It is always hard to make a decision about which community software has to be used. So to make your life easier, we will list the famous software with their advantages & disadvantages.
But first, i will list the free forums software, i know you people live free things.
MyBB is the commonly used, like i see this software being used everywhere. I have personally used it. The forum is modern and good enough if you do not have money for premium softwares. Plugins, themes really make it good together. The updates are also very common so no problem about security at all.
I wonder why SMF is mostly used for gaming communities, i also used it for my gaming community but it had few bugs which made me move to MyBB. But i guess they are already fixed in newer versions. What i mostly like about SMF is that it can be customized to change your whole forum type.
PHPBB looks very old type of forums to me and even addons like themes doesn’t really make it look modern. Forum settings are also very complicated to be used, but whatever it was my first forum software that i have ever used, so this must be in this list too!
Now lets talk about some premium forum softwares, oh wait you need to have pocket full of money in order to afford them.
Yes you read it right! IPB, which stands for Invision Power Board, it has really great features and looks very modern. I would say that if you can afford its license, then from whole list, you must choose IPB. Updates are also very frequent, addon cost extra, but buying them is also a good choice. That is why you see IPB is being used everywhere by large companies since they can afford it
This software was also used by me personally. It looks modern and some themes can change the whole forum type. It is a bit cheaper than IPB. Yes, it is better than other premium softwares too. Easy to use & secure.