WhatsApp developer Yan Koum invented a phone number binding to a user account. This is a logical step because you have a ready contact list in your phone with subscribers names and numbers. You feel no need in creating and memorization of a unique account like UIN or email in a Jabber application. A phone number with an international code is unique. Such an account is easy to activate or restore via SMS.
It turned out, that all followers of this application (Viber and Telegram) copy this good idea and bind firmly to a phone number. You can't register in a messenger without specifying your real phone number to get an SMS for account activation. In most countries, you can't buy a SIM card without a passport.
Starting from December 2018, the ICQ program force its users to specify their phone numbers, stepping back from regular UINs. It also changed the protocol to "kill" all alternative clients that are not developed by Mail.ru.
Even Signal, that is advertised by Snowden as a "secure" application can't be activated without SMS.
It means that you do not have a bit of privacy. An account in a messenger = phone number = passport.
We do not have to explain where it can lead to. Even if a hypothetical user, that has "nothing to hide" and do not afraid of "FBI" agent who reads messages all day all night, decides to quit the company he will take all the work message history with him.
So, we still need a messenger, but without mandatory binding to a phone number. And we want an Android application. And encryption, and ability to work over the Internet and calls. In general, all cool features of modern products. And the best warranty of your data privacy is own messenger server.
Install a secure enterprise messenger
MyChat messenger. Download from the official website. If you have less than 20 people in your company, the free version will be enough, if you need more — you will have to purchase a license.
It is remarkable that a free version has no expiration time or trial period. You simply install it and use. When it's time to extend the license — activate the license and all settings and history will remain.
First, install MyChat server by using the instruction. Any system with Windows will be suitable — no need in a special server. There are no mazes; the setup file is regular. Next, next, next, and run the server. We recommend adding the following three modules to the anti-virus exclusion list that blocks the traffic and firewall: mcserv.exe, built-in WEB server \node\node.exe and C:\ProgramData\MyChat Server\turn\bin\turnserver.exe (for automatic calls routing over NAT).
Then in the window of the running server click on the button "Download MyChat Client":
You will be transferred to a browser where you can download a ready client:
You can configure everything by yourself, but this variant is more convenient. You can give the link to all employees: they download and install the program in two clicks — the setup file does not ask any questions, everything is done automatically. The setup file is configured on your server IP address; the username is taken from Windows login. You can configure other things later.
How to connect people over the Internet?
An office intranet — everything is clear: stationary computers, laptops, and Wi-Fi. But what to do if you need to connect people from other departments or external employees over the Internet?
Here are three options.
- If you have an external IP, then make a port mapping on a router, that distributes the Internet in an office. Forward the traffic on a computer in a local network. The article will help you to understand how it looks and works. All people connect from a local network to the internal IP, and other over the Internet to the external address. You need a domain for HTTPS encryption and calls.
- Second variant — run MyChat Server on VDS or VPS with Windows. For example, you have no external IP, bad Internet channel, no computer where you can install the messenger server, or you allergic to Windows. various reasons. You have to pay monthly to your host as the hosting for VDS/VPS with Windows usually more expensive than hosting for websites because these are not the same things.
- Thirdly, you can rent the server from MyChat developers. It is a cheaper option than renting from VDS/VPS host. Another advantage is that you do not have to buy a license because you only pay for rent. The tariff is — 50 cents per user per month. Additionally, you will be provided with developers support.
In summary, there are no problems between technical platforms. The server with a data and history is transferred easy and quickly; there is a tool for an automatic remote client reconfiguration (new address and server port) to avoid torturing users.
Without Viber, Telegram, and WhatsApp the life won't stop. Using own messenger in a corporate environment is a smart, secure, and affordable decision.
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