The top picks in free communication software:
Miranda is a messaging chat client for Windows supporting many instant messaging networks. The main principle of Miranda is: Smaller, Faster, Easier. The goal of this project is not to duplicate the functionality of the official software, but to design a client that is clean and easy to use. There’s also a very open 130+ plugin structure that makes it easy to extend the functionality of Miranda. It uses very little memory, requires no installation and can easily be carried around on a single floppy disc.
Editor’s note: This is a must have. I replaced Trillian, as good as that appliaction is, with Miranda.
Communicate with Flexibility and Style. Trillian is everything you need for instant messaging. Connect to ICQ®, AOL Instant Messenger(SM), MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and IRC in a single, sleek and slim interface.
nPOPuk is an ultra-small, but comprehensive, nPOPuk is a much extended version of the nPOP e-mail client that runs on a wide range of Windows-based operating systems that features SMTP and SMTP-AUTH and POP before SMTP, automatic check for new mail, filters for Routing Received e-mail and much more — all under 300 kb! The program is the best email client you can possibily get for its size, and comes extensively documented on its website.
Spamato is an extendable spam filter system for Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, Mozilla Mail, written in Java. It exists in different flavors and runs on various platforms. When Spamato detects a spam messages, it moves the message to a special ‘junk mail’ folder. Thus, you are able to review Spamato’s decisions. Simply by clicking a button in your mail client, you can report undetected spam messages and/or revoke messages wrongly branded as spam. Additional graphical statistics explain the efficiency of every single filter as well as the overall effectiveness of the whole system.
POP Peeper is an email notifier that runs in your Windows task bar and alerts you when you have new email on any of your POP3, Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo, Mail.com, MyWay, Excite, Lycos.com, or RediffMail accounts. You can also use POP Peeper to read and delete your email. POP Peeper supports HTML email, so you can see your email the same way as you would in your email client.