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The Best IM Client for Any Network



Which instant messenger do you use? AIM? Google Talk? MSN? Why not ALL of them?!

Miranda

I couldn’t decide which IM network to join, so I joined them all (the major ones). But I’m not going to run five client programs. That’s where Miranda IM comes in.

This little program allows you to connect to AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google Talk (Jabber), ICQ, and more. And you get to have all your buddies in one handy contact list. Plus, you can use hotkeys to manage everything, such as maximizing/minimizing your buddy list, connecting to networks, setting your status, etc.

Customize it

One awesome feature of Miranda is its easy customization capabilities. There is an addon directory where you can download nifty things to change Miranda to fit your needs.
I have two favorite addons. First, the Vista Glass theme is one of many themes you can use for your buddy list. It looks slick! Second, Opilki sounds are quiet and simple; they unobtrusively get the job done.

Plug it in

On top of themes, sounds, and the like, there are functional addons as well. My favorite plugin is RSSNews, which allows you to poll RSS feeds in your buddy list. If you have a must-read feed, you can have it checked every X minutes, then any new updates will pop up in a message window (completely customizable, of course).

If you’re missing your old client’s mail notification feature, have no fear. Miranda offers several plugins to do just that. There are two for GMail alone (here and here).

Beat the competition

From my research, there are two primary competitors for Miranda. I’ve tried them both, and neither one stacks up to Miranda.

GAIM is open source. However, it didn’t even work correctly for me. Several of my buddies had multiple listings that kept popping in and out, and I couldn’t stay connected to MSN. I un-installed that program.

Trillian is free for a decent version, but to get full functionality you have to pay. The interface is nice, and it’s got some handy features (video, etc). However, I had similar connectivity issues as with GAIM. Plus, you have to pay for the “pro” version to connect to Google Talk; that was a deal killer for me.

IM me

Now that we’ve covered the best IM client, in my opinion, let me know what you think. You can post a comment below, drop me a line, or IM me.

AIM Online Status IndicatorICQ Online Status IndicatorMSN Online Status IndicatorYahoo Online Status IndicatorJabber Online Status Indicator

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