Jami: A Versatile Cross-platform Open-Source Peer-to-Peer Decentralized Communication App

Jami screen showing a video conference on the go with a person in front of the screen. Top right is a smaller window showing the camera of the remote party.

I can’t believe I last did a proper post about Jami as far back as 2019 last. I mention it a lot, and it was included run a debate today on my Friendica site, but I realised it does deserve a proper feature post of its own.

Jami is a proper peer-to-peer messaging app, much like RetroShare, but Jami is probably a bit easier to use than RetroShare. It has no central servers that can be blocked or denied service. It has clients that can install easily on all operating systems, and all your data is stored locally on the client.

So, as with other P2P apps if you lose your private key or configs, you’ve lost all access to that client identity. There is no central service to reset any password. So, rule 1 is to backup your credentials, or have it also work on a second device.

The other important thing is Jami requires no e-mail or phone number to register with. There is no way for that identity to be linked to you personally. And like with RetroShare, SimpleX, Session, Wire, etc there is also no way any friend or anyone else can find you, unless you tell them how to connect with you. There is no way to search for friends etc. Security and privacy-wise, it is very much on par with apps like SimpleX, RetroShare, Session, etc.

It is fully open source and has E2EE for messaging. On a local network it requires no Internet to connect clients. Across the Internet the application uses distributed hash tables (DHT) to establish communications. This technology eliminates the use of centralized registers (servers) and the retention of personal data. Mass surveillance can not be undertaken by the servers as there is not any.

It has the following features:

  • Instant messaging
  • Group chats
  • Video Conferences
  • Audio calls
  • Audio and video messages
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing
  • Extensions for enhanced functionalities
  • Ability to use it as an SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) client

So, it is also much more than just a plain messenger app.

The linked article below does not go into its technology, but is focussed more on how to install and use it.

See https://itsfoss.com/jami/