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Group test: what's the best instant messaging service?

The best IM apps you can install

PC Advisor reviews the best Instant messaging apps you can use today.

5. RadiusIM

If you want to make new friends in your area (and you're willing to accept the security risks that accompany meeting people online), RadiusIM shows promise. But until more people use the service, its location-based features have limited utility. And despite its clean interface and relative ease of use, RadiusIM's registration process - brief though it is - may hold you back.

4. Miranda IM 0.8

For those who use only surface capabilities of instant messengers, Miranda IM is for you; however, if you'd like more granular control, Yoono Desktop supports most of the same instant messengers, is also free, and is much more full-featured.

3. Chit Chat for Facebook 1.3

If you’re a regular user of Facebook Chat then Chit Chat for Facebook is certainly a helpful add-on to the social network’s instant-messaging service. It improves the flow of conversation and ensures you don’t need to be logged in to chat to friends. Available for free, it’s great value too.

2. Windows Live Messenger 2011

If you use Microsoft Windows Live Messenger as your primary vehicle for IM - and you're a Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn junkie - this app will appeal to you. But if you won't consider a social network portal worth your time without access to Twitter, this app is not for you. And IM purists - especially those who want to chat with users of another IM service - will be better served with an app like Trillian, which lets you chat with users of multiple services, including AIM, Facebook, ICQ, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger, among others.

1. Meebo

We loved Meebo. Meebo offers instant messaging capability wherever you go, and you won't miss that clunky desktop IM client.

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