The BBS Corner - BBS Sysops Frequently Asked Questions 

Are you looking for information on how to connect your BBS to the Internet? What is the Telnet Protocol? Should you use an add-on to put your BBS on the Internet, or should you start from scratch with a BBS that's Telnet-ready out of the box? get started. What is a domain name and how does Dynamic IP addressing work? This section should help BBS sysops get an introduction on Telnet and getting their BBS connected to the Internet.

Q: I want to start my own Bulletin Board system. How do I do it?

A: Starting a BBS is not very difficult. However, you will need to dedicate a certain amount of time and energy. Computer programming experience is NOT required - but general knowledge of how your computer works and how to change settings is necessary. Most BBS software packages will run "straight from the box" but many people choose to customize their BBS systems to their own liking. Money is not an issue since a number of BBS software packages are free. The most expensive part is the physical connection - either a dial-up modem line for a dial-up BBS, or an Internet connection for a Telnet BBS (using dial-up or broadband). If you already have these, then essentially you can start a BBS system for almost no extra money at all. More detailed information can be found at the How To Start Your Own BBS page.

Further Information: Starting Your own BBS Page

Q: How can I put my BBS on the Internet? Can I make my old DOS based BBS telnettable?

A: It is relatively easy to put your BBS on the Internet. There are several kinds of BBS Software that are already Telnet ready - such as EleBBS, Mystic, Synchronet, Wildcat Winserver and Worldgroup and the latest WWIV. If you use BBS software that is not Internet ready, there are add-on software packages that will provide Internet connectivity. Details are available on the How To Set Up A Telnet BBS page.

Further Information: How To Set Up a Telnet BBS

Q: Do I need full control (administrator privileges) of the computer to run a BBS? Can I operate a BBS remotely?

A: Yes and no. You will need to be physically at the computer to install the BBS software, configure it, and then run the programs. But once the software is up and running, and it can automatically be set to run when the computer reboots. Most BBS systems allow you to change configurations via remote control. However, it is best that you are able to monitor the BBS on a daily or weekly basis to make sure the system has not crashed and all programs are running correctly.

Q: Is it possible to operate a BBS on the Web?

A: The general answer to this question is no. Most BBS systems do not lend themselves to the web. Hence, you can run a telnet BBS on the Internet, but it will not have a web-based interface. Some exceptions are Wildcat Winserver and Worldgroup, both of which offer web-based interfaces in addition to their traditional ANSI interfaces (dial-up and telnet). And for those of you who like a full web-based interface in addition to the traditional ANSI-based interfase, Synchronet has now released a web-based interface in addition to their traditional dial-up and telnet ANSI based systems.

Recently, a system called FlashTerm has been developed to interface a Telnet BBS with a web page using Adobe Flash. The BBS user accesses a web page using a regular web browser with the usual Adobe Flash plug-in installed (pretty much standard everywhere) and the BBS sees it as a regular Telnet user. Go to the FlashTerm website for more information.

Further Information: List of Active BBS Software