giganews blog

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Giganews at SXSW: The Take Back Your Internet Party

Hey Gigafolks,

We're happy to say you'll be able to catch us at SXSW in Austin, TX this year via Golden Frog's 3rd annual "Take Back Your Internet" panel discussion and networking party. It's Monday, March 16 at 6pm and the fun goes late into the night. Stop by and talk net neutrality and the open internet, enjoy free drinks and music, and meet some great folks who care about the same things you do. The event is free and no badge is needed, but it will sell out, so be sure to RSVP early.

Panel Topic: Is Net Neutrality Really Open Internet?

  • Marvin Ammori, Ammori Group
  • Chip Pickering, CEO of Comptel
  • Edward Henigin, CTO of Data Foundry
  • Gigi Sohn, Special Council for External Affairs, FCC
  • James Waterworth, Vice President of CCIA Europe.
We hope you're as excited about it as we are. Learn more and RSVP here!

Event Information:
WHAT: Take Back Your Internet Party – 2015
WHEN: Monday, March 16, 6pm -12am
WHERE: The Palm Door, 508 East 6th Street, Austin, TX

6pm-7pm: Doors Open and Networking
7pm-830pm: Expert Panel on Open Internet
830pm-12am: Music, Party, Networking

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day, From Giganews

Happy Valentine's day! Today's the perfect day to share your love of Giganews with friends and family. When you refer a friend that sticks around Giganews for a month or more, we'll give you up to a free month of Usenet – whatever the value of that account is. Everybody wins!

Just log into your control panel here to email, tweet, or Facebook out to the ones you love most, anytime.

The Giganews Team

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

History of Giganews and Data Privacy

Happy Data Privacy Day! Data Privacy Day (DPD) is an international effort centered on Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust. We're very excited to be a Data Privacy Day Champion and we have had a long history of working to protect Giganews member's data online.

2006: Giganews Becomes the First to Encrypt Usenet
ISPs began throttling, shaping and inspecting NNTP Usenet traffic. So in November of 2006, we provided encrypted 256 bit SSL to Giganews accounts. We were the first Usenet provider to do so. We even showed that SSL could increase your Usenet access speed.

2010: Giganews Becomes the First to Bundle VPN
On March 10, 2010, we launched our partnership with Golden Frog to offer VyprVPN to Giganews members. Not only could members encrypt their Usenet connection with SSL, but now they could encrypt their entire internet connection end-to-end for greater privacy and security across the board.

2011: Giganews Becomes the First to Bundle Encrypted Storage
Continuing our partnership with Golden Frog, we included Dump Truck - Secure Online Encrypted Storage free for all members. We wanted to ensure our members had a safe place to store their files online.

The Future
As the market leader in Usenet, we have a responsibility to continue supporting your privacy on the web, and we have no intention of stopping now. All of our accounts include 256 bit SSL, encrypted Dump Truck storage and our Platinum and Diamond accounts include VyprVPN for free.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays, From Giganews.

We would like to wish all Giganews members Happy Holidays and the best for 2015. Without all of our great members, Giganews would not be what it is today. We are honored by all of your support.

Have a wonderful holiday season,

The Giganews Team

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Giganews Reaches 1,500 Days of Usenet Retention!

We reached another Usenet milestone today! We are the first Usenet provider in the world to offer 1,500 days of binary Usenet retention. This translates to over 4 years of binary retention and over 8.5 years of text retention. Don’t worry - we aren’t stopping at 1,500 days and will continue to grow Usenet retention everyday.

Unlike other Usenet providers, we deliver the same speed and article completion across every day of Usenet retention across all 110,000 newsgroups. Our high quality newsgroup retention is a testament to the strength of our redundant infrastructure and our team's dedication to the Giganews service and its members.

We would also like to thank all of the Giganews members that have supported us over the years. We would not be able to grow our Usenet retention without you! Thank you for your support.

We continue to provide more than Usenet service. Over the past two years, we have worked hard to deliver an impressive set of additional software and services to complement our Usenet service, including:

We also recently launched the Giganews Control Panel App for iOS and Android. The Giganews Control Panel App allows members to manage their account usage, disconnect VyprVPN connections and stay informed on Giganews updates on their iPhone, iPad or Android device.

We have more exciting services and tools coming to Giganews this fall, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy our world leading Usenet retention.

To stay up to date with Giganews, please subscribe to our blog and follow us on Giganews Facebook, Giganews Twitter, Giganews YouTube Channel, and Giganews Google+.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Enter Giganews 1000 Days Prize Giveaway to win Drobo FS, iPad 2, and more!

We recently became the first Usenet provider in the world to provide 900 days of newsgroups retention and we haven't stopped growing our retention. Today, we currently provide 957 days retention. While some might try to match our retention, no Usenet provider matches our speed or reliability.

As the worldwide leader in Usenet retention over the past decade, we remain dedicated to supporting the NNTP protocol and providing the best service possible to our customers.

On May 2nd, we will become the first Usenet provider to store 1000 days of binary Usenet retention. To celebrate this milestone, we are pleased to announce the Giganews 1000 Days Prize Giveaway. Enter the Prize Giveaway to be eligible to win the following prizes:

Grand Prize:
Other Prizes:
  • iPad 2
  • PS3
  • Xbox 360
  • Twenty five (25) Giganews T-shirts

All existing Giganews customers are automatically entered into the 1000 Days Prize Giveaway based upon their account level and length of Giganews membership. Diamond customers receive two entries for each month of Diamond membership. Non-Diamond customers receive one entry per month of membership. For example, if you have been a Diamond for 5 years, you will automatically receive 120 entries. No entry required!

Non-Diamond members can automatically double their number of entries by upgrading to Diamond before we hit 1000 days of retention. If non-Diamond customers upgrade to Diamond on or before March 31st, you can also lock-in the $29.99 Diamond price.

Earn additional entries by following the instructions on the 1000 Days Prize Giveaway page.

Enter to Win!

When we hit 1000 days of newsgroups retention, we will draw names for the prizes and announce the winners on our blog. So check back here on May 2nd to see if you've won!

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lock-in $29.99 Diamond price before March 31st

Diamond membership is increasing from $29.99 to $34.99 after March 31st, but only for new Diamond accounts. That means if you come back, upgrade or create a new Diamond account on or before March 31st, you will lock-in the $29.99 price!

Please note that for current Diamond customers, your price will NOT increase. Whether you have been a customer for 10 years or one month, if you are a Diamond customer on or before March 31st, 2011 your Diamond price will remain $29.99.

The Giganews Diamond account is the most feature-rich Usenet account in the world. Not only does it come with unlimited downloads, unlimited speed, the highest completion rates and longest retention in the world, it also includes the Mimo Usenet Browser + Search and VyprVPN at no additional cost.

Due to overwhelming response to the $29.99 lock in price, we postponed the price increase for three additional months on January 1st, 2011, but we just can’t extend it any further. During the past three months, we were hard at work making the world’s best Usenet plan even better:
We are very excited about these improvements and hope everyone takes advantage of the special $29.99 lock-in price before March 31st, 2011, by signing up or logging into the control panel to upgrade now.

Again, current Diamond customers' price will NOT increase. Your price will remain $29.99 if you are a Diamond customer on or before March 31st, 2011.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

We've extended the Diamond lock-in pricing until March 31st, 2011

Due to overwhelming response, we're pleased to announce that we are extending the special $29.99 lock-in price for Diamond accounts until March 31st, 2011! After March 31st, the price of the Diamond account will increase to $34.99.

For existing Diamond customers, your price will NOT be raised. Whether you have been a customer for 10 years or one month, if you are a Diamond customer on or before March 31st, 2010 your Diamond price will remain $29.99.

Every Diamond account bundles the Mimo Usenet Browser + Search at no additional cost. By extending the Diamond lock-in pricing, we wanted to allow people time to experience some major improvements to Mimo over the next four months. The Golden Frog Dev team has planned the following updates to Mimo:
  • Significant functional and stability improvements to Mimo's engine
  • Major User Interface upgrades – a complete overhaul is planned for 2011
  • Advanced download queue prioritization and management
  • Much, much more
We are very excited about these improvements and hope everyone takes advantage of the special $29.99 lock-in price before March 31st, 2011, by signing up or logging into the control panel to upgrade now.

Again, current Diamond customers' price will NOT be raised if you are a Diamond customer on or before March 31st, 2010.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Mimo + Search now free with Diamond Account!

Back in July, we partnered with Golden Frog to deliver a new Usenet experience. We invited our most loyal Diamond members to an early access tech preview of Mimo Usenet Browser and Golden Frog Usenet Search. It was a simple choice to invite enthusiastic Giganews members to help develop the best Usenet browser and search platform.

Now, after 4 months in an exclusive tech preview, Mimo and Golden Frog Usenet Search are in beta and available for all Diamond Giganews members. With this release, Mimo comes with:
  • faster speeds
  • integrated thumbnail viewing
  • a search engine that dynamically indexes Giganews' growing retention
  • auto unRAR and PAR handling
  • text, binary, and image filters
Participants reported bugs and requested features to improve Mimo and Golden Frog Usenet Search. From initial development to the technology preview and into beta, Golden Frog has added or fixed nearly 450 different features in response to member feedback.

One of the most requested features has been bandwidth throttling. Today, the new Mimo version has the option to control how much of your Internet connection is used by the browser. Member input also helped improve Mimo’s multi-language support, which currently covers six languages.

Golden Frog created Mimo and its integrated Usenet search to accommodate Giganews’ full and increasing retention. This is the world’s only cross-platform Usenet browser with integrated search indexing all 800+ days of Giganews’ retention. As Giganews’ retention continues growing, Mimo and Golden Frog Usenet Search are designed to dynamically keep up.

Mimo and Golden Frog Usenet search are in continuous active development. You can request features or report bugs by e-mailing Giganews Support or posting in giganews.mimo. We work closely with the Golden Frog development team to incorporate all member feedback. Expect continued improvements to Mimo’s resiliency, performance and ease of use.

Mimo and Golden Frog Usenet Search are free with all Giganews Diamond memberships today. Join the ongoing development. Download Mimo or become a Diamond member now.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Giganews first to 800 days retention -- and not stopping!

Leading the Retention MarathonA little over a year and a half ago, we announced that we were going to be the first Usenet provider with a year's retention. We got to that year, and then just kept going. We hit two years a little while ago, and still kept going. Today, we've hit 800 days of binary Usenet retention -- and we're still going.

800 days is just a number, though. None of that retention matters if we don't also have good quality. For all 800 days, we have over 99% of the articles. On top of that, when we lose servers or disks, you don't see random articles disappear temporarily. In fact, most customers don't notice anything at all. Finally, our oldest, 800-day-old articles are stored on the same servers as our newest articles. If you want to fetch posts from 800 days ago, they'll download just as fast as posts that arrived today.

Our software and systems were designed years ago to handle this level of retention. Today, we hit 800 days of retention, but we're already ready for the next 800 days and beyond. Please enjoy the retention, and keep an eye out for new features we'll be rolling out in the coming months.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

7 Things Newer than the Oldest Giganews Article

Here at Giganews, we're celebrating being the first and only Usenet provider to reach 2 years of high-quality binary retention.

What 2 years of binary retention gets you:
  • 2 years of images and files
  • 10 billion+ newsgroup articles
  • Over 4,000 TB of Usenet data

Think about the things that didn't even exist when the oldest accessible binary article was posted to Giganews Usenet:
We've done a lot for the Giganews infrastructure in order to accommodate the amount of data storage necessary to continue growing our retention capacity. Learn more about retention and the Giganews infrastructure.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Check out Reasons to get VyprVPN for Browsing Security and Privacy

Our friends at Golden Frog have an interesting blog post discussing great reasons for browsing securely with VyprVPN personal VPN.

VyprVPN protects your online identity, keeps your location private, and restores your web browsing freedom by securing your Internet connection against third-party data interception.

You can use VyprVPN everywhere:
  • Public Wi-Fi
  • Private Networks
  • 3G and 4G cellular networks

VyprVPN works on many devices:

  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • laptop
  • desktop

Diamond Giganews members get VyprVPN free. Check out the Golden Frog Blog to learn more about VyprVPN, or become a Diamond member for the best Usenet and VyprVPN.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Giganews Reaches 650 days of High Quality Binary Retention

Giganews keeps on going -- today we reached 650 days of high-quality retention, and we’ll continue growing while still providing the best Usenet experience in the world. Other providers struggle in attempt to offer long-term retention because they don’t have the infrastructure and support team to handle the data, causing their systems to crash.

We are continuously focused on creating and maintaining an exceptional system that allows us to continue adding days of retention. It takes a lot of work and the right people -- we have the space, the staff, and the in-house scalable infrastructure to store and support the data and system in order to allow for growth and adjustments.

Giganews systems are built from the ground up on our own multi-redundant network of servers. The Internet doesn’t open at 8 and close at 5, so our datacenter is staffed around-the-clock to keep things up and running.

Whether an article is 6 days old or 650, you get the same high-quality completeness, availability and unlimited speed through Giganews.

Curious to learn how Giganews does it? Learn more about how Giganews works.

We are a passionate group of Usenet users with a goal of creating and providing the most efficient and satisfactory Usenet experience. Have some feedback? We want to hear from you. Join the newsgroup conversation at giganews.general or start a discussion by commenting below.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giganews Hits 600 Days of High Quality Retention!

Giganews is proud to announce that we are the first Usenet provider with 600 days of retention! Giganews now provides 600 days of retention with the same high quality and service Giganews customers expect. And we’re still growing! We continue to increase retention to provide Giganews customers with the best Usenet experience available.

Why Giganews Works So Well
We do it because we’re users, too (check out the newsgroup vyprvpn.giganews to see some candid discussions with Giganews employees on VyprVPN). Customers tell us everyday how frustrated they are with other Usenet providers because of poor completion rates and incompletes, especially among older articles. No one wants to deal with that. That’s why we built our service to have the same 100% availability, completeness, and unlimited speed regardless of how old the article is.

How It Works
So how do we do it? It all starts from the bottom up by building and maintaining all the systems for our services ourselves. We don’t outsource or contract this critical aspect of our Usenet service. Instead we’ve built all of our systems ourselves – from the hardware we own, the software we wrote, and the network we built. All this leads to smooth running systems providing the best Usenet experience available today. Plus, with our full time network and datacenter operations staff, we’ve got some very experienced people who make sure the Giganews service is always up and running.

We’ve hit 600 days. 700 here we come.

Have some feedback? Let us know what you think!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Giganews' 200 Days Binary Retention: A Look Back

As you've probably seen plastered across every Usenet related newsgroup and forum, Giganews recently announced a storage upgrade which will increase Giganews' retention in binary newsgroups to 200 days by the end of the summer. This is in addition to Giganews currently holding text articles for more than 1400 days.

This got us thinking about Giganews' retention growth over time. Giganews has always been a leader in Usenet and one of the primary ways we offer value to our customers is through our retention. We took a look back and documented some of our retention upgrades throughout the years....

Binary Newsgroup Retention

August 2001 - 14 days
October 2002 - 15 days
December 2003 - 30 days
August 2005 - 50 days
December 2005 - 70 days
September 2006 - 90 days
February 2007 - 100 days
April 2007 - 120 days
July 2007 - 200 days

That's a 1,328% increase in retention since 2001!

As you can see, Giganews has been very busy over the years making sure we're offering the best Usenet experience possible. If you haven't already signed up for Giganews' service try out our free trial account to see for yourself why Giganews is the leader in Usenet.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Giganews "For Dummies"

Giganews would like to send out a special thank you to Woody Leonhard the author of "Windows Vista Timesaving Techniques For Dummies" for mentioning Giganews in his book!

In the chapter "Technique 20: Downloading from Newsgroups" Woody states...

"I, Personally, use Giganews. It's fast. They claim 99%+ completion. Binaries stick around for 90 days or more."

(Obviously this was written before Giganews' last retention upgrades to 100 and then to 120 days.)

The chapter is one of the most comprehensive "how to" instructions on Usenet we've ever read, and is an excellent read for anyone looking to learn how to use Usenet (especially good for first time users!).

If you're running on Vista, purchase a copy of "Windows Vista Timesaving Techniques For Dummies" and check out the mention of Giganews on page 216.

Thanks Woody!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

1 Billion Usenet Articles

As we were writing our recent announcement regarding our upgrade to 120 days retention, I was surprised to discover that our news servers were offering nearly 1 billion newsgroup articles in over 100,000 newsgroups.

This is a significant achievement for Usenet, which was originally designed to handle only a few dozen articles per day.

In Usenet's beginning there was a steady march of Usenet server software development centered on the evolving challenges of a growing community. These evolutions of server software were primarily spearheaded by graduate students working in their spare time to solve problems with matters such as naming conventions, performance, and portability.

Since the early days of Usenet, a lot of things have changed. Internet access in the developed world is commonplace, personal computers are widespread and readily available, and Usenet has grown to over 100,000 newsgroups.

Now that Usenet is a global network with countless participants, the landscape has changed. No longer will the collaborative efforts of graduate students working in their spare time solve the challenges of operating a Usenet network processing nearly a billion newsgroup articles. These challenges require significant investment, time, and experience.

Luckily for Giganews, we have a loyal customer base which allows us to focus our efforts on reinvesting in our network and technology. This investment has been used to develop a scalable, patent-pending news server software platform designed around plug and play storage upgrades.

It is this technology that allows Giganews to perform massive retention upgrades with no service interruptions. Seamless upgrades are one of the more understated things that we do at Giganews, and are something our company and our customers tend to take for granted.

Service improvements like our 120 day retention upgrade represent huge engineering challenges, but thanks to tremendous efforts by our programmers and engineers, Giganews is able to deliver these advancements with little to no impact on our service.

Now that Giganews has taken Usenet to the next level and is making Usenet more accessible than ever before, I wanted to take a second to thank our engineering staff for developing systems and technologies which allow Giganews to improve service for our customers with virtually no downtime. If you enjoy Giganews' service, post a comment on this blog post and let our engineers know how much you appreciate them!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Giganews in Cambodia

Below is a picture of Jerry from Giganews' design department with his Giganews t shirt on at the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Riep, Cambodia. Jerry snapped this photograph on his trip to Bien Hoa, Vietnam to visit family. Thanks Jerry for the cool pic!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Accurately Measuring Usenet Retention

As you may have seen, Giganews recently announced a storage upgrade which will raise our binary retention to 100 days over the next two weeks. This got me thinking about how retention is measured and reported by various Usenet servers.

Articles on a news server are commonly stored "first in / last out". What this means is that every time a new article is posted to a Usenet system the oldest article is deleted. The oldest available article on a news server is generally what defines a news server's retention.

Some Usenet systems will also apply this "first in / last out" rule based on hierarchy.

For example, Giganews does not expire any text articles so our text retention is 1300+ days. Our binary retention (based on available storage) is 100 days. This means that it takes 100 days for a newsgroup article to drop off of our servers in the binary hierarchies.

When you're discussing a news server's retention make sure you understand exactly which hierarchy you're referencing. If you see people refer to a news server's retention based on text hierarchies then chances are they're embellishing to make the news server seem better. In reality their retention in the more challenging binary hierarchies is probably much lower.

In addition to people using text retention to embellish the quality of a news server, you'll also see some Usenet systems carry long retention rates in just a handful of newsgroups. If we use our simple definition of retention— "the oldest available article on a news server"— then this would be an accurate description of that news server's retention. Of course most people aren't going to want long retention on just a handful of newsgroups, so you could consider this misleading. Many people sign up for Giganews after using other Usenet servers which advertise long retention rates but provide those retention rates in just a couple of newsgroups.

The final thing to look out for when trying to measure retention is "invalid date headers". In some newsgroups the headers of certain articles will contain the wrong date. In the beginning of this post, I said that most news servers apply a "first in / last out" rule to newsgroups and that the oldest article on a news server defines its retention. What I didn't mention is that the "first in / last out rule" is based on article numbers (number assigned to an article based on when it is posted) and not the date displayed in the headers. This means that if an article contains a date in the header older than the retention of the news server it still may appear in the newsgroup because it hasn't been purged based on its article number.

The best measure of a news server's retention is to look at the oldest article date in *many* popular binary newsgroups. This will generally give you the best idea of the news server's retention. If you notice a few groups with longer than normal retention, the news server is either hand picking certain newsgroups to misrepresent their overall retention levels or there is an article with an invalid date header.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Alternate NNTP Usenet SSL Ports

As you may have already seen, Giganews recently announced support for 256 bit SSL encrypted Usenet access on port 443. The reason we decided to offer support for port 443 is that some customers were experiencing slow download speeds on port 563 due to port-based speed limiting on networks between their computer and Giganews.

One of the quickest ways to get around speed issues is to try switching ports. Many customers downloading on non-encrypted accounts have already found this out by switching their Usenet downloads from port 119 to port 80. This trick oftentimes quickly improves throughput rates when the source of the slowdown is port based-bandwidth limiting (networks limiting speeds on port 119).

There are two advantages to downloading Giganews' 256 bit SSL encrypted Usenet access over port 443. First, it will help you avoid port based speed limiting on port 563. Secondly, you may also avoid service-based speed limiting as your NNTP traffic is completely encrypted and running over a web-based port (port 443).

The goal of Giganews' support for port 443 is to offer our customers another path to access our encrypted Usenet service and to assist customers dealing with port based speed limits.

If you have experienced speed issues while downloading on port 563 and notice a speed improvement while downloading on port 443, please feel free to leave us a comment.

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