about pidgin

David Woolley forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Tue Aug 3 07:30:20 EDT 2021

On 03/08/2021 05:10, M Mn wrote:
> Is there truly any way to text free over the internet? With one simple app without having to download a bunch of extra stuff that needs configuring too?

I assume by free, you mean except for what you are already paying to 
access the internet, and the references to extra stuff and configuration 
refer to stuff not included by your OS supplier and configuration you 
wouldn't have to do to use the internet in the first place, which are 
somewhat variable items.  What services you get as part of the standard 
bundle, with the OS, depends on what the OS developer things the market 
wants, as moderated, by any commercial interests they may have in 
operating infrastructure.

The biggest obstacle to point to point operation is actually that most 
people don't have a first class connection to the internet, but rather 
go through network address translation with an unstable public address.

In the early days of the internet, email would have provided this, and 
some early mass market ISPs (e.g. Demon in the UK) worked in a way where 
their customers had a first class connection to the internet, including 
for email.  However, with the mass market, came a move to storing 
mailboxes centrally and consumer mail programs only having second class 
access, using a single relay for all outbound traffic, and sucking 
incoming traffic from centralised mailboxes, rather than sending 
outgoing mail directly to the recipient's system, and accepting pushes 
of incoming mail direct from the sender.  The advent of spam supported 
this trend, as people started not to trust point to point routed email.

SIP, as used for VoIP, and also capable of text messaging, is similar. 
The protocol is quite capable of working point to point, but nearly 
everyone uses it via an internet telephony service provider, and uses 
phone numbers for addressing, not full user at domain addresses.  SIP 
implementations do tend to have some support for address translation, 
but can have trouble if the public address isn't stable.

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