Instant message help
January 1, 2008 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Need help finding a quick and easy instant messaging (IM) program.

Which IM program is best? I currently use Trillian but am a bit distressed over its bloat issues, which makes me concerned over security and CPU consumption issues. It also has a very confusing interface. Are there bloatless alternatives out there that are not loaded with malware? Payware is ok. I plan on using YIM and maybe AIM.

Also I want to start leaving my IM client up 24/7. Are there security issues I need to be aware of, such as payloads someone could send over IM, or a vulnerability with my IM port being open constantly and visible? I already know not to run executable programs.
posted by mr. creosote to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I use Miranda at work, which is tiny and very customizable.
posted by Lucinda at 7:10 AM on January 1, 2008

xchat and a bitlbee server (on cygwin/colinux/third-party) - no buddy icons, typing notifications, or file transfers though.
posted by aye at 7:19 AM on January 1, 2008

Pidgin - I use it for AIM and YIM on both Windows and Linux.
posted by COD at 7:26 AM on January 1, 2008 [3 favorites]

Another vote for Pidgin.
posted by anaelith at 7:27 AM on January 1, 2008

I am using the Firefox Meebo plugin, When isn't my browser up?

I'm using Y! and AIM and it supports MSN , GoogleT, ICQ, all the usual suspects.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 7:32 AM on January 1, 2008

I recently switched from Trillian to Pidgen for pretty much the same reason, and have been very happy with it.
posted by Lokheed at 8:31 AM on January 1, 2008

er, make that Pidgin.
posted by Lokheed at 8:31 AM on January 1, 2008

posted by beerbajay at 8:42 AM on January 1, 2008

posted by ick at 8:49 AM on January 1, 2008

Pidgin indeed.
posted by olinerd at 8:50 AM on January 1, 2008

Seconding spartacusroosevelt I have my browser open probably 23/7 and the firefox meebo plugin works great.
posted by DJWeezy at 8:56 AM on January 1, 2008

Pidgin is stable and great. I've encountered some serious (memory-management related, I think) bugs in Miranda.
posted by tmcw at 9:26 AM on January 1, 2008

Definitely pidgin. You can even keep any customizations across machines by copying a single folder (%appdata%\.purple since I'm guessing you're on Windows, based on your use of Trillian).
posted by JaredSeth at 9:27 AM on January 1, 2008

Messenger is the best. I recommend it.
posted by carfilhiot at 10:01 AM on January 1, 2008

If you're concerned about bloat you could use the web-based version of Meebo. AIM, MSN, Yahoo, & Google Talk supported. No need to install anything.
posted by sharkfu at 10:38 AM on January 1, 2008

ex-Trillian to Pidgin user here. Been mostly happy with the change.
posted by fishfucker at 10:51 AM on January 1, 2008

Nthing Pidgin. It's been up and running on my machine for 89 days straight.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:00 PM on January 1, 2008

Pidgin convert here, too. I used Trillian for a couple of years, but hated how buggy and complicated it was. I also have Pidgin Portable on my USB drive for when I'm at work.
posted by sian at 12:19 PM on January 1, 2008

Made the switch from Trillian to Pidgin as well. It's a fine program.
posted by wfrgms at 12:22 PM on January 1, 2008

Another vote for Pidgin. Or, if you'd rather not download anything, use Meebo.
posted by ohsoferrety at 2:27 PM on January 1, 2008

I have Miranda Portable on my USB stick.
posted by krisjohn at 3:37 PM on January 1, 2008

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