Trillian Reviews

End of an era

about Trillian · ·

Trillian was the go-to software for multi-client IM on Windows, but in recent years the company has lost its way and dropped many protocols, while other multi-client programs have continued to add new networks, and continue to support those that have officially ended (eg. MSN).
Since they deleted their old forums and the useless alternative they had, there is no level of community or open feedback.
Cerulean are the least social, social media connector.

Don't get me wrong, I still use Trillian, but mostly because I still have a working skype connection and the other lost networks are not much used anyway.

Positive stuff:
It is small compared with most other IM software (v5 = 15 MB download), and is not bloated (not sure why some complain it is)
It is very simple to setup, especially if using an existing Astra account because it remembers which networks you connect to and already has your user details.
IRC (desktop version) is made very easy to use and rooms to manage, even though it lacks the power features of a dedicated IRC client.
just being able to combine Facebook and Google chat into one smaller faster app is enough to be worth using.
Being able to combine contacts multiple IDs into one meta-contact is exceptionally useful (and tidy)
The integrated screen capture and media clip recording is very useful and easy to use.
It supports many network native features so there is consistency at both ends.
Many high quality and genuinely useful skins, plugins, emoticons + Emoji and sound packs have been made, so more network native compatibility is achievable (mostly).
On the desktop it makes Twitter much easier to digest and quicker to respond to.
The Astra IMPP network is Open source so people can inspect the code and make plugins for other IM software.
v6 has a brand new plugin system that allows more features.
Over all It is very polished looking and easy to use, and the advertising in the free version is not obtrusive or often shown (mobile version shows more often, and is in a position that makes fake GUI malvertising a risk).
Other free advert driven apps tend to show adverts to the people you are talking to, Trillian does not.
Using IMAP email accounts with the desktop client is a really handy way to keep updated and delete unwanted emails.

Negative stuff
Enabling diagnostic logging allows Cerulean to see your conversations in plain text. Only temporarily enable if you need it.
It has Emojis (I hate them).
Most other multi-client software supports more common/standard networks and actively adds more. Cerulean have not added a network for many years.
Nobody has made an Astra IMPP plugin for another IM client, so it is as useful as any other proprietary network.
Cerulean deleted the developer site where all the addons were hosted, so finding addons is difficult.
Over many years possibly the single most requested plugin or security feature was OTR/PGP encryption, and the reply remains the same "it is in our to-do list". It is not likely they ever will add OTR before Cerulean are gone or sold.
Community help is gone and they rely on an FAQ section, fuelled by feedback via email.
All the old 3rd party developers have no where to gather, create or release addons for the new version 6, so the future of Trillian looks very basic.
Lacks many features of the networks it supports.

To sum-up I would say, on the desktop use it if you only need the few networks it supports, but definitely use it on a low spec mobile device, because the odds are you use FB and Google chat already, and it saves on a lot of RAM.
For some reason mobile devices don't have any other comparable app that is still developed, so if you want to integrate multiple accounts and contact lists into 1 handy app, you have no real choice.

I see people making a lot of XMPP suggestions, but even though many IM networks will be accessible they all require XMPP, which is perfectly fine if all you want is jabber, Google and FB chat.
On Windows I would recommend a beginner try Pidgin even though it is not as easy to setup as Trillian, and recommend a nerd use Miranda-NG (still supports Yahoo and MSN) .
These have the widest IM and social media protocol support, and developer networks.
On MacOS again there is not much to choose from, but hopefully the new security update for Adium (available as a beta) will spur them to port more of the recent Libpurple plugins.

Trillian may have a future as a mobile only app, but not if they don't add commonly used and needed networks. Only old farts, and people from Eurasia use ICQ, and only the misguided few remain using AOL for an ISP.
Trillian will fill a need for now, but do not invest your time in it for the future.


wiked community a turn off, will not use

about Trillian · ·

Forum regulars are wicked to Western Civilization while forum policies are absurdly evil.

Client application has increasingly become bloatware and restrictive.


Use to use this a lot, but these days, don't need it

about Trillian · ·

This was great in the time of Windows/Live Messenger and Google Chat, however these days I find I just use iMessage, Telegram, and Slack - which really demand direct experiences, rather than 3rd party experiences like Trillian.


It is truly the absolute BEST Multi-IM client around (and now there is a native linux version too!)

about Trillian · · -1 Helpful

I've been using Trillian for many MANY years now. I bought a lifetime pro license for it as it didn't make sense to do the annual renewals @$20 when the lifetime license is only $60!

The windows version runs GREAT under wine, so long as you can live with one slightly annoying bug, but for me and quite a few other people I know, it is not a dealbreaker. A few of the modules in the preferences cause the application (and wine) to crash. They aren't very important settings in terms of everyday use and if you really need to change any of them, you can edit the .ini files in its installation directory. Aside from that minor annoyance it rather rocks!

There have been some people who have reported that in KDE, when a new message comes in and it opens the new IM window that it steals the keyboard input focus. It doesn't seem to happen to everyone and to those it does happen, you can fix it by changing the focus stealing sensitivity in your System Settings.

Now that all said, there is now a native linux client!!!! Very cool! For a long time, it was pretty rough and I would only use it for testing things and report back to the dev team (it was still in the private beta back then.) It is now in public beta and on version and the interface is greatly improved and it seems that they have most if not all of the obvious bugs and annoyances out of the public beta version It still isn't quite the same as the windows version yet, but they are slowly adding all the same features. I've personally waited for the day they did this for very many years and sent them emails regularly over the years as well. It is really great to see companies supporting linux like this!

Also, I saw someone several years ago complaining that it wasn't sending their screen name properly, there is a setting where you can override your screennames, I wonder if that was set and then value to be sent was accidentally left as an empty string?

It really is an awesome Multi-IM client, you should use it!

As of April 2015, this is a link to the current version of the public beta (


abusive company; api hacks for functionality; ZERO privacy via Cerulean caching service

about Trillian and Microsoft Lync, Psi+, Jitsi · · 1 Helpful

The intellectually weak and emotionally abusive haunt the "support" forums. I am not alone in this experience. The Cerulean people have irritated some technology people to the extent of a PR backlash.

avoid, else seek refund

Better functionality for multiprotocol employment via

Jitsi (SIP & XMPP, and the others)

Psi+ (SIP & XMPP, and the others)


Light weight

about Trillian and Skype · ·

I wanted to have some alternative for Skype with support for other services like gmail checker. You don't need Skype client to be installed to use this Trillian. It takes less RAM than Skype and plus is you can set up other social networks for example Facebook, Twitter etc.

You can pay for it but without paying you can have everything you need, but with some ads. User interface is changeable with skins and there are emotions packages for Skype etc.

I would recommend it, it's lightweight it can check your mails and many other things.



about Trillian · ·

In my own experiences, it was difficult to use, sluggish, and it just doesn't seem to be the perfect IM when compared to WLM. Display name and picture fails to show up on other people's screens, and it just feels like your account is hijacked.