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    Thread Owner: ZandraJoi
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ZandraJoi

ZandraJoi

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Per another discussion for Proboards :) Could someone explain to me in layman's terms the difference between these two? I figure this thread may help others who would like to know that difference as well. Thank you to all who will reply :)
 
Abhi

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Free has mainly 2 meanings



1. Free speech



2. Free dinner



Open source is not necessarily free of cost. It is ok to give full code as open and still sell the software for money. But since everything is open, anyone can build and sell it for free.



Free as in Proboards is free of cost. Like I offer free help. I can stop it anytime I want.
 
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V

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# Proboards and other services like it
These services set up and technically maintain your forum, and do this for free. They provide you with three things: 1) a forum software, 2) web hosting and 3) a domain name.

### Positives
[*]- Free
[*]- Easy to set up
[*]- No technical skills necessary in order to maintain

### Negatives
[*]- You do not get access to or own your forums database. One consequence of this is that you can never switch from one free-forum-service to another, switch to another forum software, or save your forum's content in case your free-forum-service shuts down.
[*]- Your service provider is totally in control. If they want to shut down their services, if they are hacked, if they decide to shut your forum down etc., your forum will suffer. This will be totally out of your control.
[*]- Your service provider might limit the ways in which you can customize your forum.

# Open source forum software
I'll explain this in two parts: forum software + open source.

### Forum software:
Software that allows you to set up a forum. All forums have one, and they have slight differences in functionality, user interface and available themes and plugins.

**Examples:** phpBB, MyBB, Flarum, XenForo, vBulletin

### Open source:
Open source just means that some piece of code is freely available for redistribution and modification. In the case of forums, this means that the forum software itself is free and modifiable. For the non-tech-savvy, the keyword is simply that it is free. Examples of open source forum software include phpBB, MyBB and Flarum, while examples of non-open source forum software include XenForo and vBulletin.

Although making a forum with an open source forum software is free, getting your forum online and available online usually isn't. So, even though it is free, you will probably have to pay for web hosting and a domain.

### Positives
[*]- Your forum's content is yours. You may do what you'd like with it (as long as it is legal, of course), no one else can delete it, and you can switch to another forum software somewhere along the way if you'd like.
[*]- Customizable. There are usually better looking themes and better functioning plugins available for open source forum software than there are available from the free-forum-services.
[*]- Total control over your forum.

### Negatives
[*]- You gotta have hosting and a domain, and this may cost you a couple of bucks.
[*]- Although you don't need to understand any coding in order to set up your forum, you might have to learn some very basic tech lingo and how to navigate your hosting panel.
 
Abhi

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@Varlot You wrote them all? 😮

 
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@Abhi Huh? 😯
 
admin

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Free is not always open. Free as freedom in a completely different concept.
 
    Thread Owner: ZandraJoi
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ZandraJoi

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@Abhi @Varlot @admin Thank you all for explaining this better to me :)

Wish I would've known all this 2 years ago lol Would have looked more into establishing my own out of Proboards.
 
Nomad

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As far as I know, Proboards is a forum hosting solution. You can use Proboards to create your own forum. Proboard is wordpress of forums, especially if you do not want to spend money on domain nd hosting.
 

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