When people discuss quality newsgroup servers, Giganews and Astraweb are usually the focus of conversation. Giganews is well known for its high level of retention and rock solid service. Retention is the measure of time that an article stays on a news server. Downtime is virtually unheard of with their service, and the 240 days of retention ensures a wide range of available services. Astraweb is also known as a high quality service, however, its retention is more on par with the likes of Usenet Server - or at least were.
As primary newsgroup providers and not resellers, Astraweb and Giganews hold a unique place in the Usenet marketplace. Giganews has been able to justify its rather expensive subscription because of its lengthy retention, but now, it has a serious competitor. Astraweb is upgrading their service and will challenge Giganews' long held reign as the newsgroup provider with the longest retention.
"Astraweb is pleased to announce that we have just completed an infrastructure upgrade to increase our retention and improve our network. Our retention is currently growing towards 270 days from 160 days."
Whether Astraweb will reach this goal before a counter-move by Giganews is debatable. On Christmas Eve, Giganews had reported 'unprecedented' growth, which based on empirical evidence, appears to be a legitimate claim. Giganews is currently going through a massive upgrade, and longer retention is only a short time a way. Considering they're already at approximately 240 days, it's not a stretch to imagine they can add at least 30 days to beat Astraweb. Giganews has already announced retention times "well beyond" 240 days.
In any event, expectations on Giganews will be high. For $29.95 a month, you’re paying for 240 days of retention, high quality service, and 20 connections. With Astraweb, you’re paying only $15 a month for eventually 270 days retention, comparable service, and 20 connects. Still, Giganews customers will be anticipating a compelling reason to stay on board once the next round of upgrades are complete