I've not really done much with Matrix but it's something I have been meaning to learn about and possibly start using a little more. The main reason I started paying a attention was when Mozilla finally shut down their IRC server and migrated over to Matrix.

Now, I won't lie. I don't fully understand how it all works. Unfortunately, this seems to be getting more and more common as new tech comes out. I'm starting to struggle to keep up. But the Matrix site does have a "How does it work?" section which does a pretty good job and simplifying some of the basics.

What really intrigued me about it though, was Bridges. Matrix can use bridges to talk to other services, relaying messages within the one client. There are multiple methods as to how this is achieved and again, I don't fully understand it yet. Unfortunately, it looks as if I'd need to run my own 'Home server' to achieve this functionality as it relies on installing these modules for each service (unless, of course, the server you are using already supports it?). I could be wrong, but that is how I've understood it from a quick glance.

An image showing the logos of various chat and social services
Matrix Bridges - Screenshot from Matrix site

This means hosting yet another service. And while the idea of 'owning' all of your own data and having complete control over it is something I'm slowly striving for, it certainly starts to cost more. I know "If something is free, you are the product". But these aren't exactly highly confidential discussions I was contemplating on having on Matrix. I have Signal for that.

An example of pricing at current conversion rates:

Modular.im - 5 User 'Small' tier = £8.08/month
ungleich.ch - 'Matrix-S" tier = £29.93/month

All of this host this/host that yourself really starts to add up fast and before long, it's costing a fortune. I'm not made of money, so there has to be some give and take.

Regardless, there are some incredibly impressive opportunities here to start cutting down on the number of clients I need installed on my devices if this was something I looked in to further.

Do you host your own Matrix server or pay for a service to host it for you? How has it changed how you use things if you have used any of the bridging features?

Come and continue the conversaion with me over on Mastodon!