FastMail supports the internet standard XMPP/Jabber protocol to allow chatting/instant messaging between FastMail users, and any other XMPP/Jabber servers and services (eg gmail).
To use the chat service, you'll have to install an XMPP/Jabber client on your local machine and set it up to access the FastMail servers. There's many free XMPP/Jabber clients available, a fairly complete list is available at the XMPP website. Commonly used ones are:
Once you install a chat client, you need to set it up to access the FastMail server. This is slightly different for each client. The core details are available in the "Instant Messaging" section of our servers and ports page. There's also some reasonably good instructions for different clients on our wiki.
If you have a business or family account and have create users with account names in your own domain, then you must setup the correct SRV records for your domain for chat to work.
By default, if you use us to host DNS for your domain, then we will automatically setup the correct DNS records and things will just work. We recommed this approach.
If you use an external DNS provider, you will have to manually setup SRV records through their DNS control panel. Unfortunately there are so many providers, we can't give explicit instructions for each one.
The records you need to add are:
_xmpp-server._tcp.yourdomain.com Type=SRV TTL=3600 VALUE="5 0 5269 chat.messagingengine.com" _xmpp-client._tcp.yourdomain.com Type=SRV TTL=3600 VALUE="5 0 5222 chat.messagingengine.com"
XMPP supports the concept of a chat roster. That is a list of people you have authorised to be able to chat with you, and these contacts are usually listed by your chat client when you connect.
These contacts can be separated into different groups. This is controlled by default by the client, and any changes made in one client are synchronised to other clients when they connect.
If you have a family or business account, then by default each person in the family/business will be able to see every other person in the family/business as part of their chat roster, without having to explicitly authorise them.
Most clients will keep a log of chats for you. However that means if you want to check a log, you'll have to be on the same machine and client the chat actually occured on.
FastMail has the ability to log chats as emails to your account. You can control this on the Advanced -> Chat Settings screen. If you enable logging, we'll automatically create a "Chats" folder in your account, and file any chat logs into that folder. This makes it easy to see and search them anywhere.