Best Chat Applications for Windows

This article was modified on 2012-05-29 10:40:21

The Internet would not look the same without the well-known chat applications, those who allowed us, the humans to communicate and express our feelings through words or emoticons. I used and tried a lot of chat applications over time. Some of them were crap, others were fine but people no longer used them the way they did before. Their popularity dropped when the ``social networking phenomenon`` started to introduce their own chat services. In fact, the social networking website represents a way to communicate and that`s why they are the most dangerous threat to traditional chat software but this is another discussion.

Since the Internet is now at another ``level`` I consider that the time of paid chat programs has come to an end. Also, several free applications were not included, although, a lot of people still use them. The following applications were removed from our list: ICQ, mIRC, Camfrog Video Chat, Trillian, LingoWare, ICUII, WebcamMax, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Multi Messenger. There were a couple of reasons for each of one them but that doesn`t mean that you shouldn`t use them if it suits your needs. I hate to avoid including ICQ but it`s really annoying when you`re getting a lot of add requests from spam bots. I created 4-5 new usernames in the last 3 years, never posted them on the Internet but they were still coming like they were guessing my id even when the id was brand new and my friend list was empty. It was really frustrating so I no longer use it. Again, this is another discussion.

As I said, chat applications should be free. Yes, the developers must earn something as they need to pay their bills but I really believe that the real success must bring the necessary amount of money through donations or another good method. I will specify: this means that once they include spyware or aggressive advertising their application is doomed.

This is it, our small chat list useful if you need to communicate with family, friends or anyone else without paying money for this privilege.

Pidgin logo
1. Pidgin

The free application that works with accounts from all other chat tools such as AIM, Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and many others as well. Sure, before using Pidgin you will need to sign up or create an account for each service. Personally, I see no reason why it shouldn`t be used.  It also comes with an encryption system which will allows you to communicate with your friends minimizing the risk of having your conversations watched by others. You will just have to install an add-on and both users to use the same add-on and Pidgin version.  It`s small and easy to use. Why bother use other tools when this will deliver the same experience, perhaps even better.  Sure, you can`t use the video chat but there are other dedicated tools and we will talk about them too. Download Pidgin

Trillian logo
2. Trillian

Initially, I didn`t want to include Trillian on this list because of his past. Yes, you can do the same thing that Pidgin does, although I prefer Pidgin and I will explain why. Trillian was launched back in 2000 and it was free. In 2002 they also launched a PRO version but you had to pay or donate in order to be able to use it. That`s not necessarily a bad thing but in 2011 along with his 5.0 version they also included an additional program named ``OpenCandy`` which was classified as adware by several security programs. It was removed after a short period of time but it`s enough to lose credibility especially if you`re serious when it comes down to privacy and security. I might sound subjective so let`s say a couple of good things that can`t be found at many others.  What makes Trillian a wonderful tool is the great support for devices and operating systems. You can use it on your computer if you use Windows, Mac, or Linux and also it can be installed on several devices such as your mobile phone or tablet. Also if you`re addicted to social websites it will work with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Download Trillian

Yahoo Messenger logo
3. Yahoo Messenger

Right after mIRC supremacy, Yahoo Messenger was the new king. It was viral, hundreds of millions of users all over the world. For most of us it worked great and I can`t predict the future of this application but it`s free and it works in a lot of ways. You can chat with your friends and if you want to talk using a microphone you can do it. If you would prefer to use the video chat feature, it will also work but it won`t have the same quality as the final product recommended here so check the next recommended application. Download Yahoo Messenger

Skype Logo
4. Skype

Skype is great if you want to talk with your family or friends using a video call or using only the voice service. It offers the greatest quality and I have found no other server that can match his capabilities. I would not use it for chat as this is not his purpose. It`s like buying a Ferrari and drive it only in a city. If you just want to chat, use the other recommendations. There is only one main problem, since it`s mainly being used for video calls it will eat up your bandwidth especially if you have a fast Internet Connection. It doesn`t sound like a real problem but if you travel in another country let`s say Germany, you would be surprise to find out that you might not have many options or alternatives for Mobile Internet. What I am trying to say here is that you will need to learn how to save bandwidth when using Skype especially when you use a limited Internet Connection or you have a bandwidth connection limit. Download Skype

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