Try E_chat http://www.e-scripts.com/echat/index.htm For 19.99$ it’s a bargain. We had been using its base for two years. Easy to set up and has a good features. You can run it on Unix or NT. And just ask your current provider to let you host it. We never had problems with it. Or use Volano or any other chat they give as part of the package for commercial hosting. Personally, I don't like this little java chats, but for really small community it will work.
prequel, I read your other posting about dedicated server in the CI Host topic. Well, I found the NT machine I can collocate. Currently I'm looking for commercial chat platforms. eShare Expressions® (http://www.eshare.com/) and ichat (http://www.ichat.com) ROOMS in particular.
I think to buy Expressions. Like them better:-)
If you interested to go together, and may be find somebody else, lets talk. My e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, guys. I downloaded and installed Eshare Expressions. What can I say? I love it. It may run on NT, Solaris and Mac server.
So easy to administer and you can fully customize it. The good thing is – its multi-homing. You can install the same chat-server on the different IP’s within a same machine. The bad thing is: It costs 995$ for a 50 simultaneous user licenses. I read about 285$ price for 50 users on a Zdnet but must be an old article. Now I don’t know what to do. The best chat software out there is Expressions and ichat. Yahoo, Ivillage uses the last one. But it does not empress me much. Can be pain to use all those command prompts. My users prefer to click the buttons.
After that it all depends who will use your chat. I have a chat community already. And I know if I invest in a chat server, it will stay useful three years from now. But starters I think be better with a small sgi/perl or php, or asp solution. Well, its cheap:-) But the major draw back is: every “hatsker- wonna-be” tries to break in.
The conclusions: If you want to run Expressions, may be we can split and buy the soft together for one machine. As I sad before, I have a Compaq server with Win NT with IIS 4 on it. My partners and me can collocate it with RCN, which has direct pipes to the backbones. We can allow installing custom components if you need. What do you really want from server? Storage/traffic/software? We have SQL, Access, Web Trends statistic… etc.
I like the chat.spin.de chat. Did you look at demo #5? It looks a lot better than the other ones. the chat is very customizable and i think you get an unlimited user license instead of only a 50 user license or something. their chat system is also more stable than eShare. I have used eShare chat rooms before that crashed my browser if i tried to log on. but i guess if you prefer it, thats fine.
I really don't know what you are trying to find but I'll put in my 2 cents worth.
I have always been a cheap person so the price of free is always my favorite.
I have 9 chat rooms on my site all hosted by a outside service. I use to have parachat untill Xoom took it over and it all when to heck. I currently have the chat's with munticity.com
True, with the free service, there are no admin. powers to it, but they do offer different options for different rates. They might be worth checking out for what you have in mind.