Signal is a popular private messaging, voice call and video call app where you register with your phone number.
It is funded entirely by charitable donations and grants, and has no way of accessing its users’ data. (Note that signal requires you to activate your account on a phone app, you can’t just use a computer app.)
ANDROID APP – Signal Private Messenger
iPHONE APP – Signal Private Messenger
WINDOWS / MAC / LINUX APP – Signal Private Messenger
Jami (formerly known as Ring)
Jami is a free easy-to-use open alternative to Skype, with voice call, video call and messaging. It has apps for Android, iPhone, Windows Mac and Linux.
It is open source and designed to respect its users’ privacy, with calls going directly from one user to another without using servers. It gives all its members a unique code, which they can share with others, so that they can add each other on the service.
(In case you’re confused, Ring has just changed its name to Jami. You may see both names used during the name transition.)
WEBSITE – Jami
ANDROID APP – Jami
iPHONE APP – Jami
WINDOWS APP – Jami
MAC APP – Jami
LINUX APP – Jami
Zom is an extremely easy to use and free open source messenger app. You don’t need to register to use it, just think of a username.
It’s compatible with the popular XMPP standard used by many other messenger apps, so if you know someone who uses one of those other apps you can message them with Zom.
ANDROID APP – Zom Mobile Messenger
iPHONE APP – Zom Mobile Messenger
Another easy-to-use chat app, you can register with just your phone number.
It’s based on the XMPP standard, so if you know someone with an XMPP account you can communicate with them as well.
ANDROID APP – Quicksy
XMPP / Jabber
XMPP (also known as Jabber) is a widely-used free and open internet messaging standard. It’s very easy to use: just register an XMPP account and install an XMPP app.
Because it’s federated, there are lots of sites you can register on. It doesn’t matter if your friends sign up on a different site, all the sites talk to each other.
(If these apps and sites are too complicated, try the much easier Zom and Quicksy alternatives above. They’re part of the XMPP network as well.)
ANDROID APP – Conversations
WINDOWS / MAC / LINUX APP – Pidgin
Jitsi Meet is a free open source video chat app made by volunteers. It is extremely easy to use: you don’t need to register, all you need to do is make up the name of a chat room and send the link to whoever you want to join you (you can also add a room password if you want). You can use it through their website or through the mobile apps.
WEBSITE – Jitsi Meet
ANDROID APP – Jitsi Meet
iPHONE APP – Jitsi Meet