Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, has been hard at work on a Skype rival that promises to deliver more secure video calling. It’s called MegaChat, and it’s a browser-based app that you can start using today.
MegaChat is initially available in public beta, which means it’s not quite ready for a proper release just yet — but anyone can go and try it out. Its special feature is end-to-end encryption, which makes your chats super secure and gives MegaChat a big advantage over Skype, Google Hangouts, and other rival video calling services.
MegaChat shares the same website as the Mega file sharing service, so you simply visit Mega.nz in your browser, login or create a free account, and then click the little chat icon in the navigation pane. The contacts icon just above it will let you add friends to your contacts list using their email address.
Early reports say the service works very well, but it’s still a little barebones for now. You won’t get anywhere near as many of the features you’re used to seeing in Skype, then — though Dotcom promises that regular instant messaging, video conferencing, and more is one the way — but for simple, one-to-one video calls, it works as advertized.
It’s still too early to say whether MegaChat is as secure as it claims, but we’ll surely find out very soon; Dotcom is offering a “security bounty” to anyone who identifies and reports security flaws.