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I want to voice-chat to a friend over the Internet. (Video would be a nice bonus.) I want the conversation to be private and I do not trust Skype, Google, etc., so I want it encrypted end-to-end. We've already tried Jitsi via the jit.si server, but it works very poorly - usually fails to connect entirely, other times connects but drops out or one of us can't hear the other, etc.

What software can we use to talk directly, without a server? I've read that Jitsi can do this over IPv6, but cannot find any instructions on how to set it up.

I understand that there are other servers we can try, but without knowing which will work that can waste a lot of time. Instead I want to eliminate the server entirely. Both of us can run the same software, have direct Internet connections and can enter each other's IP addresses, so a server offers no benefit that I can see. We're both running Windows 7.

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closed as off-topic by Tog, Jens Erat, and31415, Kevin Panko, CharlieRB Jul 23 '14 at 19:17

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2 Answers 2

Linphone should do the trick. It supports call encryption via ZRTP. NAT traversal is easy with it via specifying a STUN server (i.e. stun.ekiga.net). It's super easy to set up. However, as it is SIP based, you will need a SIP server to go through. Personally, I just use sip.linphone.org as my proxy. However, you should be able to set up SIP Witch on both computers to allow direct peer-to-peer communication without any 3rd party servers. See, for example, their documentation on how to set up SIP Witch on Ubuntu and adapt the instructions to your distro.

One basic usage note for Linphone: it's very important to set your upload and download bandwidth limits in order to have consistent voice and video quality. If you leave them set at 0Kb/sec, you are basically telling the application that you have infinite bandwidth, so you will see performance degrade rapidly as it tries to depend on bandwidth that isn't there.

Edit: Here's a better description of how to set up SIP Witch for a home network: http://www.gnutelephony.org/index.php/GNU_SIP_Witch_configuration

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According to the SIP Witch site, Jitsi should work as well. So, if you're having troubles, give it another try with your personal SIP Witch instances. –  user235731 Jul 18 '13 at 9:54
Thanks, SIP Witch looks like a possibility, but it still requires a server to be configured, which I was hoping to avoid. Surely there is something out there that will let one client enter the IP address of the other client and just connect? –  E M Jul 18 '13 at 19:37
Ah, sorry, I misunderstood; I thought you were only trying to avoid 3rd party servers. –  user235731 Jul 18 '13 at 19:56
I tried out SIP Witch, but didn't get very far. Users can sign on, but cannot see each other online in Jitsi and calls fail (without any useful info). It has the typical usability of a Linux program, so I'm giving up on it at this stage. –  E M Jul 21 '13 at 14:01

If you don't need video, RetroShare has a VOIP plugin. I haven't tested it myself, but the set up is fairly simple. Once you have exchanged your certificates, you can open a chat window, and there should be a button for voice in that window.

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