When it comes to Usenet services, the unfortunate truth is that many offerings are tricky to use and require significant technical expertise. And obviously enough, those less confident in the world of newsgroups will want to pick an easy-to-use provider.
Nzblord is a great option if you want to get the most out of a Usenet service and avoid any unnecessary hassles at the same time. Rather than having a newsreader client you have to set up and learn your way around, this provider offers a simple web-based tool that allows for downloading files easily.
As mentioned, Nzblord is very user-friendly and simple to operate. First of all, you have to find the relevant content you want, to which end the service provides links to a number of popular NZB search engines. When you’ve located that content, it’s simply a matter of plugging it in to the New Task interface on the website, and away you go.
UI and features
So, it’s a very basic system which is easy to get to grips with, but equally the web-based interface is also very basic indeed. That said, there are some interesting capabilities here, including the ability to fire up multiple NZB downloads, and it’s not difficult to download a large number of files.
You also get a notification when tasks are completed, and Nzblord says that it scans the files you’re downloading to look out for anything dodgy. It’s always handy to have some security features backing you up, although the fact that the provider doesn’t specify exactly how the files are scanned isn’t ideal.
Responsive tech support is also promised, and you can contact customer support using a simple form on the website, where you provide your email address in order to receive a reply.
Prices for the various plans differ greatly. The cheapest plan costs $14.95 (around £11.50, AU$20) for 30 days of access, giving you unlimited traffic and a maximum speed of 10Mbps. There’s also a maximum amount of 3,000 NZB files you can download, and a cap on the maximum size of a file: 5GB.
Note that you don’t get the ‘secure download’ (malware protection) with this entry-level plan, but you do with all the others, which scale up to a full year’s worth of access (well, 360 days to be precise) that costs $98.75 (around £75, AU$135). With this top-end plan the maximum speed is pushed up to 15Mbps, and the amount of files you can download is also upped to 5,000, with a maximum single file size of 7GB.
Payment can be made through credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and others.
The most important thing to remember here is that this isn’t a typical Usenet service, as it avoids using newsreader software, instead relying on an easy-to-use web-based utility. That might be a big plus point for some, or a negative for others – also note that the UI isn’t the best here, although it gets the job done. Features like secure downloading, which keeps an eye out for malware in the files you’re grabbing, are also welcome.
By Nicholas Fearn
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