Introduction to Tox — Free & Open Source messenger with audio/video calls as Skype Alternative

Update 30.08.2015: one of the developers stolen all money and website of project. New Tox website is here.

Introduction and clients overview

Tox is a free messenger and licenced under GNU GPLv3. He also support secured text messeges(NSA can’t read your messages), audio and video calls, group chat. Tox is very easy to use and don’t require strong programming skills. If you can use Skype, it’s not a problem to use Tox – without ads and pays.


Take a look on this screenshot:

Utox Client
Utox Client


Nothing complicated, just click on contact and write a message or make a call. Tox support Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS and Android. All download links you can find here.

Some screens of mobile versions:

Antox on Android
Antox on Android


Antidote on iOS
Antidote on iOS


Console version: Toxic on Linux

Contact management

Every Tox user have a personal ID. for example my ID: “56EAEA8D496FAF85D977020134C602D3922919152280FF6EADFEFE1E7C5FAB0D81B82301C737” Looks horrible, right? This is not a problem — you can use the DNS Discovery services with provides alias:


You can add my alias “” or ID, but first variant is better for work.

To join to groupchat, add to your contacts and send message “invite”. You can create personal room and run your own group bot.

Run on multiple devices with the same ID

For typical use case “one ID on laptop, desktop and smartphone” you need to copy *.tox file to all your devices. .config/tox/$USER.tox for Linux.

How it works

User have a public and closed keys and connect directly to other via distributed P2P network. The Tox Core library provides an API used by Tox clients. Read also: Crypto, DHT, Messaging Protocol Tox also support IPv6 and TOR.


Read more:

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  • Jonah Cpu St-Francois

    This is awesome…

  • “NSA can’t read your messeges” If they decide to read your messages, there’s not much you can do about it. At some point it’s going to be decripted and displayed to the user… I guess what was meant was that the messages are not sent as plain text…

    • John Smith

      They’re decrypted and displayed to the user on the user’s system. Unless that system is backdoored, I don’t see how the NSA will be able to read messages.

      • Exactly 🙂 the “unless the system is backdoored” part was missing 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that so much development is taking place around security and privacy. I just have noticed how hard the problem actually is when everything appears to be backdoorable (hard drives, sdcards, routers, phones, operating systems, sim cards, etc).

        • herzmeister

          Cryptographers and activists are well-aware of the problem that nothing can be 100% secured, but people like Bruce Schneier propose that you have to make it as difficult as possible for “them” so that it becomes more and more economically nonviable to extend any spying activities.

          Software like Tox has to be end-to-end encrypted, and the sources have to be open and public. Otherwise it would be indeed too easy to implant backdoors. See — also use FOSS operating systems both on desktop and mobile.

      • Kusuriya

        the NSA has this super effective cryptography method called rubber hose cryptography, see below

        • Their web site is currently down, I hope developers aren’t being rubber hosed.

  • Their website is down, could it be that NSA is currently installing backdoors into tox? 🙂 On more serious note… so this chat works purely p2p without the need to have central server? Update: web site is back online.