TOX: an Encrypted Skype Replacement

I wrote about Tox more than two years ago at A lot has happened since then.

In 2014, Tox was “under development.” In fact, it was in pre-Alpha status and was notably buggy. Today, a lot has changed. Tox now is a fully supported release and is as close to bug-free as most other software that you use every day.

Tox (pronounced “talks) is a secure Skype alternative. Unlike Skype, it cannot be monitored by government spies or by hackers. It is not supported by a corporation. Rather, it’s an open-source tool made by “people fed up with the existing options that spy on us, track us, censor us, and keep us from innovating.”

Good-bye Microsoft!

Tox provides: two-way encrypted voice calls, encrypted instant messaging, two-way encrypted video, encrypted screen sharing, and encrypted file sharing. Yres, the word “encrypted” appears often in that sentence. It is secure. You can chat, call, and share video and files with the whole gang in Tox’s group chats. Even group activities are fully encrypted.

According to the Tox web site:

“Whether it’s corporations or governments, digital surveillance today is widespread. Tox is easy-to-use software that connects you with friends and family without anyone else listening in. While other big-name services require you to pay for features, Tox is completely free and comes without advertising — forever.”

“Tox is made by the people who use it — people fed up with the existing options that spy on us, track us, censor us, and keep us from innovating.”

Tox is a FOSS (Free and Open Source) project. All Tox code is open source and all development occurs in the open. Tox is developed by volunteer developers who spend their free time on it, believing in the idea of the project. Tox is not a company or any other legal organization. The software is free and is expected to always remain free of charge. Currently the folks who write the Tox software will not even accept donations.

Tox is available for Windows, Macintosh, Android, Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), BSD Unix, and GNU/Linux.

Tos is available in two versions: qTox (the full-featured app) or uTox (meant for lighter systems). Installation and configuration is simple. Tox is completely free and doesn’t feature any ads. Secure chats, voice calls, and video calls mean that nobody can spy on you. You can even share your screen and trade files with no limits.

What’s more, Tox is a peer-to-peer product that does not use servers anywhere. As a result, there are no servers for malicious folk to attack. Hackers and government spies cannot tap into Tox’s servers simoply because there are no such servers. Simple. Secure.

The biggest drawback to Tox is figuring which version you need. See for the list.

Tox is definitely worth a look if you value privacy and freedom in your apps. Check it out at:

The FAQ (Frequently-Asked-Questions) may be found at while the complete users’ manual may be found in a wiki at

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