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Kim Dotcom launches MegaChat, a secure Skype alternative

Kim Dotcom has finally launched his voice and video calling service, promising much higher level security than rival platforms such as Skype.

MegaChat is currently in its beta stage, but is available to anyone with an account at Dotcom’s cloud storage site Mega.

Read more: Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing delayed until next year

At the moment, the service is light on features, simply offering some basic chat history alongside live calls. However, Dotcom has previously stated that text chat and video conference calls are on the way.

One of the features sure to work in MegaChat’s favour is that it is browser-based, meaning that no additional software has to be downloaded for it to work. That being said, there are extensions for both Google Chrome and Firefox that should boost performance.

MegaChat’s main selling point, however, is that it offers users end-to-end encryption, which Dotcom claims makes it more secure than its competitors Skype and Google Hangouts. Given that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has claimed that Skype cooperated with the agency’s surveillance programmes, it would be understandable if some users had some privacy concerns over the Microsoft-owned firm.

Kim Dotcom is also looking to ensure that MegaChat’s security credentials are maintained in the long term by offering a reward to anyone that finds vulnerabilities within the service.

TechCrunch reports that the platform didn’t always work entirely as it should, but when calls were successful, the quality was comparable to that of Skype. However, its file sharing service did operate smoothly and utilised User Controlled Encryption (UCE) to keep transfers secure.

Read more: Skype, WhatsApp and more found to be worryingly insecure

Considering the service has only just launched it would be harsh to criticise MegaChat’s teething problems, so if anyone is looking for a more secure way to communicate online they can sign up for free now.