on Thursday, 24 January 2013

Jabber is an instant messaging system - so for chat between friends and acquaintances. The principle you may know from ICQ, MSN or similar. In contrast to this, it is more flexible: it is independent of any particular vendor, and you can use it with various chat programs.

Jabber in brief

The basic idea in Jabber - like instant messaging in general - is a buddy list. There shall be a friends, acquaintances, colleagues or Familienmitgleider. From then on, you can see when these friends are online, and then chat with them, so exchange text messages.

Jabber can also even more. Transfer files, chat with several friends at the same time, make calls and video calls, and even collaborating on documents or images is possible with Jabber.

Special features of Jabber

What distinguishes it from other Jabber IM systems? Jabber is first and foremost a program - as opposed to about the ICQ client - only a protocol, that is a general principle, such as instant messaging to work. Formally, it answers to the name XMPP. That is, you must not use certain providers and any specific program, but is free to choose according to their preferences.

This can be compared to e-mail: e-mail is not tied to a provider or program. You can get your e-mail address as T-Online. As you can program Thunderbird, Outlook, a Web mail service, or many others use. Only the principle of how e-mail works, is set.

Jabber addresses are therefore similar to e-mail addresses set up on the model. And many e-mail providers are also simultaneously Jabber providers - often even using an address for both, e.g., GMX or Google.


Through this multi-provider communication is a further advantage: You can watch your provider choose freely. The great services like ICQ and MSN have some very questionable business conditions. With Jabber, it is no problem to find a provider that meets your expectations of privacy and data protection.


In general, discussions are on ICQ or MSN from unencrypted. This can, for example, in public wireless LANs (university, airport, cafe, etc.) mean that strangers can read along your private conversations without much effort. Jabber can test the connection to the Jabber providers, as well as individual interviews in a simple but effective way to encrypt. Private chats remain so even really private.

Open base

The protocol is based on the Jabber ( XMPP ) is available to everyone. So it can program any one client or use the protocol as base for other services. Google shows this successfully with its service Google Wave.

Just get started

To use Jabber, you need an account with a Jabber provider and a chat program that works with Jabber. The first step you can save yourself even if you already have an email account that works as Jabber account. In order to alleviate the agony of choice, offers the Jabber project a collection of simple instructions to get started directly.

And then you need some friends who also have a Jabber account. And you're the first Jabber chat ...