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Which one is the currently best free Forum script?
Yes its possible. you just have to drop the avatar size to something unreal. Example, the default is 100x100 with i think 50KB as the max limit for avatars. Drop the kb size to something like 1 or 0. This will give them an error about size when they try to upload an avatar but force users to use external links. The upload size does not have a bearing on external links, just the dimensions. Alternatively you can password protect the avatar folder from you cpanel which will block access to uploads to that folder.I am also looking forward to open a forum. I am getting confused. I want my user to upload their avatar as a link from other photo sharing website. Not directly storing on my forum host. Is it possible with any one of them?
Thanks in advance
For free forum scripts, I prefer MyBB; I have found it tons easier to use, set up, style, etc. compared to phpBB and SMF. I used to run phpBB a lot, but back when I stopped it was stupidly hard to install mods and keep everything updated (since mods were exactly that -- modifications, which meant unless you were very careful when upgrading the base software, you could wipe them out entirely). I just never liked SMF's visual appearance and organization, can't really say why.
Also in terms of security, MyBB and SMF are both way better than phpBB.
Not true at all phpbb3 had a paid security audit( by Stefan Esser ) when it's 3.x line came out and has been going solid since. mybb, for example, has had to address some issues just this year alone .