Top 5 Instant Chat Messengers for Windows

In these times, we want to stay connected at all times! In fact for some it has has almost become a compulsive habit to stay connected to the internet, and if they are not, they feel insecure! They could be online via Twitter or be connected on Facebook at all times!  After emails, Instant Messenger programs were developed and introduced – and they are still very popular among many a people!

With times, many changes have been made and new features added. New innovative services were introduced like voice and video chatting, file sharing and now Cloud connect and HD Videos in these messenger applications. There may be plenty of Instant Chat Messenger clients out there in market and one has to be careful which to select so as to give the most secure and rich experience..

People have their contacts on different mail networks like Gmail, Yahoo, Windows Live, Facebook, AOL etc. The list is very big and every service provider has their own chat messenger application. Google has GTalk, Yahoo has Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live has Windows Live Messenger and its a pain to have so many different Messenger clients installed on our PC.

But the solution is also available to this problem, Multi network login chat messengers are a good choice if you have an account with multiple networks.

So here is our list of Top 5 Instant Chat Messengers available for Windows:

1. Windows Live Messenger 2011: It is available as a part of Windows Live Essentials at Windows Live website. It lets you chat with your Windows Live, Facebook, AOL and Yahoo contacts. Some features such as file sharing, sending nudges, voice and video chats are not available for every network. You can only enjoy full power of a Messenger while chatting with a Windows Live only.

2. Pidgin: Pidgin is a chat program which lets you log in to accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously. It is compatible with the following chat networks out of the box: AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr. Pidgin supports file transfers, away messages, buddy icons, custom smilies, and typing notifications. Numerous plugins also extend Pidgin’s functionality above and beyond the standard features.

3. Trillian Astra: Trillian is a fully featured, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC networks. It also supports standard features such as audio chat, file transfers, group chats, chat rooms, buddy icons, multiple simultaneous connections to the same network, server-side contact importing, typing notification, direct connection (AIM), proxy support, encrypted messaging (AIM/ICQ), SMS support, and privacy settings.

4. Digsby: Digsby is a multi-protocol IM client that lets you chat with all your friends on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber with one simple to manage buddy list. It also lets you access updates of your friends will do on Social Networking websites.

5. Miranda: It uses very little memory and is extremely fast also requires no installation. It allows you to chat with friends on MSN, AIM, ICQ, Tlen, Yahoo! and Jabber for free. To use other features you need to use plugins.

Have I missed any? Which one are you using and what has been your experience with it?

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Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.