PhpBB – free, plenty of templates, I am a big fan of this script. But It gave me SQL error several time. It was down to the cashing with my hosting provider, but seems like latest version is patched alright.

VBulletin – build in community mod, never had any problems with it. Easy to personalize. Really powerfull forum. It is very same script the Boards.ie is running.

If you had a chance to test any of those, please post comment.
Power Board – need opinions
IP.board – need opinions

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WordPress Forum Plugin

Simple: Press (Free WordPress Forum Plugin to Make Your Community)

Time has come to put some additional information into this post.

Simple:Press is a feature rich, completely integrated and fully scalable forum plugin for WordPress. It is fully customizable (packaged with various themes) and is fully scalable no matter what your sites membership number is. Version 4.4.0 for WordPress version 3.1

Also included is a Private Messaging sub-system, the ability to link blog posts with forum topics, the capability to extend the forum display with custom code, a number of template tags for use outside of the forums, extensive online help that explains every option and full language support.

 

Social Engine Forum Plugin

Just to name one http://seplugins.com/socialengine/forum

Joomla Forum Plugins (mods)

Joo!BB and others read more on http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/communication/forum

Invision Power Board

IP.Board

IP.Board, also known as Invision Power Board, IPB or IP Board has been created in 2002, and was, at the beginning a free software. IP Board 1.3 was the latest free version of Invision Power Board, and it served as a base to create a new dedicated project called InvisionFree, that has strictly no affiliation with Invision Power company. In the mean time, IP.Board 2.0 was release in 2004, and the latest major version IP.Board 3.0 was officially announced in the middle of 2009. This 3.0 version was a good way to revamp the default theme and improve with actual technologies and trends the core system of IP.Board.

vBulletin

vBulletin is one of the most famous solution for providing a forum software to communities. The latest major 4.0 version has been released in the end of the year 2009, and was a great opportunity to revamp and organize the vBulletin softwares suite. As you may know, vBulletin company does not only edit a forum software of the same name, but also a CMS and a Blog software. Those two tools could be absolutely used with the vBulletin Forum in order to administrate a whole website with the same software solution.

 

phpBB

Is this question really useful? phpBB is probably one of the most known modern forum software, built with the magical PHP/MySQL couple. phpBB is hosting about 80% of the global number of Internet communities, and is one of the vector that makes forum so much popular.

By the way, being so popular has also drawbacks: most of the Internet attacks and vulnerabilities were using non-updated phpBB as a backdoor to gain control on websites.

 

vBulletin vs phpBB

The backend of phpBB isn’t 1% as good as the backend of vBulletin.
vBulletin costs $85 a year – PHPBB is free

vBulletin is more search engine friendly

vBulletin is more user friendly to the site owner

vBulletin is more customizable

vBulletin has great communities supporting it, like vBulletin Webmaster and vBulletin.org

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