If you are still using Instant messengers for communication -- that's so last century by the way -- then you may be interested in the first public release of Tor Messenger Beta, an instant messaging client based on Instantbird but enhanced with the power of Tor.
Tor Messenger is a cross-platform chat application that is based on Instantbird (just like Tor Browser itself is based on Firefox).
Unlike Instantbird however, all traffic is routed automatically through the Tor network which is the main distinguishing feature.
The functionality of the messaging client remains the same which means that you can use it to connect to a variety of transport networks including Facebook Chat, Google Talk, IRC or Jabber.
It should be clear that some communication, metadata especially, can still be logged depending on the service you are using.
If you are using Facebook Chat for instance, you need to sign in to a Facebook account to make use of it. What Facebook cannot log however is the location you are connecting to the Internet from as your original location is hidden as your connection is routed through Tor's network.
Note: A bug in the Windows version of Tor Messenger is preventing the app from starting up correctly. There is a workaround for that though:
If you have worked with Instantbird before you will find yourself at home right away once you get the application to start up.
One difference is that unencrypted one-to-one conversations are not allowed. This means that you won't be able to communicate with other users if they don't use an OTR-enabled client. There is an option in the preferences to allow unencrypted communication.
The main focus is security, robustness of the client and the user experience. The team plans to introduce new features to the messaging app in the future that improves it significantly.
Among the improvements are sandboxing support, support for secure multi-party communication, encrypted file-transfers, and improved Tor support.
Users who run the beta version are asked to report requests, bugs and provide feedback to the team.
Tor Messenger Beta is provided as a build for Linux, Windows and OS X. You find download links and checksum information on the official Tor blog.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.