4 minutes 830 Words
Why? Because discord is a terrible company. Now, here’s where some of my friends disagree: I honestly think discord works outstandingly well. Screen share is close to latency free and the quality isn’t bad either even without dIsCoRd NiTrO. It sucks to give up using it and finding a replacement isn’t easy if you want to cover all the features discord offers, you might have to use multple different programs to cover what discord does and even then you might still miss the screen share feature, at least as efficiently as discord does it.
So why would you want to get rid of discord anyway then?
Ransomware, phishing, poor security, you’re forced to provide a phone number, which I wouldn’t mind if it was a phone focused service like signal, but it’s not, it was born as a gamers thing and I don’t see any single valid reason why they should force you to provide a phone number, if it’s for 2FA they have much better alternatives.
Your account isn’t really yours, you want to bulk delete your shit? Tough luck, if you try to do so you’ll have your account deleted.
It’s centralised, all users have their data in the same server owned by discord and it’s not end to end encrypted. They can do what they want with your chat logs and uploaded files including selling them.
Just like when using google products your privacy is disregarded and even used for the company’s own profit. Yes, they sell your data. Yes, it’s a bad thing.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
The picture above is the answer, Matrix and XMPP are both chat protocols that support group chats and voice. Of those two Matrix is likely the closest you’ll ever get to discord. Is it good?
Eeeeeeeeh… It’s end to end encrypted so as far as privacy go it’s safer than discord, so much so that logging in on another device may not even show your chat logs if you don’t authenticate from other devices or if you don’t use a longer secondary passcode. Is that annoying to deal with every time? Yes, but it’s a safe way to handle it. And yes, there’s custom emojis and stickers.
To give you an easy to understand explanation of how they work I’ll use emails. You have an email account, right? Maybe multiple. You can use your email from the website you created it on but you can also use external clients. Let’s pretend you have a raccoon.quest email address, which you don’t because we don’t provide that. Despite you being on raccoon.quest you can send emails to your friends who use mailbox.org and you can login on your mailbox from any device using any client. It’s the same with Matrix and XMPP. Any Matrix account from any server can communicate among one another and join the same groups. Same goes from XMPP. But XMPP can’t communicate with Matrix, unless you set bridges, but let’s not get into that.
Let’s talk about clients. If you wanna use Matrix I recommend looking up schildichat which is available on linux, android and windows, dunno about apple, if you wanna use XMPP I recommend Gajim is on Windows and Linux, on android use conversation, get it from fdroid.
You obviously need to pick a server you wanna register on, Join Matrix! provides a list of Matrix servers, I recommend picking one close to your country and avoid the default one, it’s overcrowded. XMPP Providers instead will show you a list of XMPP servers. Just like before, pick one close to where you live and with good rating.
Now, what if your main focus is just voice? Then you need Mumble. You don’t make accounts on it, you find a server and join it. Usually those servers are also small communities, so if you want to just talk with your friend you might want to look into hosting a server yourself. I won’t go into writing a whole guide about it but if you look it up online you will find plenty.
Screen sharing is achieved with things like Jitsi. Personally I use meet.jit.si. Jitsi has it all. Screen share, voice chat, text chat and even webcam support. It doesn’t have accounts and you will need to create a new room each time you use it, your data won’t be stored either. Is the screenshare feature as good as discord? Fuck no. If you want quality like that you’ll need to use movienight or owncast.
Lastly I’ll briefly mention IRC. It’s just plain text chat, you can but don’t have to create accounts and each server has it’s own rooms, you can create rooms yourself too. If you want to find a replacement for discord, I reckon IRC is not what you will use, but if you are interested you can find more details online.
I hope this was useful and I brought you one step closer to punch the piggy in the face.