GigaNews == PowerUsenet == (and how to access their Hong Kong IP)

I’ve been using GigaNews for a while now, mostly because they have a server in Hong Kong which is much, much faster than using US based servers from Taiwan. The downside is that GigaNews is the most expensive service out there with the basic unlimited account going for US$25/month and the top account weighing in at US$35/month. In comparison, most of the other services have unlimited accounts going for US$10-15/month, though sometimes you have to hunt down a coupon to get the best deal. They don’t have all the bells and whistles that GigaNews has, but I don’t use those extra services.

I recently cancelled my GigaNews account to try to find a cheaper service that worked reasonably well. After trying a few different ones, only AstraWeb came anywhere close to reasonable speeds, and even that only used a small fraction of my Internet connection’s max speed.

While exploring the world of Usenet, one thing I found out is that there are really only four usenet services out there currently, and everyone else just resells service from one of them, or is an alternate brand for one of the major providers. So that led me to look at what other names GigaNews is being sold as, and the answer turns out to be PowerUsenet, and, both of which have a basic unlimited account for US$15/month and a high end account for US$20/month. UPDATE: Rhino Newsgroups is another, but their retention is fairly limited at 200 days.

I signed up for the basic unlimited account at PowerUsenet and configured my usenet program with the server details… and was immediately disappointed to find that it was connecting to a slow US based server. No problem! GigaNews had a similar issue. They let the DNS server figure out the best IP to use, but it seems to give out the US address sometimes instead of the closer Hong Kong IP address. After some poking around with DNS tools, I was able to figure out the Hong Kong IP address. Once I plugged that in, my usenet client was downloading full speed!

Here for your reference are the Hong Kong usenet server IP addresses:

Rhino Newsgroups (UPDATE: Not working as of 2012-09-14.)

10 thoughts on “GigaNews == PowerUsenet == (and how to access their Hong Kong IP)”

  1. Hi

    Great info on your post. I’ve previously tried to find the HK IP addresses for the various Giganews resellers, but without much luck.

    Can you detail which DNS tools you have been using?

    FYI, Supernews is also a Giganews reseller and is currently the cheapest out of the lot at about US$10 a month.

    Incidentally I am using a Highwinds reseller, and on my wired connection I can pretty much max out my line, as long as I use about 40 connections.

  2. I just used the unix dig command for DNS lookups using various US and Taiwan nameservers and compared results. There’s actually a pattern to how the addresses are allocated so that the last byte of the IP is the same for US and HK, so once you know the subnets you can figure out the IPs. I also used nmap -sP to scan the giganews HK subnet for hints.

  3. Thanks for the response, goes WAY beyond my technical knowledge I’m afraid. Any chance of seeing if your technique works with Supernews? I do note that the Supernews IP address is not the same as the IP range for and Powerusenet.

    BTW I’m interested in your following statement: “US based servers from Taiwan”. Could you elaborate on this? I just thought you connected directly to the US servers from HK…..

  4. I’m located in Taiwan and use the HK news servers. I had to do lookups using different DNS servers to see how the answers differed between US and Taiwan. For some reason, my main DNS server usually returns the US IP instead of Hong Kong.

    As for Supernews, you are right that they use a different IP range than the other Giganews private-label services. I wasn’t able to find any evidence that Supernews has a Hong Kong IP.

    However, I did find that there’s a new Giganews private-label called Rhino Newsgroups and their HK IP is:

    Their unlimited plan is slightly higher than Power Usenet, but their SSL plan is lower.

  5. Ah, OK, now the whole Taiwan thing makes sense!

    Have heard of Rhino before, but you only get 200 days retention and 8 connections, not really so great.

    BTW, if you get via usenetreviewz, you can sign up for US$10 a month, ssl and 30 connections.

  6. Hi James
    Is this blog post still current? I recently upgraded to Hinet 100 Mbps / 20 Mbps and would like to get the best Usenet out there. Are you still running on PowerUsenet?


  7. I’m currently on Hinet 20M/5M service and use via the usenetreviewz coupon mentioned by browngeek above. While’s HK IP is no longer in service, on Hinet I can get full speed to their US server.

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