Types of universes

Different universe types correspond to different server and network environments that contain your online community’s data and how that data is exchanged among members. These options allow us to support communities with specialised requirements on data security and moderation practices.

Collaboration featuresChat + Threads + Newsletters (coming soon)Chat + Threads + Newsletters (coming soon)Threads-only
Server & networkCloud servers operated by Aether on the webYour servers on public or private networkUser computers forming a peer-to-peer network
Data location & retentionCloud provider of Aether, unlimited retentionYour on-site or remote servers, unlimited retentionUser computers, 6-month retention
Access controlPublic or privatePublic or privatePublic-only
System adminsAetherYour adminsNone
Moderation modelsTraditional or democraticTraditional or democraticDemocratic and subjective
SecurityCloud infrastructure secured by AetherYour security measures (e.g. access via VPN)Flood network with cryptographic identities and proof-of-work spam protection
PrivacyAether has privilege, similar to other centralized platforms, but we do not track individual user behaviourUser data and content on your infrastructureCannot track user behaviour since content navigation is completely local on user computer and identities are pseudonymous
Source licensesRestricted use and published for auditRestricted use and published for auditAGPLv3
User applicationsWeb app (desktop app coming soon)Web app (desktop app coming soon)Desktop app (Mac, Windows, Linux)
Recommended forWork teams, classrooms, events & conferences, public & private communitiesHigh-security organisations with data residency and traceability compliancesGroups using Reddit and Discourse, open source projects, mostly-offline coordination, activists and political organizing
Get startedEmail us (coming soon)Download P2P app

In general, you will want to start your community as a Hosted Universe as it offers the most features for day-to-day use cases. An On-premise Universe essentially shares the same software as a Hosted Universe, except it runs on your own server and network, so you have full control over data storage and transfers. We currently are not yet offering this, but please email us to tell us your use case, and we can discuss timelines.

The P2P Universe is an experimental public space, where data is stored on user computers and there is no global admin. Its moderation model is not only democratic, but also subjective. In this context, democratic means default moderators are elected by the members of a sub, and subjective means moderation actions, such as content censorship, enacted by a moderator can be ignored by any individual user. This allows for a sub to implement consent-based governance in a delegative democracy, which also maximizes the freedom of individual members.

Have questions? We’re friendly

You can reach out to us at support@getaether.net or through live chat. We’d be happy to give you a demo or talk about your community’s individual needs.