Retention times refers to the length of time measured in days that articles is saved on a Usenet providers servers.
As an example let’s say that a file is posted to Usenet 1,000 days ago. If your provider offers 900 days of retention you won’t be able to download the file anymore because the file has been deleted to make room for new incoming files. But if you have a provider that offers 1,200 days of retention you will still be able to download the said file.
Why Set Retention Periods?
Good question… Usenet is big. It takes thousands of servers and millions of dollars of equipment to store and serve all of the files that Usenet receives everyday. It would be impossible to store all of these files forever. That is why file retention times amongst providers exists. Older files are removed to make room for new files. This is how Usenet has always functioned and will continue to function in the future.
Your best option is to sign up for a provider that offers longer retention times. The longer the retention the more file and information you will have access too.