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trillian 5 reviewAs more and more technologies are born to help us connect with our friends, we often have some friends who use one service while others use another. This is great for people because they have a choice of what they’d like to use, but it’s a hassle to cross lines and connect with friends from one service to another.

The simple answer is to be present on all the services your friends are on so you don’t leave anyone out, but keeping up with multiple services isn’t always fun. Unless you use Trillian, that is.

About Trillian

trillian 5 review
Trillian is an IM client that connects to all of the most popular networks around. That list includes but isn’t limited to Facebook, Google Talk, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, and MySpace. Yes, even MySpace is still supported for the few who still use the network. We’ve covered Trillian in the past, but that was a couple of years ago and Trillian has gotten a major face lift in version 5. Trillian adds other useful features that makes the program more usable compared to other multi-network IM clients.


You can download Trillian for their website here. They offer Trillian for Windows and Mac, as well as all major mobile operating systems (although that’s an entirely different article). Simply pick your operating system and go through the regular installation path. In no time you’ll be ready to launch the application and get started.

Getting Started

chat with trillian
When you first launch Trillian, you’ll want to add your accounts. This can be easily done by clicking on the menu (“Trillian” button), then Manage Accounts. Then just choose your desired service(s) and enter your credentials. If you cannot find a service that you’d like to connect to, you can check the Customizations –> Plugins section of the Preferences to check if you can enable some more plugins that allow you to connect to more services. Some of these aren’t enabled by default because they take up more memory or they may not be quite as reliable as the ones enabled by default. However, I’ve had absolutely no issues so far, so I doubt you’ll have any either.

Speaking of preferences, Trillian offers plenty of settings that you can fiddle around with, from skins to fonts to notifications and beyond. Trillian is one of those IM clients that is more easily configured so you feel as comfortable as possible with your IM chats.



trillian 5 review
The chatting experience is quite simplified, without a lot of visible bells and whistles out-of-the-box. This is something that other clients, especially the official clients for some services, can learn from. It’s easy on the eyes, but still quite functional through buttons that are hidden away in the More button.

A Social Attitude

In case you didn’t see it in an earlier screenshot, Trillian tries to be your one place for everything social. Therefore, not only does it connect to your IM services, but you can also connect to Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, LinkedIn, and more so you can get updates from those sites right in Trillian. It’s a nice added convenience that a good number of people will enjoy.


Overall, I like using Trillian because it works and tries to take care of its users through many possibilities. Users can also login to a Trillian account and use its own Astra IM network, as well as sync settings so you won’t have to add your IM accounts again on a new computer or a reinstall. I do like it a little better than Pidgin, but Pidgin has the advantage of being open source. If that distinction doesn’t matter to you, go ahead and give Trillian a shot!

Which is your favorite IM client? Do you like all-in-ones better or the official clients? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Ahmad Wafiuddin
    December 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I use it for a long time ago~.. n still recommend this apps to other~..

  2. Adam Campbell
    November 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I have always just used Adium for mac, I'll check pidgin out

  3. HLJonnalagadda
    September 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Been using Digsby.. Will give this a go

  4. jessemanalansan
    June 27, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I'm a Trillian Pro user and I must really agree with this one. Though I hope that someday Facebook would release a api for the group chats on facebook :p

    • Danny Stieben
      June 28, 2012 at 3:26 am

      That would surely be a plus when so many people are on Facebook. Great idea!

  5. Ben
    June 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I use Postbox Express but it only works with Facebook and Twitter.

  6. Ravi Meena
    June 24, 2012 at 4:13 am

    I used trillian 6-7 months back, and i uninstalled it after one day of usage. it wasn't good at that time. after watching everyone's comment i think it has improved a lot.

  7. Le Mon
    June 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    its using thisss

  8. SteTob
    June 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I've used Pidgin for the longest time. Open source, no ads at all, OTR (anybody knows if there a way to work with Trillan?) but I switched to Trillian.
    The integration of Facebook and Co. is very nice. Keeps me up to date all the time.

    • Danny Stieben
      June 23, 2012 at 4:24 am

      I agree. I do love Pidgin a lot, but Trillian is quite nice too. :)

  9. Munish Gupta
    June 22, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I even use it as a portable app. Works great on iphone too.

  10. Munish Gupta
    June 22, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I have been using it for a while. I love it.

  11. 9dc62f254771e15b861f2dc8a0718109
    June 22, 2012 at 3:54 am

    I am a normal user and a trillian user from the beggining of my internet usage,
    I never supposed to change to other service since i loved it a lot

  12. Daniel Neves
    June 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Pidgin on linux, Trillian on windows and android

  13. mayasl
    June 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I installed and uninstalled Trillian in an hour, since it doesn't support video calls.
    But, to tell the fact "A GOOD ONE!"

    • Danny Stieben
      June 21, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      That's can still configure your video and audio settings in the Preferences. I suppose video calls are only supported via their Astra IM network...?

      • mayasl
        June 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        Yes you're right. Only Astra supports video call. But, who does use Astra?

        • Danny Stieben
          June 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm

          Other Trillian users. ;)

          But I see your point. Maybe the devs can implement it some day. But it seems difficult, as Pidgin only has video call support for Jabber-based networks.

        • mayasl
          June 22, 2012 at 5:32 am

          As I know in my friends circle no one uses Astra.
          I will go for the Trillian again, if it supports video call for all other networks. :)

      • Laga Mahesa
        June 22, 2012 at 9:25 am

        Trillian has always had problems supporting video - the networks make it so by changing the protocols every now and then. At least, that was the case the last time I looked into it a couple of years ago. I've since stopped using IM, though Trillian is still installed on both my desktop and my iPhone.

        • Danny Stieben
          June 23, 2012 at 4:23 am

          True. Sadly I don't know of any other (non-native) IM programs which support video.

  14. Dany Bouffard
    June 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Are there some functionallity from other network that doesn't work using Trillian.

    • Danny Stieben
      June 21, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Trillian doesn't offer 100% of the functionality that the native clients for each IM service offer, but a lot of those features are merely bells and whistles. As an example, Yahoo has offered games which you can play with your chat buddy. Trillian does not support things like that. For those who simply want to focus on the chatting experience, Trillian will do the job just fine.