Anyone who wants to gain access to Usenet can choose from a variety of providers. These often entice with many advantages – but this does not mean that what you see at first really is what you’ll get. For this reason, I at Alynsmith.com try my best to take a closer look at all the various individual Usenet providers, and to accurately present and review their respective strengths and weaknesses. Today, I want to take Firstload for a spin – a well-known provider in Germany originally from the UK. Despite their popularity, Firstload’s record has not been flawless, and occasionally they have been in the spotlight for rather unfortunate reasons. Have they been able to catch up?
– Only 1,200 days of retention
The good news is that Firstload managed to come up with a diverse selection of rates for different budgets. However, it’s evident even at first glance that all the prices here are significantly higher than those of rival Usenet providers. While some, like Giganews, offer unlimited access for just under ten euros monthly, Firstload asks for up to 40 euros for the same set of features. The provider manages to make up for this by offering mobile flat rates, which are unlimited in terms of data volume. It is also an advantage in my own Firstload experience that all packages feature unlimited speeds – there is no throttling of any kind. Whoever can get hold of a Firstload coupon and secure the packages cheaper is still clearly at an advantage here though.
All packages enjoy unlimited bandwidth when surfing. However, the disadvantage here is that the data volume, while quite generous, is not unlimited. Frequent surfers must therefore expect higher costs than is the case with other providers. Most packages can only be paid for with a credit card such as Mastercard or VISA, which is also a disadvantage in my eyes. Flexibility, then, is not one of Firstload’s strong suits.
Test Firstload free of charge for 14 days
If you want to try the Firstload software for yourself, you can do so for 14 days. Here, a full 15GB is available at full speed, and another 300GB at a maximum of 2,000kbit/s. The test phase automatically turns into a six-month subscription.
Firstload is a British company that has been around since 1979 and has already made a name for itself here in Germany. Due to the many years of experience under their belt, it is easy to assume that the Firstload software has gone through its fair share of refinements. In this regard, I am glad to say that not only is this true, but that the Firstload software client is more than easy to use and to get up and running, which should be an advantage especially for newcomers. The retention period quoted by the company is 1,200 days. While this is respectable, it unfortunately can’t keep up with most providers in the industry, some of which have already racked up more than 4,600 days of retention. However, the 30-day money back guarantee speaks for Firstload quite well, as it ensures risk-free use during the first month. Of particular interest: the Usenet provider offers new customers free training, so that they can first learn all the basics and then skillfully get started with Usenet surfing. This not only saves a lot of time, but also ensures that everything runs smoothly right from the start.
Those who decide to download Firstload can access a newsreader for free: Namely LUMAC. This is very clearly structured and easy to use, but still somewhat limited in some respects: For example, it is only available for Windows and does not support NZB files. On the other hand, it is a free reader, so no further fees are to be expected. However, if you want, you can also look for another newsreader and install it, as long as it is supported by Firstload.
Firstload is a Usenet provider that gives you access to the Internet alternative. It lets you come across uncensored content and follow your favorite topics – without any advertisements.
Although Firstload temporarily closed its doors to the public not too long ago, the provider is definitely back and online for 2021. In fact, Firstload – thanks in large part to its simple handling and long list of features – is one of the most popular providers, with more than 2 million active users.
It is easy to cancel Firstload. For a one-month plan, no cancellation procedure is necessary at all – but if it is to be done for a subscription with a longer term, a written notice of cancellation must be drawn up. My tip at this point: Ask for a confirmation of cancellation.
There is no Firstload software or Firstload download with VPN. After the Firstload login you get SSL-encrypted access to the Usenet, a VPN is missing though. Nevertheless, you can be sure that your data will be protected in the best possible way. Up to 30 connections with SSL encryption are possible.
Firstload is, in my experience, one of the most popular providers in Germany. However, it doesn’t hurt to look at one or two alternatives to the Firstload software. For example, there is the provider Giganews, which offers unlimited data volume at the best speed. Giganews also provides access to more than 100,000 newsgroups – but with a retention period of a whopping 17 years! Another alternative can be NewsLeecher: For example, because of its 4,650 days of retention and unlimited download options. Both of the aforementioned alternatives also prove to be significantly more affordable.
Firstload is impressive when it comes to customer service, as well as the featured 30-day money-back guarantee. The latter is very rare in the industry and therefore makes for a big advantage, in my opinion. The simple operation scores quite clearly as well – otherwise more than two million customers would certainly not be convinced by this provider. However, the retention time would have to be even better here to keep up with the top providers in the industry. The rates are also a bit more expensive in comparison and could be improved in the future – which is why I only give it three out of five stars at the moment.
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