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TorChat

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TorChat

TorChat
Developer(s) TorChat Developers
Initial release November 2007
Preview release Git
Written in Python
Operating system Linux, Microsoft Windows
Available in Multilingual
Type Instant messaging client
License GPL v3
Website

TorChat is a decentralized anonymous instant messenger that uses Tor hidden services as its underlying Network. It can be used for text messaging and to transfer files to other users. The characteristics of Tor's hidden services take care that all traffic between the clients is encrypted and that it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to tell who is communicating with whom and where a given client is physically located.

In TorChat every user has a unique alphanumeric ID consisting of 16 characters. This ID will be randomly created by Tor when the client is started the first time, it is basically the .onion address of a hidden service. TorChat clients communicate with each other by using Tor to contact the other's hidden service (derived from his ID) and exchanging status information, chat messages and other data over this connection. Since Tor hidden services can receive incoming connections even if they are behind a router doing network address translation (NAT), TorChat does not need any port forwarding to work.

TorChat is free software licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). The first public version of TorChat was released in November 2007 by Bernd Kreuß and has since then been constantly developed further. It is written in Python and uses the cross-platform widget toolkit wxPython which makes it possible to support a wide range of platforms and operating systems. At the moment there are versions available for Microsoft Windows and Linux.

The older windows versions of TorChat were built with py2exe (since 0.9.9.292 replaced with pyinstaller) and comes bundled with a copy of the Tor onion router readily configured so that it can be run as a portable application right off an USB flash drive without any installation, configuration or account creation.

Between 2008 and 2010 weren't any updated packages, resulting in the bundled version of Tor becoming obsolete and unable to connect to the Tor network[1] which was the reason for the appearance of forks[2] that basically just replaced the bundled Tor.exe with a current one. In December 2010, an official update finally became available that, among some minor bugfixes, also again includes an up-to-date Tor.exe.

A fork was released for Mac OS X in the summer of 2010 by a French developer. The binary (a Cocoa application) and source-code (C/C++/Objective-C/Objective-C++) bundled in a SourceMac. It should be noted that this fork is still in beta and need more test before claiming to be safe.

A rewrite of the TorChat protocol in Java, it can run on any platform with Tor with some configuration. The project is actively seeking Java contributors, especially to help debug the GUI interface.

As of February 5th, 2013, developer Prof7bit moved TorChat to Free Pascal.

See also

Cryptography portal
Free software portal

References

External links

  • TorChat for Mac OS X
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