Choosing a pod
The short version
Click "sign up now" to find a pod with open signups and register!
Or if you're not sure what to do there, keep reading...
Why do I need to choose a pod?
One of the greatest freedoms Diaspora offers you is the freedom to choose where your personal data is stored, by choosing a pod. Each pod has a different domain name, and is managed by different people on different servers in different physical locations. You're probably used to having no choice over where your data are stored when you sign up to a new social network, so it's likely you've never had to think about this before. Don't worry -- all pods connect to the same Diaspora network, and once you sign up you'll be communicating and sharing with users across all pods, not just users in your own pod. It's really just a question of where the content you share will be physically hosted, as a security and privacy concern.
Where do I find a pod?
Pod Uptime lists the information that is most relevant to those looking to signup.
The Federation collects detailed statistics via the opt-in statistics feature that is built into diaspora.
Active Pods is an unofficial list created by analysing the log files of an active pod.
How do I choose a pod?
There are many possible factors you could consider when choosing a pod, but here are the typical things you want to consider as a newcomer:
- Open signups: You can only join a pod that currently lists signups as "Open". (Remember, they all connect to the same network, you're not missing anything!)
- Software version: Ideally you want a pod which is kept regularly updated to the latest stable version of the Diaspora software.
- Physical Location: You may want to choose a pod based in a country which you believe has good policies on data security. This is completely up to you. (Also keep in mind that a pod hosted on the other side of the world from you might respond slower than a pod closer to you.)
- Domain Name: A pod can literally have any domain name, and technically the name doesn't matter much since you'll be connecting to the same network no matter what. However, your pod's domain name will be part of your Diaspora username, so you might prefer something that is easy to remember, something you'd want to tell your friends about, etc.
- User Rating: If, after all that, you still haven't decided, check the user ratings!
Can I switch to a different pod later?
There is currently no way to migrate a Diaspora account to a new pod, though this feature is under discussion for possible future development. You can certainly open a new account on a different pod whenever you like, however. Once you're connected to Diaspora, you can always ask other community members about their experiences of different pods, by making a public post and using the #pod tag.
Can I host my own data?
If you have the technical expertise to do it, you can host your data yourself by setting up your own pod, either using a computer you own as a server or using a server provided by a hosting company. In this way, you know exactly who has control of your data – yourself. You can either set up a pod just for yourself, or open up your pod to other community members. See our installation guides for your OS.
How to use Pod Uptime
Pod Uptime is a live list of open pods in the Diaspora network. It gets its results by regularly communicating with each pod and displaying the results.
The default view shows the results as a table; however, if you prefer, you can see the pods displayed on a map. Click 'Show Map View' in the top right to see this view.
You can see the pods listed according to any of the columns: pod name, software version, uptime, months online, user rating and location. To change the order they are shown in, click in the header of the column you want them to be ordered by. To reverse the order, click in the header again.
This shows the pod's domain name. You can see whether the pod offers secure communication by whether or not it starts with https://. Pods which do offer secure communication are displayed in green; those which don't are displayed in red.
To see more details about the security offered by any pod and its performance, hover the cursor over the pod's name.
This shows the version of the Diaspora software which the pod is running. Those running the latest stable version are shown in green; those running older versions are shown in red. Also shown in red are pods running development code, which is newer than the latest stable release but is not as stable, so is only really suitable for people who want to help test Diaspora's software.
This shows the amount of time the pod is running without problems. Most good pods should be close to or at 100%. Downtime can happen when updates are made, or when the server has a problem. More than a few percent of downtime can mean that you find Diaspora unavailable from time to time.
This is self-explanatory: it's how long the pod has been part of the Diaspora network.
Pod Uptime allows pod users to rate their pod. Click on a rating to see users' comments and individual scores.
This shows the country in which the server is based. You can see a more precise location for each pod's server by using the map view.
There are also a number of open pods which aren't shown on the main list, as they have too many issues of one sort or another. You can see these if you want to by clicking the 'Hidden' link at the very bottom of the page.