News & Updates


Hi all,

Ever since Modular launched we’ve been working away on offering smaller dedicated Matrix server hosting than our previous minimum size of 50 users. As of today, after lots of optimisation work and a successful trial to those who signed up on the waitlist, we are incredibly excited to officially launch Personal Homeservers from Modular - with a minimum size of only 5 users!

This means you can have your very own indie Matrix server for all your secure chat, VoIP and collaboration needs, without having to run it yourself... and while still participating in the wider public Matrix network. At last, you can truly have full control of your own personal communication rather than being held hostage by one of the large, centralised, proprietary chat silos.

Even better, it costs only $10 per month for 5 users (a crazy bargain relative to Slack’s $7/month per user!)... and additional users cost only $1.50/month. As normal, you only have to pay for users who hang around for at least 3 days, so you get any fly-by visitors for free. Best of all, you get one month entirely free, so you can thoroughly try before you buy!

Set up your personal homeserver

You can do almost everything on a Personal Homeserver that you can on the larger sizes - including using your own DNS, access the all-new server management web interface (more on that to come soon!), as well as getting your very own custom branded Riot! The only restriction is that in order to keep the servers running smoothly, for now we stop them from being able to join particularly large rooms. Currently, these Personal Homeservers can join over 99.9% of all publicly visible, federated rooms, and as homeserver implementations get more efficient over time we expect this limit will fall away - but in practice, it’s absolutely fine if you’re using the server for personal and internal purposes rather than trying to join massive IRC/Telegram bridged rooms.

The new servers may be small but they are super fast and snappy, so if you’re fed up with having to share a massive overloaded public server like Matrix.org then this is an excellent way to carve out your own autonomous space in Matrix without needing to admin your own server. What’s more, given most of the core Matrix dev team work for New Vector (who makes Modular), by using a Modular homeserver you’re supporting development of the core open source project :)

To get set up, head right on over to the store, pick a name, and spin up a server! We hope you agree this is a giant leap forward for Modular and Matrix as a whole.

Enjoy!

-- Team Modular

2019-07-15

Today we are pleased to announce that you can now customise your Modular hosted Riot at the touch of a button, through the Modular host admin interface. Better yet, this is available to all Modular customers at no additional cost.

To get your very own branded chat, simply set up a Modular host using the normal setup wizard, if you have not done so already. Next, navigate to the "Manage servers" page of your account from the dropdown menu of your account.

Manage your servers

At the bottom of your host management screen you will see a new section titled "Client look & feel".

Customise your Riot instance

The settings in this section can be used to adjust the following aspects of your client's appearance:

  • Default theme - This is the default theme that your users will see when logging in to your client. Currently this is either "light" or "dark", but other themes will be added in future. Your users can obviously still override this setting to suit their personal preference from within their Riot client.
  • Client name - You can choose to rename the client all together! So, rather than your users seeing "Riot", you might want to call it "YourCompanyChat", or something. This could be really useful if you want to make the branding match your company name, or if you are interested in reselling Riot to your users.
  • Client logo - The logo to use for the client (this replaces the standard "Riot" logo). At the moment this is just used on the login page / form.
  • Welcome page content - You can set custom HTML content to be displayed on the page that your users will see on visiting your chat client, before logging in. If using this, your page should include links to "Login" (/#/login) and "Create Account" (/#/register). See the screenshots at the end of this article for examples.
  • Welcome page image - In addition to setting the content (text etc.) shown on the welcome page, you can also override the background image for the page using this setting.
  • Home page content - In addition to setting the content that your users will see before logging in, you can use this setting to set the content that your users will see on the homepage when logged in to their account. This can be accessed by clicking on the user's menu from within Riot, and then "Home" from the dropdown menu.
Home button

We think that this is a really exciting feature, and we can't wait to see the ways in which you customise your Riot clients. Tweet us your best screenshots at @ModularIM!

To give you some ideas here are a few screenshots from some of our hosts.

Here's the custom branding for chat.federator.dev:

Federator.dev welcome page

... and, of course, the welcome page from our good friends over at KDE (webchat.kde.org):

KDE.org welcome page

Please come and have a chat in #modular if you have any questions about getting set up, or branding for your company or organisation. You can also email any questions to Modular support.

2019-03-06

As you may be aware, the deadline is fast approaching when Atlassian will discontinue support for Stride and HipChat, on February 15th 2019.

Atlassian's advice, for customers still using the platform is simply to migrate over to Slack, but is this the right choice for you? Modular brings you your own hosted Riot: a cheaper and more privacy-preserving alternative to Slack which lets you keep control of your data, without locking you in a closed system. Beware: freedom inside!

So here are a few things you might want to consider before going through moving your whole company / organisation / family over to a new communication system.

Price

Slack is 4 times more expensive than HipChat. While by choosing Modular you will be saving 25% of your previous costs. That's a $78 saving per user per year between Atlassian’s recommended route and the Modular one!

Privacy

Modular allows you to enable end-to-end encryption. This means that only the users participating in the conversation can read it. I.e. we don’t have access to your content. It sounds obvious but not many other apps can guarantee that.

Control

Modular is built on the Matrix open standard. This means that by migrating to Modular, you’re migrating to a whole ecosystem of apps, integrations and service providers. Today we are providing you the messaging service, but tomorrow you might just as well host it yourself, or choose another Matrix hosting provider, completely transparently for your users. Besides, with Modular your data is hosted in a standalone server, operationally independent from our other customers, reducing the risk of downtime.

Openness

Not only does Modular let you bridge to other apps and networks like Slack, IRC and XMPP, but it also lets you interact with millions of other Matrix users, if you choose to enable federation.

And there is more! Riot is open source, cross-platform and doesn’t compromise on features or user experience. Check the table below for a full feature comparison between Riot hosted by Modular, HipChat Cloud and Slack!

Seamless migration

Convinced? Continue all of your conversations where you left off using our seamless migration tools…


FeatureRiot ModularHipChat CloudSlack
Group and 1:1 messagingYYY
Group and 1:1 voice and video callsYYY
File sharingYYY
Widgets and IntegrationsYYY
Web, Desktop, Android, iOS ClientsYYY
Unlimited message historyYNY
Optional end to end encryptionYNN
Can migrate from cloud hosting to self hostingYYN
Ability to chat with users outside your organisationYNN
Interoperable (Slack, IRC, XMPP)YNN
Open source built on Open standardsYNN
Price ($ / user / month)$1.50$2.00$8.00

How to export your data from HipChat Cloud, HipChat Server, or Stride:

Import your HipChat / Stride data in to your Modular Hosted Homeserver.

In order to use the HipChat to Modular migration tool you must first be signed in to your Modular account. You must also have set up your hosted homeserver before you can begin the migration.

If you have not done so already, set up your hosted homeserver now:

Once your new Modular Hosted homeserver is up and running you can import your data in just a few easy steps:

  1. Visit the HipChat migration tool.
  2. Choose the Modular host that you would like to import data to (from the dropdown list) and click the "Select Host" button.
  3. Select the file containing your HipChat data and enter the passphrase used to encrypt your export (if you specified one when exporting). Then click the "Upload migration file" button.
  4. Once the file upload is complete you can select rooms and users you would like to import into your homeserver. You may also choose to import files and PMs, if you wish. When you have finished selecting the items to import, click 'Start Migration'.
  5. Once the migration process has completed all of your users will be emailed with their new user IDs, (temporary) passwords and links to your new Riot instance, so you can pick up your conversations right where you left off, in HipChat.

As always, we are here to help. Please come and have a chat if you have any questions about Modular, or if you need a hand getting started. You can also email any questions to [email protected].

2019-01-22