*Messenger - Windows Live
Windows / Mac
All of a sudden in 2001, I started noticing my friends were at their computers chatting away at that useless free messenger that came with Windows instead of the best of the best (at the time) - ICQ. I couldn't figure it out at the time, but I later learnt it originally came with free calling minutes, and it made sense that my friends on campus needed a way to call home. Especially, if home was overseas. The program later caught on as people's full-time Messenger client.
This free program was referred to as MSN Messenger, or simply, "MSN". Microsoft later renamed it to Windows Live Messenger. I notice, even with all these multi-messenger clients, Windows Live Messenger is the one and only up in Canada. That, and a Facebook account, and you are set up here. Many people don't even know what program AIM is.
Older versions of Windows come with Windows Messenger, but the new version you can download here is more user-friendly in notifying you about IMs and organizing your contact list. It's a Windows program, but there have been some Mac versions released.
*Google Talk - Download
Google Talk by Google
For those who downloaded the seperate Google Talk program, they could do the opposite. Chat while keeping an eye on their incoming email.
Google Talk was a pretty featureless chat client at its beginnings, but Google programs usually are, and tend to add the bells and whistles as time goes on. I don't think it even had smilies until recently. It's best that the program stays clean and simple.
*Yahoo! Messenger Download
Windows / Mac
Yahoo! Messenger by Yahoo!
[Yahoo! Messenger] (Formerly, Yahoo! Pager)
Every major Internet company wanted in on the Messenger trend, and Yahoo! being the biggest, jumped in with Yahoo Messenger!
I probably would have never installed it for actual use back then (just to try it out for curiosity's sake), but it became popular around Albino Blacksheep in 2003ish due to its webcam chat feature. The members would even embed the webcams up on the site, which took some technie-knowledge if it were any other software.
Now, with no real advantage or exclusive features, Yahoo! Messenger seems to be dying down amongst the competition, along with the required @yahoo.com email address needed to use it. I can't, however, speak for everyone. Certain regions and online communities have their messenger of choice. After ABS gave up on Yahoo!, another place may have given it a try. It's still very popular amongst other webcam communities.
*AOL Instant Messenger | Download
Windows / Mac / Linux / iPhone/iPod touch / Windows Mobile
AOL Instant Messenger by AOL
[AOL Instant Messenger] I've written about AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) before, but it seems a little out of date. The annoyances and lack of privacy issues have been taken care of in new versions such as invisibility, tabbed chatting and the noise, oh gawd, no, the noise!
That being said, I still don't like this program, and it's one of those I log into when I have to reach someone that doesn't have any of the other messengers.
AIM is very popular in the United States, and no AOL email address is required to use it - a common requirement of competing messengers.
Finding a screen name for yourself that isn't taken is very hard, and because of these weird screen names, you may, for example, forget that your friend John is Jboi881111.
Another flaw (and I don't want to do the gruntwork to know if it's been fixed in a new version) is that when someone adds you to their buddies list, you are added, and they can chat you up when you come online. Now if someone posts your screenname in a public place, you'll have over 100 people trying to chat with you the very second you come online. Unacceptable! This program didn't take into account that one could be popular on the Internet.
Now I know that I have some negative experiences with this program, but you will find, especially if you are in the United States, that a lot of your friends may have this program, and to keep in touch with them you will need AIM or a multi-messenger client that is compatible with the AIM network.
*ICQ Download - ICQ.com
Windows / Mac
ICQ by Mirabilis
[ICQ] ICQ (I Seek You) is the first Instant Messaging program dating back to 1996. It was invented by five Israeli Students in Tel Aviv and AOL currently owns ICQ. They purchased it from Mirabilis for $407 Million.
What I wrote about ICQ in the past is not applicable. AOL has virtually stopped promoting it, and prefers to promote it's own client, but ICQ lives on for nostalgia reasons. 10 years later, and my friends and I still remember our ICQ numbers, but we don't use the program anymore.
When you sign up, you as assigned your UIN (Unique Identification Number). The higher the number, the newer you are. You can buy low numbers over eBay.
Until 2003ish, ICQ was the best Messenger and Chat client with the best features, and it docked nicely to the side of your desktop. Always there and reliable. You could even replace the person's username with their real name to help you keep track of your contacts.
New versions started to be released that took up more computer memory and also included more and more advertising. Competition came along, and people made the jump to new programs.
*Miranda IM | Download
Miranda IM Project
Miranda IM by Miranda IM Project
[Miranda IM] (Formerly Miranda ICQ)
Miranda IM is a multi protocol instant messenger client. It works with as many protocals as their plugin designers allow including ICQ, AIM, MSN, Jabber, IRC, Yahoo!, Gadu-Gadu, Tlen, Netsend and more.
The reason this program is popular is its size. The download is less than a megabyte and can be saved to a floppy disk or other small storage device. The program is small in filesize and small in resource usage as well, while still providing all the basic features. Not to mention, it takes up the tiniest bit of space on the desktop.
A version without an installer is provided so you can run it from a storage device and possibly run it on systems where you do not have the permission to install anything.
Miranda IM is customizable. It can be skinned, including changes the text, icons, background, sounds and anything else to make it into your very own custom Instant Messenger. Many other messengers only let you change the sounds, background and text colours.
Miranda IM is yet another open source Messenger, which means you can expect hundreds more plugins created for it for any purpose. There are over 300 optional plugins. I would consider Miranda IM the small on-the-go messenger, but you can make this as permanent as you wish, and mold it into your very own through customization.
*Trillian | Download
Windows / Mac / iPhone/iPod touch
Trillian by Cerulean Studios
[Trillian] Trillian is a pretty heavy piece of software for a Chat client. Keeping in mind that it supports connections from AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, IRC and probably a lot more, Trillian seems pretty light to be carrying all that around.
When you need to chat to people on various chat clients, Trillian is the solution that keeps all these buddies together, connecting to all of them through one program. You don't need to tell your friends or co-workers to come get Trillian too. If they want you to get MSN, no need to, because you can connect to MSN through Trillian. If they want you to get ICQ, same idea.
If you are already using many chat programs at once just to keep in touch with everyone, you may want to give Trillian a try.
*Pidgin, the universal chat client
Sean Egan et al.
Windows / Mac / Fedora Core / CentOS/RHEL
Pidgin by Sean Egan et al.
[Pidgin] (Formerly GAIM)
Please submit a review below for Pidgin. Windows / Mac / Linux
Digsby by dotSyntax
[Digsby] Please submit a review below for Digsby.
Adium by Adium team
[Adium] Please submit a review below for Adium.
The Psi Team
Windows / Mac / Linux
Psi by The Psi Team
[Psi] Psi is a truly open source messenger built upon the open protocol Jabber and adheres to strict XMPP and Jabber standards accepted by the Jabber community. The program will not implement features unless it is an accepted standard, and for features that its users wish to add, the community will work to make that feature a standard.
Windows / Mac / Linux
Coccinella by Mats Bengtsson
[Coccinella] (Formerly Whiteboard)
Coccinella is a free open-source instant messaging client for XMPP. This includes support for connecting with people on Google Talk, Apple iChat and Nokia Chat.
You can join and create chatrooms on other networks such as on ICQ and IRC.
The most notable feature in Coccinella is the Whiteboard. You can draw in realtime with other people to communicate visually, as well as connect with voice chat at the same time.
The founder, Mats Bengtsson, passed away in 2008.
The aMSN team
Windows / Mac / Linux / FreeBSD
aMSN by The aMSN team
[aMSN] aMSN is the solution for those who want Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger, but aren't on a Windows computer.
aMSN is a free open-source multi platform clone of Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger. Not only does it connect to the MSN Network / Windows Live Network, but contains the offline messaging, webcam, timestamp, filetransfer and conferencing features. You can even sign into multiple MSN/Windows Live accounts at a time, unlike with the original.
Fire Development Team
Fire by Fire Development Team
[Fire] Fire is a multi-messenger client for Mac that supports most popular messenger protocals to allow you to communicate with friends on AIM, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, Google Talk, Apple iChat Server, MSN, Yahoo! Messenger and Apple Bonjour.
Fire is not being developed anymore, and a popular alternative for Mac is Adium, and you can import your Fire accounts onto there. You are still free to download the latest version of Fire, but keep in mind there will be no updates for it, although some people like the hassle-free nature of knowing that.
Skype Technologies S.A.
Windows / Mac / Linux / Mobile phones / PSP
Skype by Skype Technologies S.A.
[Skype] I kept seeing the code callto://name on an increasing number of sites and blogs, some even with a "Skype Me!" button. This URL syntax was used for Microsoft Netmeeting calling and hardly seen online, but had re-emerged with the more popular software called Skype - now with over one hundred million downloads.
Skype is like any Instant Messaging program, but puts voice calling first. It has many advanced features, some requiring additional charges or plugins such as Voicemail, Sykpeout (allowing you to also call regular phone numbers) and SkypeIn (allowing you to recieve calls to your computer).
I'm not interested in having to be at my computer with headphones and a microphone or headset, but I would like a way for site visitors to contact me without having to e-mail.
Some free features such as conferencing interest me as a webmaster. Perhaps I can hold online sessions with a number of visitors. Talking is always more efficient for short term tasks than typing, and typing to multiple people in ABS chat has always been a problem.
As a first time user with no contacts (unless I click on a random callto:// link from some random blog), I can make a test call, and hear myself in order to properly adjust my volume controls.
I may or may not list this product and my callto:// link on the contact page. I will ask around to see who else has Skype and start testing it out in order to determine if it can replace my e-mail.
* Vbuzzer Messenger
Vbuzzer Messenger by Softroute Corporation
[Vbuzzer Messenger] Vbuzzer Messenger is an all-in-one free communication solution. It supports VOIP, fax, file transfer and multi-protocal messaging.
One of its key features is the ability to voice-dial real phone numbers from your computer, but this feature is at an additional charge. Much like the alternative Skype program that does this. However, Vbuzzer users can phone other Vbuzzer users at no charge and voice-chat all you like. Windows
*QuteCom | Download
Windows / Mac / Linux / OpenSUSE
QuteCom by QuteCom Team
[QuteCom] (Formerly WengoPhone)
QuteCom supports free PC to PC video and voice calls as well as multi-protocal instant messaging.
QuteCom is a VoIP client that's SIP compliant and you'll be able to speak to people on other SIP compliant VoIP software at no cost. You can use any VoIP provider with QuteCom since you are not tied down to any one.
MySpaceIM by MySpace
[MySpaceIM] Please submit a review below for MySpaceIM.
* mIRC | Download
mIRC by Khaled Mardam-Bey
[mIRC] mIRC is the most popular piece of software used to access IRC. IRC, which stands for Internet Relay Chat, is even older than the World Wide Web.
IRC contains many networks with many channels in each of them. For example, connecting to the network irc.LCIRC.net and joining the channel #albinoblacksheep will bring you to a chatroom full of visitors from this site. They can chat, private message and direct connect to send files. Check out the Chat directory of this site for instructions on how to join us.
I must point out that mIRC is not the only IRC client. There are many other programs, including IRC programs built into browsers like Mozilla Suite and instant messengers like Trillian.
mIRC is losing some popularity, at least with me, since the new versions often popup messages to register the program when its not actually necessary to do so.
I also might have something against its author. Nevertheless, for a $14 well-secure and supported program, and free full working demo of the same, mIRC is ideal for accessing the old part of the Internet, IRC.
Colloquy by Timothy
[Colloquy] Please submit a review below for Colloquy.
Windows / Linux
X-Chat by Peter Zelezny
[X-Chat] Please submit a review below for X-Chat.
HydraIRC by Hydra Productions
[HydraIRC] Please submit a review below for HydraIRC.
Xfire by Xfire
[Xfire] Please submit a review below for Xfire.
Windows / Mac
Ventrilo by Flagship Industries
[Ventrilo] Please submit a review below for Ventrilo.
Windows / Mac / Linux
TeamSpeak by TeamSpeak Systems
[TeamSpeak] TeamSpeak is free Voice-over IP software targeted to gamers, as the name implies, to communicate with their team-mates by voice while keeping their hands on the game controls.
* Eyeball Chat
Eyeball Chat by Eyeball Networks
[Eyeball Chat] I downloaded Eyeball Chat when I wanted to test out my camera's webcam feature and Yahoo! Messenger didn't recognize my video drivers anymore.
If you want to primarily broadcast your webcam or view from other webcams, this is an ideal program. I don't think you can view more than one webcam at a time though, and only one person at a time can see your broadcast. Yahoo! Messenger does not have these limitations, but the quality of the stream is lower with Yahoo!.
Eyeball Chat also lets you connect to AIM, MSN and Yahoo! for messaging.
sumber : www.albinoblacksheep.com