Instant Messaging Server (Jabber/XMPP) available

FastMail is now running a Jabber server for all users. Jabber is an open-standard instant messaging protocol (also known as XMPP).

You can read more about Jabber here: http://www.jabber.org/

Our Jabber service is configured to allow S2S (server to server) communications, so you can use your email address as an instant messaging address and connect to users of other XMPP compatible chat systems (including google talk, livejournal, and of course jabber.org). Currently there’s no way to connect with proprietary messaging systems like MSN, Yahoo, AOL, etc. However there are a number of multi-protocol instant messenger clients (eg Pidgin, Miranda, etc) that will allow you to connect to multiple messenger services at once.

The main advantages of using the FastMail Jabber server over other services are:

  • Your login name/email address is the same as your chat name, so there’s only one address people have to use/remember
  • If you’re using a business or family account, it makes it easy for everyone in the family/business to chat to each other without needing to signup for any external service
  • We can interoperate with any other jabber system (eg google talk, livejournal, jabber.org, etc)
  • You can setup the service so that when a chat session is closed (or times out after 5 minutes), the chat log is emailed to you (login to the beta server at http://www.fastmail.fm/beta/ and go to Options -> Chat Settings). This is better than using your messenger clients history feature because the log is stored as an email in our IMAP server, so it’s replicated, backed up, and accessible anywhere

The main limitations of the FastMail jabber server are:

  • Can’t interoperate with proprietary messaging systems
  • Multi-user chat (chatrooms) aren’t available at the moment
  • You have to use your main login email address as the jabber id. You can’t use an alias

For instructions on setting up various clients, see this wiki page: http://wiki.fastmail.fm/index.php?title=ChatService. Note that most instant messaging clients have poor error reporting. If they can’t connect, they often don’t report an error, or report a poor error message. If you can’t seem to connect, please check that you’ve got all the options set correctly, and that you’ve entered your password correctly.

If you experience any problems, please report them to robm@fastmail.fm. Make sure you include as much information as possible, such as your username, operating system, messaging client, error message, etc. Try and include a screen shot of the setup screen and/or any error message.

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