Jitsi Meet Reviews

Excellent privacy-enhancing Skype & Google Hangouts alternative

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Jitsi Meet (not to be confused with just Jitsi) is an extremely easy to use, browser based, end-to-end encrypted (and therefore private) Skype alternative. It's open source and free.

Privacy:
End-to-end encryption between the people talking on Jitsi Meet means your video, audio and chat is very difficult, if not impossible to intercept and record by third parties. This means no company like Skype/others can record your conversations and analyze their content or give it away to marketing companies or spy agencies. (Note that Skype has been shown to record conversations for the NSA's prism program.)

Ease of use:
To use Jitsi Meet you don't need to install anything. You need only a browser, and to go to https://meet.jit.si/ . There, a link is generated at the top of the page and you click 'Go'. This will take you to a unique URL where your video chat can occur. Others can join you if you simply email them this link and they click on it. That's it. When you join the room, a simple pop-up box will ask you if you permit Jitsi Meet to use your microphone and camera. That's it.

Functionality:
At the time of writing Jitsi Meet has many useful features. This includes: video, audio and chat, desktop sharing, a link to work on a shared document via etherpad.org and the ability to share YouTube videos. The functionality is essentially the same as Skype, except that you don't need to sign up or give away any personally identifying information. Additionally, you can do conference calls with several people. There is also a small function where you can opt to raise your hand to notify others that you would like the chance to speak (e.g. if you're running a meeting). If you like, it is also possible to set a password for your room, so that in addition to the URL link, visitors will need to know a password to be able to join you. I have spoken several times with friends from other countries, including trans-Atlantic connections, for hours without any major difficulties in connectivity or functionality.

Overall:
For the fact that Jitsi Meet is open-source, end-to-end encrypted and has the same functionality as Skype without requiring sign up or any privacy-violating licence agreements, it should be loudly commended. It is an excellent project and I recommend it heartily to anyone who is looking for an alternative to Skype. (And all Skype users should be looking for a more private alternative.)


Note: You will have to have WebRTC is your browser enabled for Jitsi Meet to work. It is enabled by default in most browsers like Firefox or Chrome.

Note 2: If you have WebRTC enabled and you're using a VPN (e.g. you are protecting your real location from being detected), there is a risk that your real IP can get leaked. In that case, follow the advice on privacytools.io and browserleaks.com and consider using Jitsi (without the Meet) as an alternative via an XMPP server.

Totally superb review, John!

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