10 Best Self-Hosted Chat Platforms Reviews To Try In 2024
In this article, I have researched and reviewed the best self-hosted chat platforms for Android, iOS, and the Web, that can be hosted on your own servers. Here is my list of the most popular chat platforms for both personal and business communication.
Table of Contents
What Is A Chat Platform?
A chat platform is an online tool that enables users to communicate with each other in real-time. The chat platform consists of engaging tools to enhance effective communications, like file sharing, push notifications, topic-based chat, etc.
What Is A Self Hosted Chat Platform?
Self-hosted chat platforms or software are a set of communication features that are integrated into chat apps and are maintained on a company’s own servers.
In this article, I’ll give a detailed overview of the top platforms that are preferred by expert developers to build enterprise-grade chat messengers.
Best 10 Self-hosted Chat Platforms
I compared the best self-hosted chat platforms 1.MirrorFly 2.Rocket.chat 3.Apphitect 4.Zulip 5. Jitsi and more with features, free trail & online market research report 2024. Each platform has its own unique set of features, pricing, and capabilities.
Let’s look at some of these listed platforms, and check out when they should be used.
1. MirrorFly : The Most Developer-friendly Self Hosted Chat Platform
Best For: Apps need 100% customization and control of their in app chat features
MirrorFly is a leading in-app communication provider that offers feature-rich APIs and SDKs for building chat, video and voice calls into apps.
As a developer-friendly platform, MirrorFly’s Customizable video and voice chat solution is a great fit for both personal and business applications. This allows wider customization and 100% control over your app’s security and hosting infrastructure.
What are the advantages of MirrorFly?
- MirrorFly is a self-hosted chat platform for building in-app communication
- Allows complete customization
- The platform is open-source
- You can hire a dedicated development team for integration and support
- The API supports multi-platform chat development
- Quick and easy to set up
- The APIs adhere to GDPR and HIPAA compliance
What are the drawbacks of MirrorFly?
- MirrorFly does not support recording video sessions
- Does not allow create meeting agendas
MirrorFly offers both SaaS and SaaP pricing models.
- SaaS : Monthly Pricing
- SaaP : MirrorFly’s self-hosted solution is available for a custom plan. You can choose the features you need, pay only once and use them for a lifetime.
What’s unique about MirrorFly?:
|Android | iOS | Mac | Windows | Linux
|Digital Healthcare, E-learning, Gaming, Fitness, Social & Dating, Financial, E-Commerce, Logistics/shipping, Information technology & more
2. Rocket.Chat : The Customizable Chat Service Built For Teams
Best For: Enterprises and Businesses that focus on secure team communication
Rocket.Chat is an open-source, self-hosted chat service for team communication and collaboration. It keeps user conversations completely safe with E2E encryption, SSO, 2-factor authentication, and OAuth.
It offers both a self-hosted chat solution and a SaaS solution. Their customizable chat solution allows users to run the app on-premises or deploy it to secure cloud servers.
What are the advantages of Rocket.chat?
- Provides video and audio conferencing
- Supports Multi-platform development
- Offers end-to-end encryption
- Granular user roles (180+)
- Supports third-party integrations
What are the drawbacks of Rocket.chat?
- Requires technical expertise for setup and maintain
- Limited features in the Free plan
- Community: $0/user/month
- $7 /user/month (Minimum of 25 users)
- $35 //agent/month (Minimum of 5 agents)
What’s unique about Rocket.chat?:
|Android | iOS | Web | macOS | Windows | Linux
|Government, Defense, Healthcare, Financial Services, Technology
3. Apphitect : The #1 Self-hosted Chat Platform For Modern Apps
Best For: Businesses that prioritize security of their user’s personal information and conversations.
Apphitect is a white-label instant messaging platform that offers customizable video, voice and chat features for Android, iOS and website applications. The platform is popularly known for its self-hosted solution that lets you host the chat features on your own cloud/ premise.
Besides, enterprises that are highly conscious about the privacy of their user conversations and account information can confidently opt for the end-to-end encrypted SDKs offered by Apphitect.
What are the advantages of Apphitect?
- Lets you customize video, voice and chat features.
- Offers a complete white-label chat solution.
- Protects chats with end-to-end encryption.
- Offers user analytics and dashboard.
- Available for a one-time license fee.
- Flexible deployment on your own cloud servers or premises.
What are the drawbacks of Apphitect?
- Does not allow unlimited participants in its white-label video calls
What is the Cost of Apphitect Software?
One-time License cost: Businesses that prioritize security of their user’s personal information and conversations.
What’s unique about Apphitect?:
|iOS | Android | Web
ation, Dating, Fitness, Insurance, Banking, telehealth
4. Zulip: Highly Flexible Platform For Third-Party Integrations
Best For: Business apps that can collaborate with other enterprise apps
Zulip is a great option for developers looking for open-source software to make a full-on communication infrastructure. The platform hosts its features on your own network to give you complete control over its customization and deployment.
Among other self-hosted chat software, Zulip flaunts its 90+ native integrations, supporting more from Zapier and IFTTT alongside
What are the advantages of Zulip?
- Zulip avails APIs to build integrations
- The codes are developer-friendly
- Renders threading approach
- The team chat from Zulip is open-source
- Migration is easy from other chat messengers
What are the drawbacks of Zulip?
- The learning curve of Zulip is too steep
- Provides only minimal features
Zulip offers both cloud and self-hosted chat solutions:
- Free: $0
- Standard: $6.67/ user per month
- Free: $0
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing
What’s unique about Zulip?
|Windows | macOS | Linux | Android | iOS | Terminal
|Business, Education, Research, Events & Conferences, Communities, Open Source Project
5. Jitsi : A Whitelabel Chat Platform With Intuitive UI
Best For Businesses & Marketplace apps that need responsive chat interfaces
Jitsi is a beautifully designed open-source, self-hosted chat platform with a visually compelling UI and seamlessly high-quality audio and video outputs. Using this WebRTC-compatible platform, you can easily add immersive communication features to your applications.
This live chat platform provides 2 different products, namely Jitsi Video bridge and Jitsi Meet which consists of real-time communication tools to elevate the interaction facilities within your app.
What are the advantages of Jitsi?
- Jitsi is an open-source community
- Protects the audio & video files with encoding & decoding
- It offers the best private chat rooms
- Provides calls, chat, video conferencing & file transfer
- Offers video recording and live streaming
What are the drawbacks of Jitsi?
- Occasional connectivity issues
What’s unique about Jitsi?
|Android | Linux | Web | iOS | Windows | macOS
|On-demand, Transport, Retail, Real Estate, Public Sector
6. Matrix.org : Robust Software With Scalable Chat Features
Best For: App developers building real-time communication features
Matrix.org is the final provider in the list of our top-performing self-hosted instant messaging software with innovative chat app system design & architecture in the industry. The key highlight of this platform is that it uses the Olm and Megolm cryptographic ratchets to protect user conversations across your apps.
You can use their RESTful HTTP/JSON APIs to make features like direct messaging, chat room apps, and chatbots for your chat application users. This self hosted chat software also adopts the decentralized conversation architecture to copy the chats to servers where active user participation is identified.
What are the advantages of Matrix.org?
- Allows customization of chat features
- Interoperable with other communication integrations
- Matrix’s self-hosted chat server offers end to end control over user data
- Uses decentralized chat app architecture
What are the drawbacks of Matrix.org?
- Does not offer cloud hosting
- The learning curve of matrix.org is a bit confusing
- Completely FREE
What’s unique about Matrix.org?
|Android | iOS |Web
|Enterprise, retail, fitness, organization
7. NextCloud : The Modern Self-hosted Collaboration Tool
Best For: Businesses that focus on collaboration and need cloud storage.on features
Nextcloud offers an open-source chat platform that offers secure and scalable communication features like self-hosted video calls for Android, iOS and website apps. It provides an interactive user interface with enterprise-grade cloud solutions backed by security encryptions and compliances.
The platform is built on a modular architecture and leverages on-prem hosting, enabling quick deployment. Also, organizations can take complete control of the file storage assets, ensuring confidentiality.The platform is built on a modular architecture and leverages on-prem hosting, enabling quick deployment. Also, organizations can take complete control of the file storage assets, ensuring confidentiality.
What are the advantages of Nextcloud?
- Provide fully customizable messaging features.
- Gives private cloud storage.
- Lets you add file-sharing capabilities.
- Comes with features like calendars and contacts.
- Allows third-party integration.
What are the drawbacks of Nextcloud?
- Considered as a resource-intensive platform.
- Users sometimes experience bugs in chat.
NextCloud starts for 100 users and offers the following plans:
- Basic: €36/user/year
- Standard: €65/user/year
- Premium: €95.50/user/year
What’s unique about Nextcloud?
|Android | macOS | iOS | Linux | Ubuntu | CentOS
|Government, Enterprises, Service providers, Education, Pricing
8. Mattermost : The Highly Trusted Chat Software For Enterprises
Best For: Apps that are built for team communication
Mattermost is an open-source chat platform that supports features like self-hosted voice calling, messaging, video calling and file sharing. The platform is built on a modular architecture and its features are available under a MIT license.
Also, it lets you add its features to any existing chat infrastructure and allows complete customization as per your preferences.
What are the advantages of Mattermost?
- Allows feature-expansion with plugins and integrations
- Offer video conferencing features
- Lets users share files and media
- Offers end-to-end encryption
- Has almost all features in Slack and Microsoft Teams
What are the drawbacks of Mattermost?
- The chat UI is not as enriched as its competitors
Mattermost offers both self-hosted and cloud solutions and has the same pricing for both models:
- Self-hosted & Cloud
- Free: $0
- Professional: $10 USD per user/month
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing
- Wire Basic
- Wire For Enterprise (starting at $7.65)
- Wire For Government
What’s unique about Mattermost?
|iOS | macOS |Android | Windows | Linux | Web
|Healthcare, Financial service, Government, Media & Entertainment
9. Wire : The Most Secure & Customizable Instant Messenger
Best For: Collaboration apps that prioritize user privacy and security
Wire is a popular chat software for collaboration and messaging, founded in 2012 and based in Switzerland. The platform offers customizable messaging, voice and video calls, file sharing, and modern communication tools for user interaction.
It is available in a freemium pricing model and offers both a self-hosted solution and a cloud solution. Also, Wire ensures user data privacy with end-to-end encryption and by adhering to Swiss data protection laws.
What are the advantages of wire?
- Provides screen sharing capabilities
- Offers self-destructing messages
- Supports anonymous communication
- Flexible across different platforms and devices
- Protects user data with end-to-end encryption
What are the drawbacks of wire?:
- The collaboration features are quite limited
- Does not support many third-party integrations
- Wire Basic
- Wire For Enterprise (starting at $7.65)
- Wire For Government
What’s unique about Wire?
|iOS | macOS | Android | Windows | Linux | Web
|Law, Science, Security, Culture, Economy
10. Wickr : Easily Customizable Instant Messaging Platform
Best For: Apps that need easy installation of communication features
Wickr has been in the market since 2012 and was acquired by Amazon on June 25, 2021. Since then, it has been a part of Amazon Website Services-AWS supporting both SaaS and SaaP pricing models.
If you look closer into the market scenario, you’ll notice that some of the best self-managed apps widely used in the industry are built upon this platform. You can majorly use wickr for integrating collaboration features like chat, video calls, and voice calls, into your applications and easily deploy them on your own servers.
What are the advantages of wickr?
- Protects conversations with End to End Encryption
- Setup is easy
- Wickr is a secure business chat software
- Free plan is available
What are the drawbacks of wickr?
- The Free plan has only limited features
- Paid plans are not budget-friendly
- Wickr’s Github codes are not open-source
- Free Trial: $0/ 30 us
- Standard: $5/ user per month
- Premium: $15/ user per month
- Wickr Enterprise (Custom Pricing)
What’s unique about Wickr?
|iOS | Android | Mac | Windows | Linux
|Enterprise, Healthcare, Military, State & Government, large corporation
Well, I hope my article helped you in attaining clarity on which software you should use to build the best white-label chat platform for your business. This list is based on performance in recent months and the lineup may differ in the future. I’d love to take the privilege of updating the changes if any.
Moreover, If you like to know specific details about the providers I’ve listed above, go ahead and post your queries in the comments. I’d be glad to answer them for you. Until then, I wish you a happy development and take the leave now. Good luck!
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Frequently Asked Question
How much does it cost to host a chat app?
The cost to self-host a chat app depends on several factors like the size of the communication app, scalability factor, number of users in a chat platform, number of features, and other factors. Therefore, considering all the above factors, if you search in the market for the overall cost of self-hosting a chat app, you can expect somewhere between S50 to $10,000 per month.
However, if you are using MirrorFly’s self-hosted chat solution, you can self-host apps, avail 100% customizations, and make a secure and scalable white-label chat solution for custom pricing.
Does MirrorFly provide a sample app?
Yes. MirrorFly provides sample apps for website, iOS, and Android platforms that can be downloaded by contacting our support team.
Using our sample app, you can try and test all our 150+ customizable call and chat features, UI kits, and a lot more before getting started with our SDKs.
Can I self-host a white-label chat app?
Yes, you can self-host a white-label chat app using MirrorFly’s self-hosted chat SDK. A self-hosted chat solution always comes more beneficial than the cloud option because it lets you take complete control of your chat app and data, and can help you meet up with security or compliance requirements too. However, to host a chat app on your own, you may need a significant amount of resources and technical expertise.
Is an on-prem server mandatory for a self-hosted chat app?
No, not necessarily. While an on-premise server can be a great option to self-host chat apps, it is not the only way. You can always use a third-party server or self-host chat apps on any dedicated cloud servers like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
How do I create an instant messaging platform?
There are 2 ways to create a real-time chat app. You can either build it from scratch by writing codes on your own or use a pre-built chat SDK that consists of all the modern messaging features your users need.
What is chat software?
Chat software is a tool that allows your users to communicate with each other via instant messaging features. The app/ platform also consists of other communication features such as group chat, file sharing, media sharing, voice notes and more.
What are white-label chat platforms?
A white-label chat platform is a messaging application that is built with features developed by a third party vendor. Developers can customize the features, add brand logos and host the solution on their own premise/ cloud, to make it look custom built for the business.
What are the benefits of hosted chat platforms?
A hosted chat platform provides fully customizable messaging features, provides white-label solutions, and gives complete control of the app infrastructure. It also lets you customize the security and privacy setup of your app, as per your business needs.
What is a chat API?
Chat API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of pre-buit protocols that allows you to integrate real-time chat functionalities into your web or app of any size. It allows you to increase user engagement, retention, and satisfaction across any platform.
What are the two types of chat?
Chat can be classified into two types, such as
Text-based chat: Any conversations between two or more users in the form of text messages are called text-based chat.
Call-based chat: It allows two or more users to communicate in a voice or video call over the internet. This is called call-based chat.
How do I create a chat server?
Creating a chat server involves several steps and can be done with various technologies. For example: Follow the steps to create a chat server with Discord.
1. Download the chat server application.
2. Create an account or login to your existing account.
3. Create a new server.
4. Choose a category for your server, or skip this step.
5. Name your server based on its category and customise your profile based on your preferences.
6. Click create, and now your new chat server is ready.
If you are building your own chat server, then you have to follow several more steps, like setting up databases, handling client-server communication, testing and deploying, etc.
Does a chat app need a server?
Yes, you definitely need a server for a chat app. Because a server is required to facilitate communications between users.
However, you can still use serverless chat architecture by integrating third-party chat APIs with your web or app that allow you to host on the cloud, and you don’t have to maintain the server.
How can I create my own chatting app?
Creating your own chat app nowadays can be easy and simple. Here are three simple steps to creating your own chat app.
Step 1: Choose from the list of chat API providers available in the market, like MirrorFly, ApphiTect, Apptha, etc.
Step 2: Setup your account and acquire a licence key by choosing your appropriate plans.
Step 3: Integrate those APIs into your web or app in a few minutes and just start chatting.
By following these steps, you can save time, money, and effort by creating a chat app from scratch.