Servers

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Basics

What is a server

Server comes from “to serve”, which means to serve/deliver. This means that computers that perform work or services for others serve the computers of users connected to them. Such a server is independent of size and can be either a mainframe computer in a data center or a mini-computer such as the Raspberry Pi. Standard PCs or notebooks are often used as XMPP servers.

Why do you need a chat server?

If you want to send messages from one device to another, both devices must be connected and “online” at the same time. However, if the device is switched off or not connected to the Internet, communication would not be possible without further ado. Servers help here and act as intermediaries. Incoming messages are temporarily stored and then made available to the recipient when they have a connection.

Types of registration

To be able to use XMPP, a chat account must be set up with a server. Some servers only offer registration via the browser, others only offer registration directly in or via the chat program (so-called “in-band” registration) and some offer both.

Selection

If someone is simply looking for a German-language provider without much thought, they can find what they are looking for from the following list with a clear conscience. Simply choose a provider whose name you like best - after all, this name will be part of the chat address (all the following links in the overview go to EXTERNAL pages)

Anbieter Rechtsform Registrierung
www / App
Webchat
(Chatten im
Browser)
Speicherdauer
Nachrichten
Speicherdauer
Dateien
Maximale Dateigröße Kontolöschung bei Nichtnutzung Vertrag zur Auftrags- verarbeitung möglich Bemerkungen / Datenschutz
5222.de privat <ja> / ja nein 30 Tage
+7 Tage MAM
30 Tage 50 MB 1 Jahr ja max. 100 Nachrichtenhistorie bei öffentlichen Räumen
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
anoxinon.de Verein <ja> / nein <ja> 14 Tage 14 Tage 25 MB 1 Jahr nein Registrierung mit Captcha (Zahl)
Speicherung von IP-Adressen nur bei fehlerhaften Loginversuchen für 72 Stunden.
Erlaubt Verbindungen von anderen Servern nur, wenn diese ein gültiges Zertifikat (signierter öffentlicher Schlüssel) vorweisen.
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
conversations.im gewerblich <ja> / ja nein 90 Tage 90 Tage 100 MB 1 Jahr ja Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
draugr.de privat nein / ja
?
MAM: 21 Tage
30 Tage 15 MB
max. 50 MB
insg.
2 Jahre nein Mögliche Servernamen:
- draugr.de
- deshalbfrei.org
- ubuntu-jabber.net
- verdammung.org
- xabber.de
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
hookipa.net privat <ja> / ja nein 365 Tage oder
Kontolöschung
30 Tage 100 MB 1 Jahr nein Mögliche Servernamen:
- bangpath.net (Chat & E-Mail)
- hookipa.net (Chat)
- nerdculture.de (Chat & Mastodon)
- nerdica.net (Chat & Friendica)
- nerdwind.de (Chat & E-Mail)
- windfluechter.org (Chat & E-Mail)
- xmpp.social (Chat)
Datenschutzerklärung D/E (extern)
hot-chilli.net gewerblich <ja> / nein <ja> 93 Tage
+31 Tage MAM
31 Tage 512 MB
max. 1.000 MB
(1GB) insg.
1 Jahr ja Registrierung mit eigenem Captcha
Mögliche Servernamen:
- jabber.hot-chilli.net
- jabber.hot-chilli.eu
- hot-chilli.net
- hot-chilli.eu
- hot-chilli.im
- im.hot-chilli.net
- im.hot-chilli.eu
- jabb3r.de
- jabb3r.org
- jabber-hosting.de
- openim.de
- openim.eu
- xmpp-hosting.de
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
Serverdaten (extern)
MUC-Log (Chaträume): 31 Tage
jabber.at Körperschaft <ja> / nein <ja> 31 Tage
+21 Tage MAM
31 Tage 30 MB 1 Jahr nein Registrierung mit eigenem Captcha
Die Registrierung ist immer wieder mal deaktiviert.
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
jabber.cat privat <ja> / nein nein 14 Tage 14 Tage 10 MB 3 Monate nein Stand 09/2023: Die Registrierung ist aktuell geschlossen!
Registrierung mit Rechenaufgabe
Max. 500 Chatkonten auf dem Server
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
jabbers.one privat <ja> / ja <ja> 31 Tage 10 Tage 50 MB (insg.
max. 200 MB)
6 Monate nein Registrierung mit h-Captcha
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
jabjab.de privat <ja> / nein nein 90 Tage
+90 Tage MAM
max. 1.024 Nachrichten
30 Tage 200 MB (insg.
max. 256 MB)
6 Monate nein Max. 100 Offlinenachrichten
Registrierung mit eigenem Captcha
Mögliche Servernamen:
- planetjabber.de
- jabjab.de
- jabberwiki.de
- jabberforum.de
- ybgood.de
- pad7.de
… und andere
Datenschutzerklärung (extern) Quelle (extern)
laberzentrale.de privat <ja> / nein nein max 100
Nachrichten
30 Tage 50 MB (insg.
max. 500 MB)
2 Jahre nein Mögliche Servernamen:
- laberzentrale.de
- chatpointcharly.de
- schwatzi.de
Maximal in 50 Gruppen, maximal 250 Gruppenteilnehmer
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
Quelle Serverinformation (extern)
magicbroccoli.de privat <ja> / ja nein 365 Tage
+90 Tage MAM
31 Tage 50 MB 1 Jahr ja Registrierung mit eigenem Captcha
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
Quelle Servernformationen (extern)
mailbox.org gewerblich s. Bemerk. nein bis online
+7 Tage MAM
7 Tage 10 MB
max. 1 Stunde
nein, nur bei
Vertrags-
kündigung
ja Chatadresse = E-Mail-Adresse
Jährliche Kosten gem. Preisübersicht
DSGVO-Selbstauskunft und Regelungen f. digitales Erbe in den
Konto-Einstellungen
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
monocles.de gewerblich <ja> / nein <ja> 60 Tage 60 Tage 100 MB nein, nur bei
Vertrags-
kündigung
? Chatadresse = E-Mail-Adresse = Cloud Login = Mastodon-Registrierungsberechtigung
Halbjährliche Kosten (inkl. Cloud, E-Mail, A/V Konferenz, etc.): ab 12,00 €)
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
pimux.de privat <ja> / nein nein bis online
+30 Tage MAM
o. Kontolöschung
30 Tage 1.000 MB
(1 GB)
1 Jahr nein Registrierung mit Rechenaufgabe
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
Quelle Serverinformationen (extern)
Serververfügbarkeit (extern)
systemausfall.org Verein <ja> / nein nein 365 Tage 60 Tage 100 MB 2 Jahre nein Für jedermann: jabber.systemausfall.org
E-Mail-Nutzer: systemausfall.org
Datenschutzerklärung (extern, Sense.Lab e.V.)
trashserver.net privat <ja> / ja <ja> 4 Wochen 4 Wochen 100 MB 2 Jahre nein Registrierung über selbst gehostetes Captcha.
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
Quelle Serverinformationen (extern)
wiuwiu.de privat <ja> / nein <ja> 30 Tage
+1 Monat MAM
30 Tage 100 MB 1 Jahr nein Registrierung mit eigenem Captcha
MAM muß vom Nutzer aktiviert werden.
Registrierung in Conversations ist möglich
Datenschutzerklärung (extern)
Anbieter Rechtsform Registrierung
www / App

Speicherdauer
Nachrichten
Speicherdauer
Dateien
Maximale Dateigröße Kontolöschung bei Nichtnutzung Vertrag zur Auftrags- datenverarb. möglich Bemerkungen / Datenschutz
Höchstwert
Höchstwert 2
- -
Kontolöschung
/ bis online
90 Tage
60 Tage
1.000 MB
512 MB
keine
2 Jahre
- Für normales Chatten nicht erforderlich („Luxuseinstellungen“)
Minimalwert 2
Minimalwert
- -
30 Tage
14 Tage
14 Tage
7 Tage
15 MB
10 MB
6 Monate
3 Monate
- Reicht je nach persönlicher Anforderung für normales Chatten aus
WhatsApp gewerblich nein / ja
30 Tage 30 Tage 100 MB /
Videos 16 MB
??? - Zur Information und als Vergleich

Tabelle: Stand April 2024

The requirements for inclusion in the overview are: A German-language website and various functions (extensions) - see also Compliance list (external):

Extensions (XEPs) that must be present for the list in detail

The server of the ChaosComputerClub (CCC) is currently not recommended due to poor availability for questions and connection problems.

Settings / Technical limits

All listed providers only allow connections with transport encryption (‘TLS’) of the data; unencrypted connections are not possible.\
Nevertheless, the following differences in technical settings should be taken into account when making a selection:

  • Maximum file size when uploading (for cached files)
    With this limit, operators protect themselves against their computer being blocked, e.g. by huge movie or backup files. Some operators have set a very low limit (2 or 4 megabytes) - others a very high limit (up to 100 MB). As a rule 30-50 MB is sufficient for normal instant messages and the exchange of photos and small videos.
    If both sender and recipient are online at the same time, larger files can also be exchanged.

  • Storage duration of the messages
    You must specify how long messages are kept available on the server before they are deleted again. We recommend at least 3-4 weeks so that messages can still be downloaded after a long vacation without an Internet connection.
    The storage for “offline messages” and the storage for “distribution to multiple devices” (“MAM”) are technically 2 separate storage areas. Some server operators first store incoming messages in the “pot” for offline messages and then the message is written to the extended “MAM” memory when it is first retrieved - other server operators write messages immediately to the pot for distribution to multiple devices (“MAM”). This may sound confusing at first - but can be helpful when searching for supposed errors.
    Example: “Storage duration until online +30 days MAM or account deletion”
    Means: Remains in the offline memory until the next login (=online); from then on, the message is also kept in the MAM memory for 30 days for other devices of the same user (or until the account is deleted, if that would be before)

  • Chatting in restricted networks
    Some public networks restrict data traffic to web applications (usually browsers) through certain “ports”. This can be thought of as a door/passageway that a computer can open/close for outsiders and use to offer certain services.
    For the connection to a chat server, it is specified (standardized) that the connections with the numbers 5222 and 5223 are to be used - nevertheless, the chat service (here Jabber/XMPP) can also be made available via other connection numbers. This is important if chatting is to be possible via a firewall or via a public network (WLAN) that only allows browser communication (connection no. 443 or 80), for example.

Server lists/comparisons

Not every server supports all common functions and you don’t want to end up with a server that then causes problems. Fortunately, there are various overviews with good and recommendable servers. Here are various pages that list different providers and provide additional information:


Tip: Multiple servers

If you want to use several chat accounts, it is a good idea not to create them all on one server - this is good for federalization.


Pro tip: Your own server

For those interested in technology, it is relatively easy to operate a server yourself - with Snikket (see below) even a “simple variant”.

Minimum technical requirements

The minimum requirements for a server are relatively low. It is possible to use a minicomputer (e.g. Raspberry Pi) for this purpose. Otherwise, a standard computer (desktop/laptop) is perfectly adequate.

Instructions for setup and operation

Basic instructions for setting up the Prosody and Ejabberd server: XMPP-Setup (external; PDF file)

Remote monitoring

When operating a server, server monitoring is important or can be supplemented by remote monitoring:

If an XMPP service goes down in a way that the existing monitoring (if any) cannot detect, it is helpful to have a “second pair of eyes” monitoring it. Via https://observe.jabber.network (external) it is possible to monitor self-hosted XMPP services remotely. Operators can thus be notified of any problems in real time by e-mail if a chat service is no longer available.

Ejabberd-Server

Prosody-Server

Snikket

A very good self-hosting solution for family and friends is Snikket (external; English), which is based on the Prosody server software. Strangers cannot open chat accounts with Snikket - but users can of course communicate across servers (interoperably).

Differences:

Snikket Prosody
Users are created themselves, no external registration External registration possible
Almost no configuration options Hundreds of setting options
Provided as a ‘container’ Installation usually as a ‘package’
  • Public Snikket chat room:
    xmpp:general@channel.snikket.org?join

Quick start: https://snikket.org/service/quickstart/ (external)
Instructions: https://notes.nicfab.it/en/posts/snikket/ (external)

Further server software

In addition to Ejabberd and Prosody (and the special version Snikket), there is other server software such as Openfire (external) or Metronome IM (external), which can be operated by yourself:
https://github.com/awesome-selfhosted/awesome-selfhosted#communication---xmpp (external)

There is a good overview here: https://xmpp.org/software/servers.html (external)