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Best instant messengers of 2018 for Windows

Chat with friends worldwide independent of your actual location: exchange messages, make voice calls and video conferences. Send and receive files to illustrate the discussed topics. Share photos and invite friends to new chats, individual or group.

Freeware  
No ads  
Group chats  
Chat history synchronization  
Audio/ Video calls  
Requires a phone number  
Email login  
Emoticons/unique chat stickers  
Share files  
Video and photo stickers   ? Sticker can be added to the sent videos and photos.
More than 250 members in one chat  
Video and voice messages   ? Short messages that are used instead of written ones.
Large files transfer supported   ? 100Mb or more in size.
Data destruction   ? Photo, video and messages elimination.
Lock chats  
Connection with other services   ? Like Facebook and Gmail.
Customizable chat notifications  
Customizable stickers  
Create multiple accounts  
High-level encryption  
Desktop demonstration  
'Last seen' option   ? Set who will see when you were online last time
Web version  
Portable version  
Mac/Android/iOS versions  
Only audio
Up to 3 accounts
Only audio
Android/iOS
Telegram Desktop
Telegram Desktop
2 (100%) 0 (0%)
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Exchange instant messages despite the device you use. It is cloud-based, encryption-protected, and file size limit free. A timer for message self-destruction is available. Use emoticons and stickers to bright-up messages. Make voice calls to any place in the world.
Features
  • Open API.
  • Absolutely free.
  • Highly secure.
  • No Ads.
  • Works under WIndows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux.
  • Web version
  • Voice calls.
Strong sides
  • Supports files up to 1.5Gb in size.
  • Bot API developers platform.
  • Message, photo, video destruction.
  • Send short video or audio messages.
  • Supports Drag-and-Drop.
  • Cloud-based messenger.
  • Colorful stickers.
  • Portable version.
  • Group chats for up to 100k members.
Weak points
  • Live video chatting is not supported yet.
  • Uses your phone number as a login.
Official website:
desktop.telegram.org
WhatsApp
WhatsApp
3 (100%) 0 (0%)
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Send messages without boundaries of place or OS used. Send end-to-end encrypted messages and make protected calls. Organize chat groups, rename or mute them. All messages are synchronized among all your devices. Make voice and video calls.
Features
  • Works under Mac, Android, iOS.
  • Available in any corner of the world.
  • Web version.
  • Video and voice calls.
Strong points
  • Short audio and video messages.
  • Group chats up to 256 members.
  • Customizable chat notifications.
  • Instant file sharing.
Weak sides
  • The online version requires complex manipulations with your mobile phone.
  • Uses your phone number as a login.
Official website:
whatsapp.com
Discord
Discord
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
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Make voice calls and exchange instant text messages with your friends all over the world. This software is free, has no limitations on the number of servers and members in one chat. It supports file transferring, link sharing and playing GIFs. It is protected from DDoS attacks. Perfectly compatible with online games. Can be installed on Android and iOS devices, works under Windows and OSX.
Features
  • Freeware calls around the globe.
  • Instant message exchange.
  • Web version available.
  • Compatible with Windows, OSX, Android, iOS.
  • Perfectly compatible with games using DirectX 9, DirectX 11, OpenGL.
  • Designed to be used while gaming.
Advantages
  • GIFs are played when mouse is hovered on them.
  • Light on CPU.
  • Clear sound thanks to noise suppression and echo cancellation.
  • Message control (block undesired baddies, send private messages).
  • Individual volume settings adjustments.
  • Chat overlay (control it without game leaving).
  • IP and DDoS attacks protection.
  • Customizable hotkeys.
Disadvantages
  • It takes time to learn how to create channels, invite friends to them, and find the channel you’ve been invited to, at first.
Official website:
discordapp.com
Skype
Skype
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
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Make free voice and video calls across the globe, change the color of your message bubbles, use GIFs, emoticons, and stickers to express emotions. Share photos, follow friends, get snapshots for the week. Make direct calls to mobile phones and landline numbers. You pay for the latter type of calls.
Characteristics
  • Absolutely free for in-app calls.
  • Works under various OS: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Works worldwide.
  • Web version.
  • Video and audio calls.
Advantages
  • You may use several types of accounts to log in.
  • Multiple-user free video calls (conferences).
  • Message synchronization among devices.
  • Animated emoticons, Mojis, GIFs.
  • Supports Drag-and-Drop.
  • Highlights feature
  • Desktop demonstration.
Disadvantages
  • Highlights feature is not available in the desktop version.
  • No portable version.
  • Shows ads in a special block in the interface.
Official website:
skype.com
Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
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Chat with your Facebook friends without the need to open the network. Make video calls, rite instant messages, call your friends. Share files and add colorful stickers to them. Make day stories, create chat groups and play games together. Supports direct money transfers.
Features
  • Facebook itself works as web version for the messenger.
  • No ads.
  • Stickers, emoticons, GIFs to be added to messages.
  • Works on Windows, Android, iOS.
Peculiarities
  • Stickers to be added to photos and videos.
  • Stories creation.
  • Add photos to mark group chats.
  • Send recorded audio messages.
  • Start group game video chats.
  • Share location.
  • Transfer money right from the messenger.
  • Integrated brand-connection.
Weak sides
  • The security of the program usage is questionable.
  • Requires a Facebook account.
Official website:
facebook.com
Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts
1 (100%) 0 (0%)
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Chat with friends from anywhere in the world, make video calls and select a video source from all available on your PC. The plugin for Windows works in Google Chrome browser. Available for different platforms and is free to use, but requires a Gmail account.
Characteristics
  • VIdeo and audio calls.
  • No ads.
  • Group chats.
  • Emoticons and stickers.
  • Available for iPhone, Android.
Advantages
  • Go to a video chat right from an email.
  • Up to ten participants in a video chat.
  • User connection alert.
DIsadvantages
  • Needs Chrome browser for working on PC.
  • Requires an active Gmail account.
Official website:
google.com

Conclusion

Having compared the five top messengers we have a winner with the result 16 of 20 listed features, one of which is the high security of the program. Our leader is Telegram. Do you have a favorite program for instant message exchange? Share your experience with us, we'll add it to our comparison.

Comments

P
Plumber 4 months ago

I like WhatsApp, it's simple and convenient.

Reply Was it helpful? yes | no (0)