Open XMPP Alternatives to Google Talk

xmpp.pngAfter Google’s much-publicised decision to replace Google Talk with Hangouts and drop XMPP support in the process, many people have been looking for alternative XMPP servers that allow connecting through standards-based clients and support federation with other servers. Here are a few servers I recommend:

  • Jabber.org – Jabber.org is the first XMPP server and has been in continuous operation since 1999. It originally hosted much of the community and development of the XMPP protocol. I’ve used this server on and off over the last couple of years, but have found it somewhat prone to errors. But in the ever-changing world of XMPP services, Jabber.org has remained a constant, which deserves credit.
  • DuckGo.com – Released only a few days ago by the folks at DuckDuckGo, this public XMPP server is relatively new, so there is not much that can be said about their quality of service yet. Given DuckDuckGo’s active community of developers and commitment to the principles of free software, they have the potential to become one of the most popular servers out there.
  • Jabber.ccc.de — Hosted by the German hackers association Chaos Computer Club, this is one of the most popular XMPP servers in Germany. The server is well-maintend and uptime is excellent, so there are generally very few issues. Although their website is available in German only, account registration works the same as on any other XMPP server, so there shouldn’t be any problems for international users. Highly recommended.
  • Jabber.fsfe.org — Of course, I’d be negligent not to point out our own XMPP server, which is available to all Fellows of the FSFE. Next to an @fsfe.org email alias, an OpenPGP smart card and access to the FSFE blogging platform, this is one of the goodies you get as a fellow of the FSFE.
  • Gultsch.de server compliance ranking — (added 2017-04-14) A great overview of different XMPP servers and their features.
  • Conversations.im — (added 2017-04-14) The people behind the great Android XMPP messenger app Conversations.

Now, just to be clear, this is only a small subset of XMPP servers. There is a large number of public XMPP servers with different features (see this list for example), some even allow you to connect to your ICQ or Yahoo Messenger accounts, or to send SMS or email. Which server is best for you pretty much depends on what you want and what you need — as usual :-)

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