Comparison of instant messaging clients

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The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of instant messaging clients. Please see the individual products' articles for further information. External links may lead to extensions that add a feature to a client.

General information[edit]

Client Author, creator First public release Type Latest stable version License
Adium Adam Iser, Evan Schoenberg 2001-09 Multi-protocol 1.5.10.2 (March 9, 2016; 8 months ago (2016-03-09)) [±] GPLv2
aMSN The aMSN team 2002-05 Single-protocol 0.98.4 GPL
AIM AOL 1997-05 Single-protocol 8.0.8.1 (April 6, 2015; 19 months ago (2015-04-06)) [±] Clickwrap
Ayttm Colin Leroy and Philip Tellis 2003-04 Multi-protocol
  • Linux: 0.6.1
  • Windows: 0.4.6-17
GPL
BBM BlackBerry Limited 2006 Single-protocol 10.5.5.38 (BlackBerry 10) (31 October 2014; 2 years ago (2014-10-31)) [±]

8.5.1.8 (BlackBerry) (3 August 2014; 2 years ago (2014-08-03)) [±]

2.5.0.36 (Android) (10 November 2014; 2 years ago (2014-11-10)) [±]

2.5.0.26 (iOS) (31 October 2014; 2 years ago (2014-10-31)) [±]

Proprietary
BitlBee Wilmer van der Gaast 2002-08-09 Multi-protocol IRC gateway 3.4.1 (16 June 2015; 17 months ago (2015-06-16)) [±] GPL
Bombus Eugene Stahov 2005-01-05 Single-protocol v0.6 (2008; 8 years ago (2008)) GPL
Centericq Konstantin Klyagin 1999 Multi-protocol 4.21.0 (September 2, 2005; 11 years ago (2005-09-02)) [±] GPL
Coccinella Mats Bengtsson 1999-12-01 Single-protocol 0.96.16 (December 1, 2009; 7 years ago (2009-12-01)) GPLv3
eBuddy Paulo Taylor 2003-03-09 Multi-protocol 2011; 5 years ago (2011) Clickwrap
emesene Luis Mariano Guerra 2006-05-24 Multi-protocol 2.12.5 GPL
Empathy The GNOME Project 2007-05 Multi-protocol 3.12.12[1] (May 13, 2016; 6 months ago (2016-05-13)) [±] GPL
Facebook Messenger Facebook, Inc. 2011-08-09 Single-protocol Freeware
FaceTime Apple Inc. 2010 Single-protocol 2.0 (July 25, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-07-25)) Proprietary
Fire Eric Peyton 1999-04-01 Multi-protocol 1.5.6 (February 16, 2006) [±] GPL
Firetalk Multitude Communications 1997 -2001 voice/music chat program GPL
Gadu-Gadu Łukasz Foltyn / GG Network S.A. 2000-08-15 Single-protocol
  • Modern UI: 2.0.0.179
  • Desktop: 12.0.49.11103 (December 13, 2013; 2 years ago (2013-12-13))
Clickwrap
Gajim Yann Le Boulanger 2004-05-21 Single-protocol 0.16.6 (October 2, 2016; 2 months ago (2016-10-02)) [±] GPL
Google Allo Google, Inc. 2016-09-21 Single-protocol
Android
3.0 (November 8, 2016; 28 days ago (2016-11-08)) [±][2]

iOS
3.0 (November 16, 2016; 20 days ago (2016-11-16)) [±][3]

Clickwrap
Google Hangouts Google, Inc. 2013-05-15 Single-protocol Clickwrap
Hookt Hookt, Inc. 2011-09-14 Single-protocol Proprietary
Hike Bharti SoftBank 2012-12-12 Single-protocol
  • 3.2.0 (Android, August 12, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-08-12))[4]
  • 2.6.2.0 (Windows Phone, July 23, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-07-23))[5]
  • 2.6.2 (BlackBerry, May 7, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-05-07))[6]
  • 2.6.0 (iOS, August 12, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-08-12))[7]
  • 2.6.0 (Symbian)
Freeware
IBM Lotus Sametime IBM, Ubique 1998 Multi-protocol — proprietary T.120, SIP, XMPP 9.0.0 (September 20, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-09-20)) Clickwrap
iChat Apple Inc. 2002-08 Multi-protocol 6.0.1 (1002) (February 1, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-02-01)), replaced by Messages Clickwrap
ICQ Mail.Ru 1996-11 Single-protocol 8.0.5977 (January 14, 2016; 10 months ago (2016-01-14)) Apache license
IMVU Will Harvey 2001-07 Multiple-protocol 3.0 Clickwrap
Indoona Tiscali S.p.A. 2009 Single-protocol 3+ Proprietary
Instantbird Florian Quèze 2007 Multi-protocol 1.5 (December 17, 2013; 2 years ago (2013-12-17)) [±] GPLv2
Jeti Esdeboer ? Single-protocol 0.7.7 GPL
Jitsi Emil Ivov 2003 Multi-protocol 2.8 (build.5426) (March 19, 2015; 20 months ago (2015-03-19)) [±] LGPL
Kadu Kadu Team 2001-08 Multi-protocol 2.0 (February 21, 2015; 21 months ago (2015-02-21)) GPLv2
KakaoTalk Kakao Corp. 2010-03-18 single-protocol
  • iOS: 5+
  • Android: 4+
  • Windows Phone: 2+
  • BlackBerry: 3+
  • Windows 8
Proprietary
Kik Messenger Kik Interactive 2010-10 Multi-protocol 6.2 Freeware
Kopete Kopete Team 2002-03-03 Multi-protocol 1.7.2 (October 13, 2015; 13 months ago (2015-10-13)) [±][8] GPL
Libon Orange S.A. 2012-11-21 Proprietary
Line LINE Corporation 2011
  • iOS: 3.8.2
  • Android: 3.8.5
  • Windows Phone: 2.6.0.137
  • BlackBerry: 1.8.23
  • Windows 8
Proprietary
MCabber Mikael Berthe 2005-06-07 Single-protocol 1.0.4 (November 21, 2016; 15 days ago (2016-11-21)) [±] GPL
Meetro Paul Bragiel & Samuel Stauffer 2005 Multi-protocol
  • Windows: 0.96 beta
  • OS X: 0.53 beta
Clickwrap
Messages Apple Inc. 2012-07-25 Multi-protocol 8.1.3 (January 27, 2015; 21 months ago (2015-01-27)) Clickwrap
Microsoft Lync Microsoft Corporation 2005 Single-protocol 2013 (October 2, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-10-02)) Clickwrap
Miranda IM Miranda IM project 2000-02-06 Multi-protocol 0.10.62[9] (9 November 2016; 27 days ago (2016-11-09)) [±] GPL
Mysms sms.at mobile internet services gmbh 2011 Single-protocol ? Proprietary
MySpaceIM MySpace 2006-05-09 Single-protocol 1.0.754.0 (February 7, 2008; 8 years ago (2008-02-07)) Clickwrap
naim Daniel Reed 1998-10-05 Multi-protocol 0.11.8.3.1 (July 9, 2007; 9 years ago (2007-07-09)) GPL
Nimbuzz Evert Jaap Lugt 2006 Multi-protocol Android: 3.7.1
(23 July 2015; 16 months ago (2015-07-23)) [±][10]

iOS: 4.1.0
(28 July 2015; 16 months ago (2015-07-28)) [±][11]

BlackBerry OS: 4.0
(10 December 2013; 2 years ago (2013-12-10)) [±][12]

Windows Phone: 1.1.8.1
(16 April 2014; 2 years ago (2014-04-16)) [±][13]


Clickwrap
Palringo Palringo Ltd 2006 Single-protocol
  • Windows: 2.7.9 (July 4, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-07-04))
  • Windows Mobile: 2.6.6 (March 30, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-03-30))
  • iOS: 4.12 (August 6, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-08-06))
  • Android: 5.2.8 (August 1, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-08-01))
  • OS X: 4.6.4 (July 24, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-07-24))
  • Windows Phone: 0.11.0.0 (February 14, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-02-14))
Clickwrap
Paltalk 1998-06 Multi-protocol Version 10.2 Build 455 Clickwrap
Pidgin Mark Spencer 1998-11 Multi-protocol 2.11.0 (June 20, 2016; 5 months ago (2016-06-20)[14]) [±] GPL
Psi Justin Karneges 2001 Single-protocol 0.15 (October 3, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-10-03)) [±] GPL
QIP Ilgam Zyulkorneev 2004 Multi-protocol QIP 2012 version 4.0 (build 8866) (27 November 2012; 4 years ago (2012-11-27)) [±] Clickwrap
QuteCom QuteCom 2004 Multi-protocol 2.2.1 (22 June 2011; 5 years ago (2011-06-22)[15]) [±] GPL
Ricochet Invisible.im 2014-06 Single-protocol 1.1.2 (February 13, 2016; 9 months ago (2016-02-13)[16]) [±] BSD
Sicher SHAPE GmbH 2014-06 Single-protocol 1.1 Freeware
Signal Open Whisper Systems 2014-07 Single-protocol Android 3.23.0 (November 28, 2016; 8 days ago (2016-11-28)[17]) [±]

iOS 2.6.6 (November 30, 2016; 6 days ago (2016-11-30)[18]) [±]

GPLv3
Skype Skype Technologies, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation 2003 Single-protocol Freemium (Adware)
Spark (XMPP client) Ignite Realtime 2006-09 Single-protocol 2.7.7 (April 24, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-04-24)) [±] Apache License
Surespot Surespot LLC 2013 Single-protocol iOS 11 (September 24, 2015; 14 months ago (2015-09-24)[29]) [±]

Android 63 (October 9, 2015; 13 months ago (2015-10-09)[30]) [±]

GPLv3
Telegram Telegram Messenger LLP 2013 Single-protocol Android 3.13 (October 3, 2016; 2 months ago (2016-10-03)[31]) [±]

iOS 3.13 (October 3, 2016; 2 months ago (2016-10-03)[32]) [±]
Windows Phone 1.27.0.0 (August 4, 2016; 4 months ago (2016-08-04)[33]) [±]
Web Application 0.5.5 (April 22, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-04-22)[34]) [±]
macOS 2.26 (October 3, 2016; 2 months ago (2016-10-03)[35]) [±]
Desktop 0.10.19 (October 31, 2016; 36 days ago (2016-10-31)[36]) [±]

GPLv2, GPLv3[37]
Tencent QQ Tencent Holdings 1999-02 Single-protocol See current releases Clickwrap
TextSecure Open Whisper Systems 2010-05 Single-protocol Discontinued (merged with RedPhone to become Signal) GPLv3
Threema Threema GmbH 2012-12 Single-protocol iOS
2.7.3 (July 20, 2016; 4 months ago (2016-07-20)) [±] [38]

Android
2.82 (July 28, 2016; 4 months ago (2016-07-28)) [±] [39]

Windows Phone
1.6.0 (June 14, 2016; 5 months ago (2016-06-14)) [±] [40]


Proprietary commercial software
Tkabber Alexey Shchepin 2002-07-03 Single-protocol 1.1.2 (May 10, 2015; 18 months ago (2015-05-10)) GPL
Tox Tox Foundation 2013 Single-protocol GPLv3
Trillian Cerulean Studios 2000-07-01 Multi-protocol Windows:

5.6 (build 5) (May 27, 2015; 18 months ago (2015-05-27)) [±]

Mac OS X:
3.4 (build 5) (February 17, 2016; 9 months ago (2016-02-17)) [±]

Linux:
2.0 (build 7) (April 25, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-04-25)) [±]

Android:
4.0.0.18 (October 18, 2016; 49 days ago (2016-10-18)) [±]

iOS:
3.1.0.36 (October 7, 2015; 13 months ago (2015-10-07)) [±]

BlackBerry:
1.1.0.45 (October 26, 2011; 5 years ago (2011-10-26)) [±]

Web-Based:
4.2.0.10d (August 30, 2016; 3 months ago (2016-08-30)) [±]

Server:
2.0 (build 28) (April 21, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-04-21)) [±]

Clickwrap
Tuenti Tuenti 2006 Multi-protocol Proprietary
Upptalk Upptalk 2010 Dual-protocol iOS 2.4 (November 26, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-11-26)[41]) [±]

Android 2.0.2 (February 12, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-02-12)) [±]
Windows Phone 7.x 1.0.1.7 (September 12, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-09-12)) [±]
Windows Phone 8.x 1.0.0.4 (September 18, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-09-18)) [±]
BlackBerry OS 1.0.1 (May 31, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-05-31)) [±]
Kindle Fire 2.0 (December 19, 2013; 2 years ago (2013-12-19)[42]) [±]

Freeware
Viber Talmon Marco, Igor Megzinik, Sani Maroli and Ofer Smocha 2010-12-02 Single-protocol
  • Android:
    6.3.0.1702 (September 18, 2016; 2 months ago (2016-09-18)[43]) [±]
  • iOS:
    6.0 (April 19, 2016; 7 months ago (2016-04-19)[44]) [±]
  • Windows Mobile:
    4.5.4 (December 18, 2015; 11 months ago (2015-12-18)[45]) [±]
  • BlackBerry 10 OS:
    4.3.0.728 (April 23, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-04-23)[46]) [±]
Freemium
RingID Ring Inc. 2015 Multi-protocol
  • 4.1.4 (Android, March 16, 2016; 8 months ago (2016-03-16))[47]
  • 4.1.1.4 (Windows Phone, March 9, 2016; 8 months ago (2016-03-09))[48]
  • 4.2.2 (iOS, March 19, 2016; 8 months ago (2016-03-19))[49]
Freeware
WeChat Tencent Holdings 2011-01 Single-protocol iOS 6.3.31 (November 17, 2016; 19 days ago (2016-11-17)[50][51]) [±]

OS X 2.1.0 (December 5, 2016; 1 day ago (2016-12-05)[52]) [±]
Android 6.3.23 (August 17, 2016; 3 months ago (2016-08-17)[53]) [±]
Windows Phone 6.0.8 [54] [±]
Symbian V3 4.2 (February 4, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-02-04)[55]) [±]
Symbian V5 4.2 (January 17, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-01-17)[56]) [±]
BlackBerry OS 3.6 (May 30, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-05-30)[57]) [±]
BlackBerry 10 1.0.1.16 (July 30, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-07-30)[57]) [±]
Windows 1.1 (May 6, 2015; 18 months ago (2015-05-06)[58]) [±]

Clickwrap
WhatsApp WhatsApp Inc. 2009-08 Single-protocol iOS: 2.16.18 (November 29, 2016; 7 days ago (2016-11-29)[59]) [±]

Android: 2.16.352[60] (November 14, 2016; 22 days ago (2016-11-14)[61]) [±]
Windows Phone: 2.16.240 (October 6, 2016; 61 days ago (2016-10-06)) [±]

Proprietary
Wickr Wickr Inc. 2012-06 Single-protocol
  • Android:
    2.6.3 (March 1, 2016; 9 months ago (2016-03-01)) [±]
  • iOS:
    2.6.3 (March 1, 2016; 9 months ago (2016-03-01)) [±]
  • Windows:
    2.6.0 [±]
  • Mac OS X:
    2.6.0 [±]
  • Linux:
    2.6.0 [±]
Proprietary
Windows Live Messenger Microsoft Corporation 1999-07 Dual-protocol 2012 (v16.4.3508.205) (April 8, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-04-08)) [±] Clickwrap
Wire Wire Swiss GmbH 2014-12-03 Single-protocol
  • iOS: 2.2
  • Android: 2.3
  • OS X: 2.5
  • Windows: 2.6ch
  • Web: 2016-04-08
GPLv3
Xfire Xfire Inc. 2004 Dual-protocol 1.155 (March 20, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-03-20)) [±] Clickwrap
Yahoo! Messenger Yahoo! 1999-06-21 Dual-protocol
  • Windows: 11.5.0.228
  • OS X: 3.0.2
  • Unix: 1.0.4
Clickwrap
Zephyr Project Athena 1987 Single-protocol 2.0 MIT
Client Author, creator First public release date Type Latest stable version License

Operating system support[edit]

The operating systems the clients can run on without emulation or compatibility layers.

Client Desktop Mobile Other
Windows OS X Unix-like Haiku Amiga Windows Phone Android BlackBerry OS iOS Symbian MeeGo Java ME WebOS Web VGCs
Adium No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
BBM No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
AIM Yes Yes Dropped No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No No
aMSN Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes No No No No
Ayttm Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
BitlBee Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
Bombus No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No No
Centericq Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
climm Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No
Coccinella Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
eBuddy No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
emesene Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Empathy No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Facebook Messenger Yes No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No
FaceTime No Included No No No No No No Included No No No No No No
Fire No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Gadu-Gadu Yes No No No No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
Gajim Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Google Hangouts Partial[a] Partial[a] Partial[a][b] No No No Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No
Hookt Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No
Hike No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
IBM Lotus Sametime Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
ICQ Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No
IMVU Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
Indoona No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No
Instantbird Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Jitsi Yes Yes Yes No No No Unstable Unstable No No No No No No No
KakaoTalk Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Kadu Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes No No No No
Kik No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Kopete Yes[c][62] Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Line Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Messages No Included No No No No No No Included No No No No No No
MCabber No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Microsoft Lync Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No No
Miranda IM Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
MySpaceIM Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
naim Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Nimbuzz Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Palringo Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Paltalk Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes No
Pidgin Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No Yes No No No No
Psi Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No
QIP Yes No No No No Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No No
QuteCom Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Signal No No No No No No Yes No Yes No No No No In beta[63] No
Snapchat No No No No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No
Surespot No No No No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Skype Yes Yes No[b] No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes PSP PSV XB1
SOMA No No No No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Spark (XMPP client) Yes Yes[d] Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Telegram (standard messages) Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Coming soon[64] Yes No No No No Yes No
Telegram (secret chats) Yes Yes/No[e] Yes/No[f] No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Tencent QQ Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
TextSecure No No No No No No Discontinued (merged with RedPhone to become Signal) No No No No No No No No
Threema No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Tkabber Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Tox Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Trillian Yes Yes Partial[g][b] No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes No
Tuenti No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes No
Viber Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
VIPole Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No No
WeChat No Yes[65] No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No
RingID Yes[66] No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes No
WhatsApp Yes[67] Yes[67] No No No Yes Yes To be discontinued in 2016[68] Yes To be discontinued in 2016[68] No No No Yes No
Wickr Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes No No No No No No
Windows Live Messenger Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Xbox
Xfire Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Yahoo! Messenger Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No
Yuilop No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Zephyr Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Client Windows OS X Unix-like Haiku Amiga Windows Phone Android BlackBerry OS iOS Symbian MeeGo Java ME WebOS Web VGCs
Desktop Mobile Other
  1. ^ a b c Only available as Google Chrome/Chromium plugin. No native application available.
  2. ^ a b c The only supported desktop Unix-like platform is Linux.
  3. ^ May not be the final version suitable for everyday use.
  4. ^ Runs under Java, no native installer for latest version
  5. ^ Secret chats supported only in native application Telegram. Cross-platform application Telegram Desktop does not support them.
  6. ^ Secret chats supported only in the third-party applications Cutegram and Telegram CLI. Cross-platform application Telegram Desktop does not support them.
  7. ^ Currently in beta testing.

Protocol support[edit]

Client WLM[a] Y!M AIM/ICQ[b] XMPP[c] IRC IBM Lotus Sametime Novell GroupWise Messenger Gadu-Gadu QQ Xfire Skype[b] MySpaceIM SIP Others
Adium Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial[d] Yes No MobileMe, NateOn, Steam IM, Telegram, Tlen, Tox, Zephyr
AIM No No Yes[e] No No No No No No No No No No No
aMSN Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Ayttm Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No
BitlBee Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A[f] Depends[g] No Depends[g]
Centericq Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No No No No No
climm No No Yes[h] Partial No No No No No No No No No No
eBuddy Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes No No
emesene Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
Empathy Yes Depends[g] Yes Yes Depends[g] Yes Depends[g]
Fire Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No
Gajim No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
IBM Lotus Sametime No Yes/No[i] Yes/No[i] Yes/No[i] No Yes No No No No No No Yes No
ICQ No No Yes[h] No No No No No No No No No No No
IMVU Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No IMVU
Instantbird Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Netsoul
Jitsi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes No
Kadu No No No Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No
KDE Telepathy No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No No Telegram
Kopete Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial[d] No No SILC, WinPopup
Messages No Yes Yes[e] Yes No No No No No No No No No MobileMe
Miranda IM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes[j] Yes Yes Yes No Tlen
naim No No Yes No Yes No No No No No No No No Lily
Nimbuzz Yes Yes No Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? ? No Yes Twitter, Facebook chat, Google Talk
Palringo Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No ? ? ? No ?
Paltalk No Yes Yes No No No No No No ? ? ? No ?
Pidgin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[j] Yes Yes Battle.net, NateOn, SILC, Tlen, Zephyr
QIP No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes No MRA, XIMSS
QuteCom Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No No No Yes No
Skype Partial No No Partial[k] No No No No No No Yes No No No
Spark (XMPP client) No No No Yes No No No No No No No No Yes[j] No
Tencent QQ No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No
Tkabber No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
Trillian Yes Yes[l] Yes Yes Yes[l] No Yes[l] Yes[j][l] Yes[j][l] Yes[l] No[76][l] Yes No LinkedIn,[l] Foursquare,[l] ASTRA, VZ[l]
Windows Live Messenger Yes Yes No Partial[k] No No No No No No No No No No
Yahoo! Messenger Partial[m] Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
Upptalk No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
Zephyr No No No No No No No No No No No No No Zephyr
WLM Y!M AIM/ICQ XMPP IRC IBM Lotus Sametime Novell GroupWise Messenger Gadu-Gadu QQ Xfire Skype MySpaceIM SIP Others
  1. ^ Formerly named MSN Messenger or .NET Messenger protocol
  2. ^ a b Supports messaging to a phone number (text messaging service).[1][2]
  3. ^ Commonly termed Jabber, used in Facebook, LiveJournal, Tweeter, Identi.ca, etc.
  4. ^ a b Needs running official Skype client.
  5. ^ a b Via AIM account only.
  6. ^ Bitlbee is accessed via IRC.
  7. ^ a b c d e Supported via Pidgin back-end, depends on its version
  8. ^ a b Via ICQ account only.
  9. ^ a b c Feature is missing from client, but can be used via IBM Sametime Gateway.
  10. ^ a b c d e Available as plugin.
  11. ^ a b Supports importing Facebook contacts and allows to send messages to and receive from Facebook IM users.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Not supported in versions for Android (checked 12 november 2012 in latest version 1.2.0.11)
  13. ^ Via Yahoo! Messenger account only.

XMPP-related features[edit]

Client Transports[a] File transfer
(XEP-0096)[b]
Multi-user
chat
Link-local
(XEP-0174)
Jingle
File transfer[b] Voice calls Video calls
Adium Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
BitlBee Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Bombus[77] No Yes Yes No No No No
climm No Yes No No No No No
Coccinella[78] Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No
Conversations No No Yes No Yes No No
Telepathy-based[c][79] No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gajim[80] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jeti ? Yes Yes ? ? Beta ?
Jitsi No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Kadu No Yes No No No No No
Kopete Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Messages No Yes Only join[d] Yes Yes No No
MCabber[81] No No Yes No No No No
Nimbuzz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Pidgin[82] Yes Yes Yes Yes No Except Windows[e] Except Windows[e]
Psi Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Spark (XMPP client) ? Yes Yes ? ? Yes[f] Yes[f]
Tkabber[83] Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Trillian No Yes Only Windows[g] Only Windows[g] No No No
  1. ^ Transport support means the ability to set up transports. Once transport is set up, any client can use it to manage contacts and communicate with them.
  2. ^ a b The difference between XEP-0096 (legacy) and XEP-0234 (Jingle) file transfer is that the latter works behind NAT (e.g., from home and corporate networks).
  3. ^ Both Empathy and KDE Telepathy are based on Telepathy framework and share same properties in regard of XMPP features support.
  4. ^ Multi-user chats can be joined but not started
  5. ^ a b Feature unavailable on Windows.
  6. ^ a b Supported via plugin.
  7. ^ a b Feature available on Windows only.

Features[edit]

Information on what features each of clients support.

Client Number of features included Toolkits or SDKs File transfer Proxy server Graphical emoticons Unicode (UTF-8) Built-in games Themes, skins Plugin system Third party add-ons Scripting Message logging Voice messaging Voice mail Webcam support Offline messaging Remote desktop assistance Whiteboard RTL texting
Adium 011 Cocoa Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes ? ? ?
AIM 11 W32/Cocoa Yes Yes/No[a] Yes Yes No Yes/No[a] Yes/No[a] Yes/No[a] No Yes Yes/No[a] No Yes/No[a] Yes/No[a] No No No
aMSN 14 Tcl/Tk Yes http, socks5, msn gateway Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Ayttm 9 GTK2 No http, socks4/5 Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No Partial Partial No No No
BitlBee 03 N/A Yes Yes No Yes No N/A Yes No No N/A ? ? No Yes ? ? ?
Bombus 10 Java ME Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes No No ?
Centericq 05 ncurses Partial ? No ? No Yes Yes ? Yes Yes No No No Yes ? ? ?
climm 07 line based Yes ? N/A Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes N/A No ?
Coccinella 11 Tcl/Tk Yes http, socks4/5 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes ?
eBuddy 06 No Partial ? Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No No Yes Yes No No ?
Empathy 012 GTK3 Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes ? ? No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Fire 09 Cocoa Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Gadu-Gadu 08 Qt Yes ? Yes Yes No ? No Yes No Yes Yes ? ? Yes No No ?
Gajim 012 GTK2 Yes http Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes ? Yes Yes No No Yes
Google Talk 08 W32 Yes ? Partial Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Third party plugin Yes Yes No Yes
IBM Lotus Sametime 15 Yes Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes available Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
ICQ 12 W32 Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes
IMVU 06 ? No ? Yes Yes Partial Yes No Partial[b] No Yes No ? No Yes ? ? ?
Jitsi 12 Java Yes Yes Yes Yes No ? Yes ? ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ?
Kadu 10 Qt Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes No No Yes No No ?
Kopete 013 Qt/KDE Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes With plugin Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes
Line 011 Line SDK ? ? Yes ? Yes No ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes ? Yes ?
Messages 11 Cocoa Yes ? Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Partial[c] ?
MCabber 04 Curses No ? No Yes No ? ? No ? Yes No No No Yes No No ?
Miranda IM 12 W32 Yes Yes, socks4/5, http(s) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial[c] No Partial[c] Yes No Yes Yes
Palringo 03 ? No ? Yes ? No Yes No No No No Yes No Partial (picture capture only) ? No No ?
Paltalk 09 N/A Yes ? Yes No Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes ? Yes Yes ? ? ?
Pidgin 07 GTK2 Partial Yes, http, socks4/5 Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial (XMPP in Linux) No Yes (XMPP in Linux) Yes No Partial Yes
Psi 06 KDE/Qt Yes Yes Yes Yes No Partial (Icon sets only) Not Yet No No Yes Partial (Linux & Unix) No No Yes No No Yes
QIP 10 W32, VCL Yes Yes, http(s), socks4/4A/5 Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes No No ?
QuteCom 06 Qt Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes No No ? ? ? ? Yes ? ? ? ?
Skype 12 Qt/KDE, W32 Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes/No[c][a] Yes
Surespot 0?  ? Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes ? ? ?
Tencent QQ 11 W32 Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Telegram 12 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Tkabber 13 Tcl/Tk Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes No
Tox 9 Many [d] Yes Yes Yes Yes Up to clients [d] Up to clients [d] Up to clients [d] Up to clients [d] Up to clients [d] Yes Yes No Yes Partial [91] Yes No Yes
Trillian 12 W32, Cocoa Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes ? Yes Yes ? ? Yes
VIPole 11 Qt, iOS SDK, Java SDK Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Wickr 7 No Yes Yes No Yes No No No No No No Yes No Yes Yes No No  ?
Windows Live Messenger 15 W32 Yes Yes, http, socks4/5, Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Xfire 06 W32 Yes ? No Yes No Yes Partial Yes No Yes Yes No No No No No ?
Yahoo! Messenger 11 W32, Cocoa, GTK Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? Partial Yes
Yuilop 7 ? Yes No Yes ? No No No No ? Yes Yes No No Yes No Partial ?
Client Number of features included Toolkits or SDKs File transfer Proxy server Graphical emoticons Unicode (UTF-8) Built-in games Themes, skins Plugin system Third party add-ons Scripting Message logging Voice messaging Voice mail Webcam support Offline messaging Remote desktop assistance Whiteboard RTL texting
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Feature only supported on Windows
  2. ^ While IMVU does not allow add-ons to extend the client, registered accounts can create new content for use inside the simulation.[clarification needed]
  3. ^ a b c d Supported with plugin
  4. ^ a b c d e f Tox is a communications protocol and a library implementing that protocol. Applications can bring features of their own.
Client Handwriting mode Dockable Multiaccount Spell check User-defined graphic emoticons Animations OAuth
Adium Yes, receive only Yes Yes Yes Partial Partial ?
AIM No Yes No No ? Partial ?
aMSN Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Ayttm No No Yes Yes Yes No ?
BitlBee No N/A Yes ? ? ? ?
Centericq ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
climm N/A ? Yes ? ? ? ?
Coccinella ? Yes Yes Yes ? ? ?
Empathy No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fire ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Gajim ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Google Talk Yes/No[a] Yes Yes/No[b] No No Yes/No[b] No
iChat No ? Yes Yes ? ? ?
ICQ No Yes No Yes No Yes, tZer ?
IMVU ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Jitsi No No Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Kadu No Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes, emoticons No
Kopete No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, emoticons No
Miranda IM No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
MySpaceIM ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
naim No ? ? ? ? ? ?
Paltalk ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Pidgin No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, emoticons, user icons ?
Psi No ? Yes Yes Yes ? ?
QIP Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, emoticons ?
QuteCom ? ? Yes ? ? ? ?
Signal ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Snapchat ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Skype No No No No ? Yes, animated emoticons ?
Telegram (standard messages) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Telegram (secret chats) ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Tencent QQ No Yes Yes No Yes Yes ?
Tkabber No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, animated emoticons No
Trillian Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes, animated emoticons ?
Windows Live Messenger Yes No Yes No Yes Yes, animated emoticons, winks ?
Yahoo! Messenger ? ? ? No ? ? ?
Client Handwriting mode Dockable Multiaccount Spell check User-defined graphic emoticons Animations OAuth for client authorization
  1. ^ The connection between the Google Talk client and the Google Talk server is encrypted, except when using Gmail's chat over HTTP, a federated network that doesn't support encryption, or when using a proxy like IMLogic. - Google
  2. ^ a b Feature unavailable in standalone version.

Secure messengers[edit]

Messengers with client-to-client encryption[edit]

The following table is an overview of those Instant Messenger clients which provide end-to-end encryption by default.

Client name Development status Open source client[a] Decentralized[b] Servers Contact verification[c] Encryption ciphers Forward secrecy[d] Multiple encryption[e][f] Encrypted groupchat[g] Encrypted file transfer[g] Public key and IP unrelated[h] Proxy /Tor[i] Transport[j] Asynchronous encryp. communication[k] Encrypted client data[l] Screenshot protection[m] Self-destructing messages[m]
Open source Distributed Federated Symmetric[e][n] Asymmetric[o] Asym. key size[p] TCP UDP SCTP
RSA DSA ECC NTRU El Gamal Default Max.
Briar Active, private beta Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Cryptocat Active Yes No ? ? No Yes[92] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[92] Yes[92] No groupchat Yes[92] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
FireChat[q][93] Active No Yes N/A N/A N/A ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? No ? ? No ? ? ? Yes ? ? No
Line[94][95] Active No No No ? No No ? ? ? Yes[96] ? ? 256 bit ECC[96] N/A No ? Yes[95] ? ? No ? ? ? Yes No No No
RetroShare Active Yes[r] Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes[97] Yes Yes ? ? No No ? ? Yes[97] Yes Yes Yes Optional Optional Yes Yes No Yes Yes ? ?
Ricochet Active Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A No[98] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[98] No[98] No groupchat No Yes Yes ? ? ? No No[98] No No
Sicher Active No[r] No No ? No ? Yes Yes ? ? No No 2048 bit RSA[99] N/A No No Yes Yes No No Yes No No ? Yes ? Yes
Signal[s] Active Yes[r] No Partially Yes[100] No[101] Yes[97] Yes ? No Yes No No 256 bit ECC[102] N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes[t] Yes Yes
Silent Phone Active Viewable source[103] No No ? No Yes[97] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[97] ? ? Yes ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes
Surespot Active Yes[r] No No ? No Yes[97] Yes No ? Yes[104] No No 521 bit ECC[104] N/A Yes No No groupchat No No ? Yes No No ? ? ? No
TextSecure Discontinued[u] Yes[r][105] Partially[v] Yes[v] Yes Yes, briefly[v] Yes[97] Yes ? No Yes No No 256 bit ECC[102] N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No Yes[106] Yes Yes No
Threema Active Partially[w][107] No No ? No Yes[97] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? No[x] ? Yes Yes ? ? ? ? ? Yes Yes ? No
Tox Active Yes[r] Yes N/A N/A N/A No Yes Yes ? ? No No ? ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
WASTE Discontinued Yes[r] Yes N/A N/A N/A No Yes ? ? No No ? ? No No No Yes No No Yes No No ? ? ? ?
WhatsApp Active Partially[w][108] No No Yes No Yes[108] Yes[108] ? ? Yes[108] ? ? 256 bit ECC[108] N/A Yes[108] Yes[108] Yes[108] Yes[108] Yes[108] No ? ? ? Yes[108] No No No
Wickr Active No No No ? No Yes[97] Yes[109] Yes[109] Yes[109] Yes[109] No No 256 bit ECC[109] N/A Yes[97] Yes[109] ? ? ? No Yes ? ? Yes Yes[109] ? Yes
Wire Active Yes[110] No No ? No Yes[111] Yes[112] ? ? Yes[112] ? ? 256 bit ECC[112] N/A Yes Yes Yes ? ? No Yes[112] Yes[112] ? Yes Yes[citation needed] No Yes[113]

The following table is an overview of those Instant Messenger clients which, by default, provide both end-to-end encrypted messaging and unencrypted messaging (e.g. with contacts who do not have the application or with contacts who have a version of the application that does not support end-to-end encryption). The information in this table is only applicable to those conversations that are end-to-end encrypted.

Client name Development status Open source client[a] Decentralized[b] Servers Contact verification[c] Encryption ciphers Forward secrecy[d] Multiple encryption[e][f] Encrypted groupchat[g] Encrypted file transfer[g] Public key and IP unrelated[h] Proxy /Tor[i] Trasport[j] Asynchronous encryp. communication[k] Encrypted client data[l] Screenshot protection[m] Self-destructing messages[m]
Open source Distributed Federated Symmetric[e][n] Asymmetric[o] Asym. key size[p] TCP UDP SCTP
RSA DSA ECC NTRU El Gamal Default Max.
iMessage[y][114] Active No[114] No No ? No No[97] ? Yes[115] ? ? ? ? ? ? No[114] ? Depends[116] Yes[117] ? No ? ? ? Yes ? No No
Viber[z][118] Active No No No ? No Yes[119] ? ? ? Yes[119] ? ? 256 bit ECC[119] N/A Yes[119] ? Depends[119][120] Yes[119] ? No ? ? ? Yes[119] ? No No

The following table is an overview of those Instant Messenger clients which provide end-to-end encryption as an optional mode or setting that is not enabled by default. The information in this table is only applicable when the mode or setting is enabled. Some clients require the installation of a separately downloadable plugin.

Client name Development status Open source client[a] Decentralized[b] Servers Contact verification[c] Encryption ciphers Forward secrecy[d] Multiple encryption[e][f] Encrypted groupchat[g] Encrypted file transfer[g] Public key and IP unrelated[h] Proxy /Tor[i] Trasport[j] Asynchronous encryp. communication[k] Encrypted client data[l] Screenshot protection[m] Self-destructing messages[m]
Open source Distributed Federated Symmetric[e][n] Asymmetric[o] Asym. key size[p] TCP UDP SCTP
RSA DSA ECC NTRU El Gamal Default Max.
Adium Active Yes[r] Depends Depends Yes Yes Yes Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[aa] ? ? Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? No No No No
Google Allo (incognito mode)[121] Active Partially[w] No No Yes[122] No ? Yes ? ? Yes ? ? 256 bit ECC N/A Yes Yes No ? ? No ? ? ? Yes ? ? Yes
ChatSecure Active Yes Depends Depends Yes Yes Yes[97] Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[aa] Optional ? ? ? Optional ? ? ? No ? ? No
Conversations Active Yes Depends Depends Yes Yes Yes Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Depends Optional Optional Yes Optional Optional ? ? ? Optional ? ? No
Facebook Messenger (secret conversations)[123] Active Partially[w][124] No No Yes[125] No Yes[124] Yes[124] ? ? Yes[124] ? ? 256 bit ECC[124] N/A Yes[124] Yes No[126] ? ? No ? ? ? Yes Yes[124] ? Yes[124]
Gajim Active Yes Depends Depends Yes Yes Yes Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[aa] Optional Optional[ab] Yes ? No ? ? ? Optional ? ? No
Jitsi Active Yes Depends Depends Yes Yes Yes[97] Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[aa] ? ? Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? No ? No No
KakaoTalk (secret chats)[127] Active No ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Kopete[ac] Active Yes[r] Depends Depends Yes Yes Yes Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[aa] ? No Yes[aa] ? ? ? ? ? No No ? ?
Pidgin Active Yes[r] Depends Depends Yes Yes Yes[97] Yes[aa][128] Optional[ab][129] ? ? ? ? ? ? Yes[aa][128] ? ? Yes[128] ? ? Yes ? ? Optional[ad] ? ? ?
Telegram (secret chats) Active Yes[r] No No Yes No Yes[97] Yes Yes ? No No No 2048 bit RSA[130] N/A Sort of[ae] Yes No Yes No No Yes No ? No Optional Yes, warning Yes

Messengers with client-to-server encryption[edit]

The following table is an overview of those Instant Messenger clients which provide client-to-server encryption. It does not include clients that also provide end-to-end encryption.

Client name Encryption protocol
AIM[97] ?
BlackBerry Messenger[97] ?
eBuddy[97] ?
Gadu-Gadu TLS[citation needed]
Google Hangouts[97] TLS[131]
Kik Messenger[97] ?
Skype[97][132] TLS[133]
Snapchat[97] ?
Tencent QQ[97] A custom protocol[97]
Yahoo! Messenger[97] ?

Messengers with no encryption[edit]

The following is a list of those Instant Messenger clients which do not provide client-to-server encryption:

Notes
  1. ^ a b c For transparency to the public, the source code of the encryption algorithms, and its implementation into a messenger, should be subject to public auditing—which may disclose flaws or implementation failures. Whereas, a company offering a messenger which does not reveal the source must be blindly trusted. In general it is recommended to not trust closed source encryption.
  2. ^ a b c If a messenger relies on a central server, the setup is closed and may be surveilled. To counter this, decentralized computing architectures have been developed via a peer-to-peer technology, open source chat servers (easily setup by anyone) and/or federated protocols. An architecture in which all the messages do not pass through a central server lessens a single point for surveillance.
  3. ^ a b c The clients have a built-in method for users to verify the identity of correspondents they are speaking with and the integrity of the channel, even if the service provider or other third parties are compromised. Two possible ways of doing this are through:
    1. An interface for users to view the fingerprint (hash) of their correspondent's public keys as well as their own, which users can verify manually or out-of-band.
    2. A key exchange protocol with a short-authentication-string comparison. An example is the Socialist millionaire's protocol.
    The solution should verify a binding between the users and the cryptographic channel.
  4. ^ a b c Forward secrecy describes the option to change the encryption key every session or even instant. This may be implemented by Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR)
  5. ^ a b c d e f In symmetric cryptography, the same key is used for encryption and decryption. Knowledge of this key needs to be limited to the two communication partners to ensure confidentiality. As asymmetric algorithms are relatively computationally costly in terms of speed, as compared to symmetric cryptography, the session key may be encrypted / decrypted by a asymmetric algorithm and use a much faster symmetric algorithm to encrypt and decrypt messages, reducing computational cost (increasing speed).
  6. ^ a b c Multiple encryption is the process of encrypting an already encrypted message one or more times, either using the same or a different algorithm.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Some messengers offer Groupchat and file transfer. These features should transfer only encrypted bytes. Encrypted file transfer may be implemented by Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR)
  8. ^ a b c Public keys are used to identify users. A user's IP address can in some cases be related to his or her public key. Messengers that do not relate the user's public key to the user's IP address are considered more secure. This offers more security because the IP cannot be targeted to gain access to the private key. If an attacker knows the IP related to a public key, he or she can try to get on the remote machine, download and decrypt the private key and thus decrypt all encrypted communication.
  9. ^ a b c Proxies and Tor might prevent an IP from being related to the public key.
  10. ^ a b c Not all messengers support the same transport protocols like TCP, UDP and SCTP.
  11. ^ a b c Lets users exchange encrypted messages asynchronously, i.e. participants do not have to be online at the same time.
  12. ^ a b c Lets users set a passphrase that encrypts the local message database. The messages are protected if the device is e.g. lost or stolen.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Screenshot protection and self-destructing messages provide only basic protection against casual/inadvertent logging of messages by users.
  14. ^ a b c Off-the-Record Messaging encryption uses the AES symmetric algorithm and Diffie–Hellman key exchange. It allows forward secrecy and encrypted file transfers.
  15. ^ a b c The critical advantage in an asymmetric key system is that copies of keys do not need to be sent between communicators. This prevents a third party from copying a key while it is in transit, and preventing the third party from spying on all future messages. In addition, if one key was copied by a third party, only messages to the holder of the key would be compromised, not the messages to the other party in the communication. However, asymmetric algorithms are relatively computationally costly in terms of speed, as compared to symmetric cryptography. The most common asymmetric cryptography algorithm is the RSA Algorithm. Alternative asymmetric algorithms are Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA), Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), ElGamal and NTRU. NTRU is regarded not vulnerable to decryption by quantum computing.
  16. ^ a b c The key size describes the length of the needed mathematical operation. Simply spoken, the longer the key, the longer it takes to crack it.
  17. ^ Only one-to-one messages are end-to-end encrypted. Public chatrooms are not end-to-end encrypted.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k See: Comparison of instant messaging clients#General information.
  19. ^ Signal contains a setting that allows users to send unencrypted SMS/MMS messages to contacts who do not have Signal. This setting is not enabled by default. Users can also enable a setting that allows fallback to unencrypted SMS/MMS messaging if the user or a Signal contact is offline.
  20. ^ On iOS, the local message database is encrypted by the operating system if the user has a password on their lock screen.
  21. ^ Merged with RedPhone to become Signal.
  22. ^ a b c The TextSecure server architecture was partially decentralized between December 2013 and February 2016, when it federated with servers run by the developers of CyanogenMod.
  23. ^ a b c d Only the encryption related source code is open.
  24. ^ Only on the network connection, not on the end-to-end layer.[3]
  25. ^ iMessage allows users to send instant messages to other iMessage users, as well as SMS/MMS messages to contacts who are not iMessage users. Only instant messages sent to other iMessage users are end-to-end encrypted. iMessage also contains an optional setting that allows fallback to unencrypted SMS/MMS messaging if the user or an iMessage contact is offline.
  26. ^ Only messages between Viber users with the latest version for Android, iOS, Desktop or Windows 10 are end-to-end encrypted. The Windows Phone and BlackBerry versions are not supported.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Implements Off-the-Record Messaging encryption which uses the AES symmetric algorithm and Diffie–Hellman key exchange. It allows forward secrecy and encrypted file transfers.
  28. ^ a b Supported with plugin
  29. ^ OpenPGP encryption (XEP-0027).
  30. ^ Supported when used with a protocol/service (e.g. Yahoo, MSN etc.) that supports offline messaging. Most protocols support offline messaging (see the features table, fourth from last column).
  31. ^ Encryption keys are only changed after a key has been used more than 100 times or has been in use for more than a week.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ANNOUNCE: Empathy 3.12.12". 13 May 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Google Allo on the Google Play Store". Google Play. Google. November 21, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Google Allo on the iOS App Store". iTunes. Apple. November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  4. ^ "hike messenger". Play Store. Google. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ "hike messenger". Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ "hike messenger". BlackBerry World. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "hike messenger". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "KDE Update Announcement". Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Miranda IM v0.10.62 Released". Miranda IM. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  10. ^ "Nimbuzz Messenger on Google Play". Google Play Store. Nimbuzz B.V. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Nimbuzz Messenger". iTunes Store. Nimbuzz B.V. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "BlackBerry World - Nimbuzz Messenger". BlackBerry World. Nimbuzz B.V. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Nimbuzz". Windows Phone. Nimbuzz B.V. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Kramlich, Gary (2016-06-20). "Pidgin 2.11.0 released". Announce. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  15. ^ "Announcement: QuteCom 2.2.1". Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Releases". ricochet.im. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Open Whisper Systems (28 November 2016). "Signal – Private Messenger". Google Play. Google. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  18. ^ Open Whisper Systems (30 November 2016). "Signal - Private Messenger". App Store. Apple. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  19. ^ Support, Skype (21 November 2016). "What's new in Skype for Windows desktop?". Skype Help. Microsoft. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  20. ^ "Skype Preview si aggiorna per Windows 10 e Windows 10 Mobile alla versione 11.7.87 [X1]". Aggiornamenti Lumia. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "Skype". Microsoft Store. Microsoft. Retrieved 2 August 2016. 
  22. ^ Tong, Karen (3 September 2014). "Skype 1.8 for Xbox One now has photo viewing and enhanced Snap experience". Skype Blogs. Microsoft. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  23. ^ The Skype Team (16 February 2016). "What's new in Skype for Mac?". Skype Support. Microsoft. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  24. ^ Cimmino, Marco (18 June 2014). "Skype 4.3 for Linux". Skype Blogs. Microsoft. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  25. ^ The Skype Team (5 December 2016). "Skype - free IM & video calls - Android Apps on Google Play". Google Play Store. Microsoft. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  26. ^ "Skype for iOS". iTunes Preview. Apple Inc. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  27. ^ "Skype for Fire OS". iTunes Preview. Apple Inc. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  28. ^ "Skype". BlackBerry World. BlackBerry. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  29. ^ surespot llc (24 September 2015). "surespot encrypted messenger". App Store. Apple. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  30. ^ surespot (9 October 2015). "surespot encrypted messenger". Google Play. Google. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  31. ^ Telegram Messenger LLP (3 October 2016). "Telegram". Google Play. Google. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  32. ^ Telegram Messenger LLP (3 October 2016). "Telegram". App Store. Apple. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  33. ^ Telegram Messenger LLP (4 August 2016). "Telegram Messenger". Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  34. ^ Igor Zhukov (zhukov) (13 October 2015). "Webogram". Web application. GitHub. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  35. ^ Mikhail Filimonov (14 October 2015). "Messenger for Telegram". Mac App Store. Apple. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  36. ^ telegramdesktop (23 February 2016). "Telegram Desktop". telegramdesktop. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  37. ^ "Telegram license info". Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  38. ^ Threema GmbH (2016-06-27). "Threema". Apple App Store. Apple. 
  39. ^ Threema GmbH (2016-06-27). "Threema". Play Store. Google. 
  40. ^ Threema GmbH (2016-06-27). "Threema". Windows Phone Store. Microsoft. 
  41. ^ http://www.mod-gadget.com/upptalk-app-updated-ipad/
  42. ^ "yuilop - Free texts and SMS". Amazon. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  43. ^ Viber Media S.à r.l. (18 April 2016). "Viber - Android Apps on Google Play". Google Play. Google. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  44. ^ Viber Media, Inc (19 April 2016). "Viber On the App Store on iTunes". App Store. Apple. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  45. ^ Viber Media (2015-12-18). "Viber". Windows Phone Marketplace. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  46. ^ Viber Media (23 April 2014). "Viber 10 - BlackBerry World". BlackBerry App World. Research In Motion (RIM). Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  47. ^ "ringID". Play Store. Google. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  48. ^ "ringID". Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft. Retrieved March 9, 2016. 
  49. ^ "ringID". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved March 19, 2016. 
  50. ^ Tencent Inc. (June 25, 2014). "WeChat". App Store. Apple. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  51. ^ Note:
    1. App Store has been noted 12+, which means download only for twelve years and older (for Apple ID holder).
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