Wire: Secure Open Source Skype Alternative for Ubuntu that Works
Wire is an open-source video and voice chat app for Ubuntu which is secured with end-to-end encryption. They call it the “most secure collaboration platform” for your computer and smartphone. Let’s find out if it works just as great on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
What is Wire?
Wire is a truly cross-platform, and open-source, encrypted chat client created by Wire Swiss GmbH, a Switzerland based firm. Wire supports end-to-end encrypted instant messages, video and voice calls. It works on Linux, Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, as well as on your regular WebRTC compatible web browsers (most modern ones including Ubuntu’s default Firefox is WebRTC compatible).
Skype co-founder Janus Friis is one the main backers of the Wire project. Many ex Skype employees are also part of the team now. Audio quality and a razor sharp focus on Privacy are some of the top selling points of Wire. It doesn’t serve you ads, and hence no profiling or data mining. Instead, Wire has a subscription-based premium service for its Enterprise users with flexible pricing.
How to Install Wire on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS?
If you are on Ubuntu or other Debian based distros:
- Download Wire (DEB) for Ubuntu 64-bit
- And simply double-click to install it.
If you are on Android, Wire has dedicated app on Google Playstore:
More Download options can be found here: Wire Downloads for other Platforms
And yes, there’s a PPA!
Now, if you want to go a little more complicated route for assured software updates, there is a PPA for Ubuntu as well. This should work on most Debian based Linux distros (Linux Mint, elementaryOS, Kubuntu to name a few).
Even though it supports encrypted video and voice calls on Ubuntu/Linux, note that Wire for Linux is still experimental and is not recommended on production machines. From our limited experience, Wire does work great on Ubuntu 18.04 (installed via PPA), but we haven’t tested its cross-platform abilities yet. Let us know your opinion about Wire on Ubuntu in the comments.