whole thing could really exist entirely in a tray icon, then we could have back the CPU & memory usage taken up now by rendering the interface (which is basically all debug info no one should care about). Or at least being able to enable/disable the Rate Limit option via the tray icon menu (so i don't have to open the UI every time) would be awesome.

Thanks for the great service :)

8:34 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three things:

1) A tier that allows connections from at least 2 ip addresses. I have two broadband lines at home, when I first signed up for giganews, I was able to use both lines to talk to giganews. I was disappointed when that stopped working.

2) Completion in korea.binaries.movies is TERRIBLE and has been that way for years.

3) It would be useful if the accelerator accepted connections from other systems - not just localhost. My usenet system is cpu-constrained, so the newsreader and the accelerator fight for cpu time when downloading headers. I would like to run just the accelerator on another system to speed things up. I wrote an NNTP port forwarder to do it already (about two hours to code up). But it is silly that I should have to do that when you just have to accept connections from IN_ADDR_ANY to begin with.

7:22 PM 
Blogger giganews said...

Anonymous,

> Completion in korea.binaries.movies
> is TERRIBLE and has been
> that way for years.

We are aware of certain propagation issues associated with specific Korean NNTP servers. Can you list any originating servers you're seeing missing posts from (server name / IP address)? Please email bizdev**@**giganews.com with this information and I'll make sure to forward to the appropriate parties.

> But it is silly that I should
> have to do that when you
> just have to accept connections
> from IN_ADDR_ANY to begin with.

Thanks for the feedback. If you can email the address listed above I'll be happy to respond to this in email. We always welcome feature requests for the Accelerator and it seems like you've put a lot of effort and thought into this. We would be very interested in hearing more from you.

> A tier that allows connections
> from at least 2 ip addresses.

Thanks for the suggestion. Giganews' accounts are single user personal accounts. Most of our customers connect from a single IP address; however, we understand that some customers may be connecting from more than one IP address on the same network. For now, the best solution for you is to purchase two accounts from Giganews. We will take note of this request though for future product development.

6:43 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are pretty much perfect. No complaints at all.

But I will echo a couple of suggestions that others have made:

1. GB rollover would be great!

2. Another tier or two between 25 GB and unlimited would be nice. I would certainly pay something like $22 or $23 for 50 GB + SSL, rather than 18 for 25 + SSL.

4:59 PM 
Anonymous Bubba Gump said...

I'd like to see an indexing schema, capable of searching and/or displaying the headers, and being able to create NZB's to auto download.

5:41 AM 
Anonymous 52BlueDragons said...

A customer loyalty incentive would be nice.
A free usenet client maybe update PowerGrab 2.6 RC1, that would be really great!
A server with less retention as an option. There's more than one group that I wont even attempt to download now.

11:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please do a mac osx version of the giganews accelerator. I use Panic Unison news reader, any of the windows news readers cant beat the simplicity of using Unison.

2:45 PM 
Blogger jason said...

I vote for the Giganews Accelerator.... for Linux =D

5:15 PM 
Anonymous Chris said...

2 things I would love to see. 1.) A HTML search site kinda like newzbin.com and binsearch.info, I use the first to locate what file has been posted and the latter to quickly find a .nbz file. Sites like those help us people who can't get real internet and have to rely on satellite and it's monthly D/L limits.
2.) If you could make the accelerator also compress the files that are posted. The accelerator turns my 1.5Mb service into 15Mb's while pulling headers. So why not actual files? Other than that I love Giganews! If only I could find some ISP to give me bandwidth and capacity to go along with it!

9:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please consider a linux or open source version of your excellent accelerator.
It works wonderful for WinX users, but I rarely use windows anymore and more folks are moving to other platforms. Alternatively, a web interface where downloads could be aquired in archives would also be good, though I think porting the accelerator would be a more efficient use of resources.

7:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No complain, only praises for the quality of the service.
A couple of minor gripes however:

a) I would like more competitive pricing for the SSL Diamond service sometime in the future.

b)You finally introduced the Direct Debit service (for nor credit cards) but it carries an additional cost. Why? I do want to use it but I refrain because of, what appears to me to be, an unnecessary overhead.

7:37 AM 
Blogger Giganews said...

Anonymous,

Our Direct Debit service carries additional overhead to process payments, which is why this service is slightly more expensive than paying with a credit card. We are always exploring opportunities to better serve our customers' preferences for payment types.

Please keep an eye out for future announcements for more payment methods which may be a better fit for you.

Thanks for choosing Giganews!

7:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my comments;
1, A plan in between the Siver and Platinum
2, Accelerator for linux, or at least details of the process used to compress headers so it can be incoporated into other news clients.

Other than that, great!

6:02 AM 
OpenID tigsounds said...

Only one complaint,

If a subscriber's IP address changes for any reason, it can take an hour or more to get logged back in (although GN technical support claims a reset only takes 5 minutes). Some cable companies change a person's IP number on a schedule, no matter what may be in progress. Those with wireless 3G systems can be dropped for only a second, but get a new IP when re-connected. Giganews severs need to detect when there are NO simultaneous connections, only a change in IP addresses and adopt the new IP address for the new connection. To send the error message "max number of IP addresses exceeded" is not accurate as the original IP address is now gone, and no longer connected, and thus is NOT "simultaneous."

10:53 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there...

I've been with GigaNews for a couple of weeks now and there are basically only two things that I don't like.

First: the 1-IP-Limit: In Europe, DSL connections are reset every 24 hours, which includes getting a new IP adress. After such a reconnect it takes between 5 and 15 minutes until the old connections are terminated and you can continue downloading.
It would be really nice, if you would permit two different IPs to connect, or, if that is not possible, install an option in the control panel to terminate the old connections manually.

Second: the GN-Accelerator: I love that program, works like a charm for me, but there is one downside to it: It's Windows only. I would love to see a Mac Client.

6:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please more retention!!! all the rest is magnificient!

12:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mac version of accelerator/ssl please

8:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

osx osx osx osx osx osx COME ON!!!! How about let us use the accelerator hosted on in parallels session and use our mac client to route thought it? I am desperate.

11:12 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cant find anywhere else to seek help, so please forgive me if I am wrong. Signed up for silver account with 25 gig download, now had threatening message that I am likely to exceed my 10 gig limit. How can I contact giganews to sort this out

2:57 AM 
Blogger Giganews said...

> Signed up for silver account
> with 25 gig download, now
> had threatening message that
> I am likely to exceed my 10
> gig limit. How can I contact
> giganews to sort this out

This email is probably just a notice that your free 10GB trial is about to expire. To activate your full 25GB account you'll need to log on to the control panel.

If you have any problems activating your full account please contact our support department immediately.

http://www.giganews.com/contact.html

6:05 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we please have GROUP/XPAT support?

Your FAQ (since vanished) said you didn't do XPAT because it would mean making and searching an index of the whole entirety of Usenet. But this is wrong: it would mean making (and searching) a lot of little indices, one per group. Which is a lot easier, from a big-O perspective. And surely an indexed search on your end can't cost as much as me downloading the whole data set just to search it and throw 99.999 percent in the bin?

Personally, I'm hard-pressed to see the utility of 200+ days of retention, when attempting to find anything requires grovelling through gigabytes of headers, that the server should be searching for me. I've no use for SSL, but I'd pay extra for XPAT.

Also, please can we have annual billing? It would save me $16.50 in bank charges. Hell, even if you charged a bit extra for it, we'd still both be better off.

Finally, to use your wonderful accelerator, I'd need to build another machine and put Windows on it. This seems a rather big ask. How about a unix version? Even a non-free one?

2:40 PM 
Blogger Giganews said...

"Anonymous",

Unfortunately with today's newsgroups containing millions of articles, XPAT support would put undue strain on our servers and lower the performance for other customers.

There are many Usenet search engines available which will allow you to search based on various criteria across all newsgroups. I think you will find Usenet search engines much more feature rich than XPAT.

Thanks for the rest of your suggestions!

-Giganews

6:32 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OSX Please! :-(

2:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Mac OS X vote!

9:23 PM 
Anonymous Big trev said...

OSX Header acceleration would be nice please!!!!, or maybe a plugin that can be run on Unison etc.

For the meantime I am using the Newzleech site which does a pretty good job at cataloging headers and supplying NZBs

Am still well impressed with speed, am maxing out my 8meg connection, which is nice ;-)

8:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dual wan setups are becoming a more increasingly common thing.

Either through the use of dual wan routers or a linux box. It seems there should be a way for those of us who have these priceless setups to actually take advantage of them with you.

I have seen MANY other people request this as well. I have had service with you all for years, but I must admit that if another came along offering such a feature, I would be hard pressed not to go with them.

Aside from that, I am quite happy with everything that is Giganews.

Thanks!

5:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OSX customer too would be very nice if you could do this.

Also is there a way to select Europe server in this tool?

1:58 PM 
Blogger Giganews said...

An OSX based Giganews Accelerator is something we're considering; however, there is not definite time frame yet.

> Also is there a way
> to select Europe server
> in this tool?

The Giganews Accelerator automatically routes you to the Giganews cluster that works best for you!

Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming.

2:05 PM 
Blogger mark said...

great for single ip uses
but rubbish for peeps with multiple ip's

12:59 PM 
OpenID darkscreamz said...

Another vote for a Mac OS X Giganews accelerator :)

8:41 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

os x PPC Please (universal binary)

3:31 PM 
Anonymous Drm//|aster said...

LONG TIME customer.....
Really need a way to terminate existing ip in use.../kill x.x.x.x
or somthing similar..should be very easy to add to the website via transfer stats....etc.......

9:24 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another OSX vote.

MMD

10:22 AM 
Blogger Butch Marshall said...

For those of you who want to use this under *nix/OSX - here's what I did (note: still requires a valid copy of windows).

1) Install windows in KVM/Virtual machine software of choice.

2) Install cygwin + opensshd, giganews accelerator on the windows box

3) Use ssh port forarding on your *nux/osx host.
e.g.
sudo ssh -L 119:localhost:119 windows_user@192.168.1.122

Done! Connect to localhost:119 on your *nux/osx computer.

6:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another vote for a mac version of accelerator - please!

5:52 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YAMOSXV (Yet Another Mac OSX VOTE)

2:02 AM 
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