22 September, 2023
best self-hosted chat platforms

10 Best Self-Hosted Chat Platforms To Try In 2023

Explore Self-hosted Chat Solution

In this article, I have researched and reviewed the best self-hosted chat platforms for both personal and business communication. Here is my list of the most popular chat platforms for Android, iOS, and the Web, that can be hosted on your 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.

Get set! Let’s Check Out the Best Self-hosted Chat Platform Out There!

1. MirrorFly

The Most Developer-friendly Self Hosted Chat Platform

self-hosted chat platform
white label instant messaging apps for website

Best For: Apps need 100% customization and control of their in app chat features

MirrorFly is 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 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.

Pros

Cons

  • MirrorFly does not support recording video sessions
  • Does not allow create meeting agendas

Pricing:

MirrorFly offers both SaaS and SaaP pricing models.

  • SaaS : Monthly Pricing
  • Easy: Completely FREE
  • Essentials: Starts at $399/ 5k users
  • Easy: Completely FREE
  • SaaP : One-time License fee

Supported Platforms: Android | iOS | Mac | Windows | Linux

Supported Use cases: Digital Healthcare, E-learning, Gaming, Social & Dating, Financial, E-Commerce, Logistics/shipping, Information technology, Fitness application

Supported Languages: Flutter, Java, ReactNative, JavaScript, Kotlin, Swift, React, Angular, Vue.js


2. Wickr

Easily Customizable Instant Messaging Platform

customizable chat solution
Scalable communication app for Android and ios application

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. 

Pros

Cons

  • The Free plan has only limited features
  • Paid plans are not budget-friendly
  • Wickr’s Github codes are not open-source

Pricing:

  • Free Trial: $0/ 30 us
  • Standard: $5/ user per month
  • Premium: $15/ user per month
  • Wickr Enterprise (Custom Pricing)

Supported Platforms: iOS | Android | Mac | Windows | Linux

Supported Use cases: Enterprise, Healthcare, Military, State & Government, large corporation


 
Are You Planning To Create Your Own Chat App?

3. Apphitect

The #1 Self-hosted Chat Platform For Modern Apps

customizable video chat solution
Customizable in-app chat platform for website application

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Supported Platforms: iOS | Android | Web

Supported Use cases: Telecommunication, Dating, Fitness, Insurance, Banking, telehealth

Supported Languages: JavaScript, Kotlin, Swift, React, Angular, Vue.js, Flutter, Java, ReactNative


4. Zulip

Highly Flexible Platform For Third-Party Integrations

self managed chat api
Self-managed realtime video chat API for enterprice

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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The learning curve of Zulip is too steep
  • Provides only minimal features

Zulip offers both cloud and self-hosted chat solutions:

  • Cloud:
    • Free: $0 
    • Standard: $6.67/ user per month
  • Self-hosted:
    • Free: $0 
    • Enterprise: Custom Pricing

Supported Platforms: Windows | macOS | Linux | Android | iOS | Terminal

Supported Use cases: Business, Education, Research, Events & Conferences, Communities, Open Source Project


5. Jitsi

A Whitelabel Chat Platform With Intuitive UI

whitelabel chat sdk
Customizable voice chat SDK for telecom

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. 

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Occasional connectivity issues

Pricing: 

  • Free

Supported Platforms: Android | Linux | Web | iOS | Windows | macOS

Supported Use cases: On-demand, Transport, Retail, Real Estate, Public Sector

Supported Languages: Java, JavaScript, TypeScript, Lua


6. Matrix.org

Robust Software With Scalable Chat Features

on-premises chat app
white label messaging platform for social and dating

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 rooms 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. 

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Does not offer cloud hosting
  • The learning curve of matrix.org is a bit confusing

Pricing:

  • Completely FREE

Supported Platforms: Android | iOS |Web

Supported Use cases: enterprise, retail, fitness, organization


7. NextCloud

The Modern Self-hosted Collaboration Tool

Scalable communication software for recruitment

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.  

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Considered as a resource-intensive platform.
  • Users sometimes experience bugs in chat.

Pricing:

NextCloud starts for 100 users and offers the following plans:

  • Basic: €36/user/year
  • Standard: €65/user/year
  • Premium: €95.50/user/year

Supported Platforms: Android | macOS | iOS | Linux | Ubuntu | CentOS

Supported Use cases: Government, Enterprises, Service providers, Education, Pricing

Supported Languages: JavaScript, PHP, TypeScript, Shell, Vue


8. Mattermost

The Highly Trusted Chat Software For Enterprises

Customizable in-app messaging API for Banking and Insurance

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons

  • The chat UI is not as enriched as its competitors

Pricing:

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

Pricing:

  • Wire Basic
  • Wire For Enterprise (starting at $7.65)
  • Wire For Government

Supported Platforms: iOS | macOS |Android | Windows | Linux | Web

Supported Use cases: Healthcare, Financial service, Government, Media & Entertainment


9. Wire

The Most Secure & Customizable Instant Messenger

Self-hosted video calling SDK for Healthcare services

Best For:  Collaboration apps that prioritize user privacy and security

Wire is a collaboration and messaging app founded in 2012 and is based in Switzerland. The platform offers customizable messaging, voice and video calls, file-sharing and modern communication tools for user interaction. It is available for a freemium pricing model and offers both self-hosted solution and cloud solution. Also, Wire ensures user data privacy with end-to-end encryption and by adhering to Swiss data protection laws.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • The collaboration features are quite limited
  • Does not support many third-party integrations

Pricing:

  • Wire Basic
  • Wire For Enterprise (starting at $7.65)
  • Wire For Government

Supported Platforms: iOS | macOS | Android | Windows | Linux | Web

Supported Use cases: Law, Science, Security, Culture, Economy

Supported Languages: Java, JavaScript, React, PHP


10.  Rocketchat

The Customizable Chat Service Built For Teams

Customizable Chat Solution for Gated community

Best For:  Enterprises and Businesses that focus on effective team communication

Rocket chat is a best choice when it comes to 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 download the app along with the docker image and run them on their own cloud servers or premise.

Pros:

  • Provides video and audio conferencing
  • Supports Multi-platform development
  • Offers end-to-end encryption
  • Avails two-factor authentication
  • Supports third-party integrations

Cons

  • Requires technical expertise for set up and maintenance.
  • Challenges in scalability of features.

Pricing:

  • Community: $0/user/month
  • Enterprise: 
    • $7 /user/month (Minimum of 25 users)
    • $35 //agent/month (Minimum of 5 agents)

Supported Platforms: Android | iOS | Web | macOS | Windows | Linux

Supported Use cases: Education, Technology, Finanacial Service, Healthcare, Digital transformation

 
Looking to Build a Customized Chat App For Your Business?

Conclusion

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! 

It’s easy to get started with our FREE chat API!

Need more? We offer a 21-day FREE trial for our video & voice SDKs!

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 set up of your app, as per your business needs. 

Vigneshwar is a Performance Marketer, guiding providers of healthcare, education, etc., to elevate their conversation value with the help of powerful communication solutions to drive a better communication experience.

24 Comments

  1. Vignesh Madhavan Reply

    Hi,
    I went through your posts and I have a doubt on what I can use instead of Self-Hosted Slack? Please let me know and yours is a nice blog.

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Thanks a lot, Vignesh, for reading my blog post and finding it to be helpful. Glad that you liked it. Now, coming over to your question, there are plenty of alternatives to Slack as it is not available as a self-hosted solution. Of the entire lot, the best self-hosted alternative is Mattermost, which is free and comes as an open-source solution.

      Other popular self-hosted alternatives to Slack are Element, Zulip, and Rocket.Chat, Matrix.org, and MirrorFly that offer prime features like group chats, encrypted and secure chats, and instant messaging.

  2. Dhana bal T Reply

    Hey!
    It looks very nice and usable content. I am looking to develop a new blog about messaging software, I hope this article bring me to take a right decision as well.

  3. Ramesh Raja Reply

    Great article team, keep up the good work. I loved your blog. Can you list out the secure chat providers in 2023? And if you have any reference, can you share?

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Hello, thank you for such positive feedback on my blog post. Really appreciate your comment. To answer your question, there are several secure chat providers in 2023 that you can opt for like Signal, Wickr, Threema, Wire, and many others. And to get detailed insight on these, you can check our post exclusively on secure chat apps.

  4. Manikandan Anbukani Reply

    Hello, I am building a chat application for my client who is into designing e-learning use cases and after looking at your post, I’m interested in your chat SDKs. So, can you explain any individual feature of the Mirrorfly self-hosted chat app so that I can move further?

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      thanks for your comment on my article, and appreciate your interest in MirrorFly’s chat SDKs for your e-learning project! When it comes to a particular standout feature of our self-hosted chat solution, then it has to be 100% customization support for Android, iOS, and Web apps for a one-time license cost that may help developers to tailor their as per the needs of the business.

      Additionally, our solution also gives you the flexibility to host apps on your servers thus serving as a prime benefit for security. And, all our SDKs are highly scalable and come with 99.999% uptime SLA with ultra-low latency. If you are ready to take off with us, give us a call

  5. Sparron squid Reply

    Hi team, is there any possible way to develop a secure and scalable chat platform with MirrorFly? Because, I am a mobile app developer and wanted to learn more about it.

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Hello Sparron,
      Thank you for your comment and interest toward MirrorFly chat SDKs! Really appreciate it!! Yes, it is possible to develop a secure and scalable chat app with us. And the best fact is that security and scalability are our twin focus toward any development. So, you may not worry about these aspects.

      Our in-app communication SDKs are secured with E2E encryption protocols like AES – 256, SSL, TLS to safeguard user data and privacy. And we come with 99.999% uptime SLA with ultra-low latency levels. If you are interested to learn more about us, please give our experts a call.

  6. jennifer Reply

    Thanks. I found some good ideas in your article and chose the best video conferencing platform for my mobile app.

  7. Shivin Raj Reply

    I am building a self-hosted chat app and I wish to know how much it costs to build the self-hosted chat platforms?

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Hello Shivin,
      It is great news to hear about your self-hosted chat app development and my best wishes for it. To answer your question,

      The basic estimate or the market price to build a simple self-hosted chat app can cost you anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000. Whereas, if you go to add complex features like white- labeling or others, the app cost can be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000.

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Thanks a lot PeeCee for such kind words. Really appreciate your compliment on my blog post. And to answer your question, creating a custom chat app is relatively easy with MirrorFly’s chat SDK. Our self-hosted solution allows developers to easily build a fully customizable chat application with the features they need and security they desire for a one-time license cost. Additionally, they may take full control of our call and chat capabilities, and get the flexibility to host chat apps on their own servers.

      With these, our self-hosted chat SDK is compatible with multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, and the Web, thus making the development process easier.

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Hi Kavin,
      The required skills depend on the platform, but generally, you should be familiar with:

      Server Administration: Setting up servers, configuring ports, managing security, etc.
      Networking: Understanding networking concepts, DNS setup, and firewall configurations.
      Database Management: Configuring and managing databases, which these platforms often require.
      Linux/Unix Command Line: Basic command-line operations for server management.

  8. jevin rosh Reply

    Hi,
    This is really useful information and I could get more ideas from this blog, Can I customize the appearance and features of these platforms?

    1. Abirami Elangovan Reply

      Hello,
      I really like your question Choosing a self-hosted chat platform offers several benefits, including:

      Data Privacy: You have full control over your data and can ensure it’s kept private.
      Customization: You can tailor the platform’s features, design, and integrations to your specific needs.
      Security: You can implement your own security measures and protocols.
      Scalability: You can scale the platform according to your requirements.

      so the features make you to choose this if you want more clarity free to contact us.

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