Is there a free, secure messenger solution for Windows?

Dale M September 1, 2013
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I am searching for a simple messaging solution.

I need:

* Windows based Instant Messenger Software, no Java and no Flash

* 100% portable

* OTR encryption or some other *open* encryption

* encrypted voice chat (best would be some ZRTP standard)

* encryted video chat

* no proprietary network

* IM software available must also be available for Android 2.x+, iOS, etc.

* Chrome extension or at least a webbased possibility to use all the mentioned functions

I am searching for a couple of years already and as far as I can tell there is no such solution out there.

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  1. Tim B
    September 3, 2013 at 3:30 am

    I really don't think there's anything that quite ticks all those boxes. You're going to have to compromise on something. As far as I'm aware one of the most secure IM platforms (in mass use) at the moment is iMessage, to which Apple can't even get access to the contents of due to the end-to-end encryption used. Unsurprisingly it's proprietary though, but I'm just using it as an example.

    Which of those points are most important to you? Do you really need voice and video, or would IM suffice?

    • Dale M
      September 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

      I knew iMessage would come. Hate you :D

      iMessage: Excellent UI, excellent usability even for not so smart friends.
      Problem: No Mac and no iPhone :( To be honest, not one of my friends owns an iPhone.

      If there would be a Windows and Android version, I'd be the first to switch!

      What I am willing to give up? A very difficult question.

      Proprietary network... well if there are good clients for different OS (and mobile) available I seriously don't care if it's open or not. I was in hope that if a network is open (e.g. XMPP) that there is a higher possibility that people develop alternative clients and that many people join. Probably very naive.

      Video and voice: I could accept to use another client on the PC just for video and voice. I would only need voice and video on the PC anway. On the mobile IM'ing (plus picture transfer) is enough. I mentioned video and voice because then no one would recommend XMPP. As far as I know there is no working XMPP Windows client out there which supports voice and video and also I could not explain my friends how to set up simple file transfer via XMPP (opening ports etc.). (see bottom of this reply)

      There are so many mobile messengers with encryption. Threema, MyEnigma to only mention two. Also some are under development (Hemlis, etc). Problem: Not a single "secure" messenger has a web interface. When I am out, I don't care. But when I am home for example, why would I want to continue writing on the small mobile display if I have a big computer keyboard in front of me. So an easy switch should be possible.

      XMPP in theory fits me. In theory. Thanks to priority/ressources one can sends directly a message to the mobile client or straight to the desktop client. But that's it. No video chat possible (Windows!), no working voice chat and even file transfer is very "special" cause one has to play around with opening ports, using proxy servers for file transfer etc. Then almost all clients are ugly as ... and there is no possibility of push messages on Xabber for Android. Xabber for example needs to be connected non stop to the XMPP sever, eating a hell of battery. Of course I could set up some BOSH server, connect it to XMPP etc. but.. that would be way too much work ....

    • Dale M
      September 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Sweet.. no line breaks.. thanks :(

  2. Carl B
    September 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Thats a very specific list of requirements, especially 'no proprietary network' id suggest looking at open source hubs, finding the one that closest matches your requirements and ask the community/developers of the open source app, if they can help you out.

    Sorry can't be of more help!