EasyNews release EasyBoost; a feature which dramatically speeds up their web based access

For those not in the know, EasyNews are one of the older providers still around and their old school website kind of shows that off a tad! They were also the one of the first to code up a custom HTTP (web) interface to the NNTP newsgroups; this act alone made it easier for new users to get in to using Usenet and also provided for those who could not - for whatever reason - use the NNTP protocol to download material off Usenet. One major problem with web access was the relatively slow speeds and high latency; EasyBoost claims to solve both these issues.

Before reading please be aware if you are already achieving good speeds from the web based EasyNews site then EasyBoost may not help you; it is physically impossible for the software to double the bandwidth on a connection that is already maxed out for example. However, for those who know for a fact they achieve faster speeds elsewhere on the web, then EasyBoost could well help.

So, how does it work?

The geek inside us wants to know but..

EasyNews have refused to comment on how the service works apart from releasing a few generic tidbits here and there. From what we can pick up on, the changes are on the networking layer of the TCP/IP stack as opposed to simply an upgrade to their hardware layer. For those who don't have a clue what we're on about and bearing in mind we can't be sure of what we're talking about: they're managing your connections better resulting in a faster connection for you. Or in EasyNews very own words:

Easyboost uses a combination of TCP congestion control algorithms, proprietary software and purpose-built servers to optimize the TCP/IP throughput for downloads. EasyNews

So why so secretive about how it works EasyNews?

We're not being light on the details of how Easyboost works because we're not familiar with how it works, but rather, because it's proprietary. So far as I know, there isn't a site like ours with the same service. Everyone working here has an abnormal fascination with technology and all of us would love to go on for hours discussing the technologies we use and the intricacies of them; but at the end of the day we do run a business and have to protect our intellectual property.

This service has no effect on how things actually work behind the scenes, it's just a system to more effectively pass network traffic to you and increase download speeds and decrease page load times. To those with good connections to begin with, the service may seem moot, while to others with high latency it may seem to be a dramatic improvement. In other words, this is all done at the network level, we don't have a separate farm with faster CPUs and drives that we're calling Easyboost. :)

Russ, an employee

Which in our opinion is fair enough regardless of how much we really want to know ;)

but more importantly..

Does EasyNews' EasyBoost actually work?

As mentioned earlier - it isn't designed to work for everyone in the first place. If you're already receiving good speeds, don't expect much of a benefit. We'd love to give a definite yes/no answer to the question however, EasyNews have yet to give us access to a testing account (we did however only ask today)

[Update: We now have an account, see the update below for more]. So, until we can get to test it out ourselves and update this post, we'll have to rely on gathering 3rd party information:

and so to twitter where we usually get a feel of how things are going. We say usually because there isn't actually an awful lot on twitter about Easyboost at the time of writing but from what there is we can glean the following comments:

gotta admit, this easyboost thing from EasyNews is killer! http before activating: ~600-800KB/s, after: ~3.0MB/s skylabops

Trying to figure out how @easynews Easyboost links make my d/ls 2x as fast on Rogers. KeeblerBlog

Now dling at ~3MB/s with @easynews new "easyboost", low latency feature. Thank you easynews devs! If I knew who you were I'd buy you a beer. mikegreiling

As you can see the response has been quite good, however there have been mixed feelings on EasyNews' own forums in the announcement thread. Whether this is down to the new release and bugs (there were a few server crashes) or simply the fact that it isn't meant to work with everyone or indeed simply doesn't work - only time will tell. The fact there are positive feelings around the product is always a good thing, it means it could well be worthwhile taking a 14 day free trial to check it out for yourself. We'll certainly be keeping an eye on the unique service and will be update this article as soon as possible. Thanks for reading.

Update

EasyNews created an account for us and...wow.

We've had a chance to have a little play around with the web interface (which isn't new) and were thoroughly impressed, it far exceeded our expectations and we were amazed by how much functionality is packed in to each page load. The interface is nowhere near modern and is mostly text based (much like the rest of the EasyNews website) but this is in no way detrimental to the user experience - in fact we fell in love with how easy and clutter-free it was after using it for only a few minutes (reminded us of Reddit - interface built for readability/functionality not prettiness). The interface has the raw RAR files listed as well as files that have been pre-extracted so you can just download them straight away.

We tested on a laptop deliberately placed far away from it's connections wireless router to increase the latency involved; our wireless network here is notoriously shoddy anyway and even though we see speeds of 1.8MB/s over Ethernet, we rarely see close to 400kb/s over the air. And so to the test: we started with EasyBoost off for obvious reasons and then searched for "Ubuntu Linux" as it's a nice big 700+MB download. Download with the default Firefox download manager alone, we received paltry speeds of ~80kB/s, this was measly even for our wireless connection. We then clicked the EasyBoost button in the top right, ran the little downloading test it does to test the various different EasyBoost functions (it picked #4 for us) - went back and downloaded the same file. The result? A 7 fold increase in speeds; it was hard to get an exact speed as it bounced throughout the entire download from 650 to 750 kB/s but either way that is a massive increase over what we were getting before and very to rare to see via this useless router to be honest.

To say we were impressed would be an understatement - so we decided to try it out on our beefy wired desktop which usually gets about 1.8MB/s down via about 20 NNTP connections. So what would it get through 1 measly HTTP connection (bearing in mind we're not using a download manager/accelerator)? It downloaded at a stunning 1.6MB/s - I don't think I've ever seen those speeds in Firefox itself without using an external download manager with extra connections.

In conclusion we thoroughly recommend EasyNews as a provider - you're not limited to web access by the way, in fact you get a 25% discount on bandwidth if using the NNTP service through a normal newsreader. The package we were on is called Big Gig and that enables you to download 150Gigs or for 30 days, whichever comes sooner and costs $29.94 USD (renewing each time you hit 30 days or 150Gigs until you cancel). However there are smaller, cheaper packages available. To sign up or learn more, click through to EasyNews.

*You will be helping this site if you do decide to sign up for this link and we thank you for that!

Had your own recent experience with EasyNews good or bad? We'd love to hear in the comments. Cheers.

djm posted by djm
This entry was posted in News Providers and tagged easyboost, easynews, http, web-client, web-interface. Leave a comment.

4 Comments

  1. Shawn
    Posted Sep 3rd, 2009 at 16:09 p.m.

    Been using Easyn­ews for years.. Easy­boost doesn’t do much on the T1’s I use while @ work, but it’s AMAZINGLY fast on my DSL line at home over wire­less.. 5x-7x increase in speed..

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  2. Posted Jun 14th, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.

    hi! http://www.istu.edu/jforum/user/profile/704.page ���� � ��

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  3. Posted May 9th, 2011 at 20:05 p.m.

    It's as broad as it's long.

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  4. Posted May 9th, 2011 at 20:05 p.m.

    Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.

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Comments are now closed.