If you’re not sure what all this jibber-jabber is about Jabber then let me explain. In software terms, Jabber is known as the “Linux of instant messaging” due to its open and secure nature. It’s a highly effective and useful alternative to all those ad-bloated IM networks such as AIM, ICQ and MSN. Now for the science. At its heart, Jabber is basically a set of streaming XML protocols and technologies that allow two clients to communicate with each other. The advantages of Jabber are numerous including greater security, it’s completely open, it can be extended easily and it’s completely decentralised. After reading all this, you may be thinking “Sign me up! Where do I get started?”. Well, for starters, you can use any one of these excellent clients that support the Jabber protocol.
Pidgin – Previously known as Gaim and supports multiple protocols at the same time
Universal Messenger Plus – Very simple and lightweight IM client
Neos – Simple client offering voice and video over IP
Pandion – Highly secure and customisable client with plugins
Miranda – Requires no installation and very light on your CPU
After choosing one of the above you’re ready to go by just following the instructions on the Jabber Foundation homepage.