Given recent revelations about constant dragnet surveillance, I've decided to start looking for alternative forms of communication that let me be in control end-to-end. My first step is to wean myself (and my family) off of Skype.
I've spent days searching, downloading, configuring and experimenting with various open source systems for IM and VoIP. So far, I've installed and configured the Prosody XMPP/Jabber daemon on my Debian server. It's reasonably simple to use; I just need to create the accounts for everyone and give them straight forward instructions for configuring their XMPP clients (probably Pidgin).
This works nicely for IM and file transfers, but that's the limit it so far. If this is going to take off, I need to be able to do VoIP and, ideally, video chat.
Is there any IM and VoIP system that:
- Has clients for Windows and Linux
- Is encrypted end-to-end
- Does IM, file transfers, VoIP and video chat without huge user configuration hassles
- Is either decentralized or lets me run my own daemon
Pidgin is a nice client, but it appears to only support VoIP on Linux.
Jitsi is buggy on Windows XP, it won't launch unless the audio libraries are disabled, which obviously means VoIP won't work.
RetroShare is decentralized, but is far too complicated for most users to add new contacts. VoIP is also highly experimental and basically useless at this point.
I'm open to pretty much any ideas that meet the bulleted criteria above.