List of Networking Clients


This is a small, hand-maintained, list of various networking applications. The focus is on GUI client applications.

Instant Messaging Clients

  • Pidgin - a universal, multi-protocol, chat client for Windows, Linux and other UNIX systems and Mac OS X. Supports voice on Linux alone. Has a console-based client called Finch. Open Source (GPLed).

  • Jitsi - an open source and cross-platform audio/video and chat communicator that supports multiple protocols (LGPLed).

  • Miranda IM - an open source, multi-protocol, instant messaging client for Microsoft Windows. GPLed.

  • Adium - an open source IM application for Mac OS X that supports many protocols. GPLed.

  • Trillian - a proprietary IM client for Windows, Mac OS X and some smartphone platforms, that supports many protocols.

  • Beejive - an instant messaging client for Android, the iPhone, the iPad and for BlackBerry. Proprietary and freeware.

  • Empathy - an open source (GPLed) client for the GNOME environment, which was created as an alternative to Pidgin. UNIXes-only.

  • Kopete - an instant messaging client for the KDE desktop environment. Open Source (GPLed).

  • Wikipedia’s Comparison of instant messaging clients

  • CenterIM - a text-mode multi-protocol Instant Messaging client for Linux, the BSDs and other UNIXes. Open source.

  • BitlBee - an IRC to other chat networks gateway.

FTP Clients

  • lftp - a sophisticated command-line FTP and HTTP client. Open Source (GPLed).

  • FileZilla - a cross-platform open-source FTP GUI client (and an open-source FTP server for Windows). GPLed.

  • FireFTP - an FTP/SFTP client for Mozilla Firefox.

  • Konqueror - provides access to FTP, SFTP and other remote access mechanisms using KDE’s KIO-Slaves framework.

  • WS_FTP - a proprietary and shareware FTP client for Windows.

  • Wikipedia’s Comparison of FTP client software

Dedicated IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Clients

Note: some multi-protocol instant messaging clients support IRC as well.

  • XChat and HexChat - open source IRC clients for Linux and Windows. HexChat is the more actively maintained and recommended fork of XChat. (GPLed).

  • ChatZilla - an open-source IRC client implemented as a Firefox plug-in. (MPL).

  • mIRC - a popular shareware and proprietary IRC client for Microsoft Windows.

  • irssi - a cross-platform and open-source console client with good extensibility. (GPLed)

  • BitchX and EPIC - two open-source IRC clients based on the original ircII.

  • Konversation - an IRC client for the KDE desktop environment. Open source (GPLed).

  • Quassel IRC - a cross-platform, Qt based IRC client, that allows one to attach and detach to and from a common core. Open source (GPLed).

  • WeeChat - a fast, lightweight, and extensible chat client. Open source (GPLed).

  • Wikipedia’s Comparison of Internet Relay Chat clients

Web Browsers

  • Mozilla Firefox - an open-source (Triple GPL/LGPL/MPL licence) and cross-platform web-browser, with many extensions and add-ons.

  • Google Chromium (open source codebase) and Google Chrome (not open source) - a browser from Google. Note: by default, it sends a lot of data back to Google.

  • SeaMonkey - an all-in-one Internet Application Suite based on the Mozilla codebase.

  • Opera - a proprietary but mostly cross-platform browser and Internet suite by Opera Software.

  • Internet Explorer (a.k.a Microsoft Internet Explorer, MSIE, or IE) - a series of Windows-specific web-browsers by Microsoft. Incomplete and lagging support for web-standards, and recent versions only run on more and more recent versions of Windows. Received a lot of criticism - see my “Stop Using Internet Explorer!” page.

  • Safari - a proprietary web browser from Apple, that is the default web-browser on Mac OS X.

  • uzbl - a browser that follows the UNIX philosophy (“Write programs to do one thing and do it well”/etc.).

  • KDE’s Konqueror can also be used as a web browser, however note that its engine (KHTML) has been under-maintained, and now fails to display many web pages correctly. A more usable fork of it is WebKit, which is used in Google Chromium, Safari and in other browsers.

  • Wikipedia’s Comparison of Web Browsers

RSS Feed Aggregators

  • Liferea - an open-source news aggregator for Linux and UNIX.

  • Akregator - an open-source aggregator for KDE.

  • Sage - “a lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator extension for Mozilla Firefox”. Open Source (MPL).

  • RSSOwl - an open-source and cross-platform feed reader written in Java.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird - an open-source and cross-platform E-mail application that also handles calendar and RSS feeds.

Microblogging Clients

  • Hotot - an open-source, cross-platform Microblogging client written in Python.

  • Gwibber - an open-source microblogging client for Linux based on the Gtk+ toolkit.

  • Choqok - an open-source microblogging client for the K Desktop environment.

Email Clients (Mail User Agents / MUAs)

  • Mozilla Thunderbird - an open source and cross-platform E-mail application.

  • Claws-Mail - an open source and cross-platform E-mail client (and news reader) based on Gtk+. (GPLed)

  • KMail - the KDE E-mail client. Open source (GPLed).

  • GNOME Evolution - “integrated mail, address-book and calendering functionality to users of the GNOME desktop”. Open Source (GPLed).

  • Microsoft Outlook - a proprietary personal information manager from Microsoft available for Windows and Macintosh.

  • Alpine - an open source terminal-based E-mail client. (Under the Apache licence).

  • Mutt - an open-source terminal-based E-mail client. (GPLed)

  • Zimbra - open source email calendar and collaboration solution with a web-based interface.

  • SeaMonkey - offers an E-mail client as well as a browser.

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Clients

  • MLDonkey - a cross-platform and open-source multi-protocol Peer-to-Peer client.

  • eMule - an open-source P2P file sharing application for Microsoft Windows.

  • BitTornado - an enhanced BitTorrent client.

  • KTorrent - a GUI BitTorrent client for KDE.

  • µTorrent - a freeware, ad-supported and proprietary BitTorrent client available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

  • Transmission - an open source BitTorrent client with native Mac OS X, Gtk+ and Qt GUI clients, and that can be controlled by web and terminal clients.

Download Managers

  • wxDownload Fast - an open source and cross-platform GUI download manager.

  • aria2 - a sophisticated multi-protocol and multi-source command line download utility that supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP and BitTorrent. Open Source (GPLed).

  • Prozilla - console-based download accelerator. Open source. (aria2 seems better.)

  • KGet - download manager for the KDE desktop environment. Open source.

NNTP (Net News / Usenet) Readers

  • Pan - an open-source and cross-platform GUI newsreader. (GPLed).

  • Claws-Mail

  • Mozilla Thunderbird

  • TIN - an open-source (BSD-licensed) console-based news reader.

Command Line WWW (HTTP, FTP, etc.) clients

  • GNU Wget - a usable command line client for web fetching and mirroring. (Open source, GPLed.)

  • cURL - a command-line client for many protocols. Somewhat more low-level than Wget. (Open Source, MIT/Expat-licensed).

  • HTTPie - a “command-line-interface HTTP client; user-friendly cURL replacement featuring intuitive UI, JSON support, syntax highlighting, wget-like downloads, extensions, etc.”


  • rsync - a software application and protocol for incremental synchronisation of files and directories. Open Source (GPLv3).

    • zsync - similar to rsync but based on HTTP-1.1. Open Source (Artistic 2.0).


Creative Commons License

This document is Copyright by Shlomi Fish, 2012, and is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 Unported (or at your option any later version of that licence).

For securing additional rights, please contact Shlomi Fish and see the explicit requirements that are being spelt from abiding by that licence.