Buddy Comms - Powerful Communication Tools for Gamers Buddy Comms - Powerful Communication Tools for Gamers
Download
Windows icon
XP and newer (x86, x64)
Mac OS X icon
10.7 and newer (x64)
Linux icon
(x86, x64, ARM)
Java JAR icon
Win XP+, Mac OS 10.5+, Linux
(x86, x64, Linux ARM)
Introduction
Buddy Comms is a light-weight, voice communication tool built by a gamer, for gamers. It was designed to get you and your buddies connected and communicating quickly and without the pain and frustration of traditional tools.

Buddy Comms runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and is fully cross-platform. It looks and runs the same on all three platforms and users on each platform can connect to the same host and communicate fully with each other.

Features
Motivation
The author of Buddy Comms has been around long enough to have witnessed gaming grow from its infancy to what it is today. As gaming has evolved from LAN parties to multi-player over the Internet, the need for real-time, voice communication has grown. It is something that today's gamer cannot live without.

The author and his buddies have used a variety of traditional VoIP tools for quite a few years. They got the job done but had shortcomings that were frustrating and time consuming. Listed below are some common issues associated with traditional VoIP tools: The author decided to build a tool to address all of these concerns and provide a better experience for anyone interested in VoIP for gaming. He spent many months carefully engineering Buddy Comms to provide a great experience on all of the major desktop platforms.
Screenshots
Connect screenshot Audio settings screenshot Public chat screenshot Wave streaming screenshot Host screenshot About screenshot
Licensing
Buddy Comms comes with a time and feature unlimited evaluation. You can evaluate Buddy Comms as long as necessary to determine if it fits your needs. Please purchase a license as soon as you decide to keep the application. This unlimited evaluation is an on-your-honor type of arrangement. The author has faith that the application is of such high quality that you will want to purchase a license.
Privacy Policy
Buddy Comms is designed to maximize your privacy in a world where privacy is quickly slipping away. Nobody has the right to hear your VoIP communications, read your private text chats, intercept your files, view your private screen shares or even listen to your clever wave streaming audio clips.

Buddy Comms gives you full control of your communications by allowing you to easily configure and host your own server on your own network. You can enable password authentication and 128 bit encryption to keep out unauthorized guests and safeguard your data as it travels over the network.

When you purchase a license, your email address is recorded. This record is used to keep track of license keys and aid in customer service requests. Your email address is kept private and is never shared nor sold.

When you host a server and allow connections aided by Buddy Connect, your server establishes a connection to the Buddy Connect cloud service that persists until your server stops. When a client connects through Buddy Connect, it queries Buddy Connect for information regarding your server. Your local and public IP addresses are sent to the client to allow it to attempt to connect directly to your server. When a direct connection is not possible, Buddy Connect helps coordinate a dynamic connection by aiding in NAT port assignment prediction. This is a popular peer-to-peer technology that does not weaken your network security.

When you connect to a server, the connection is direct. The Buddy Comms cloud services do not receive any data other than that required to establich connections via Buddy Connect (when enabled). At no time is any of your private communication data sent to Buddy Connect or the Buddy Comms cloud services.

The Buddy Comms client, cloud services and web site log anonymous usage statistics to help the author improve the application. You can opt out on the client side by opening the About tab and deselecting the Improve Buddy Comms by contributing anonymous usage statistics check box.

Buddy Comms does its best to safeguard your communications but cannot guarantee 100% security. It is your responsibility to determine your security needs and safeguard your passwords. Although the application does its best to secure your communications, authentication and encryption cannot prevent or thwart all attacks from all bad actors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Buddy Comms be used for anything other than gaming?
The application makes it easy to talk, chat, send files and share screens on multiple platforms with total control over the data and its security. Although the application has been custom built for gamers, these features make it valuable for many activities outside of gaming. Consider interoffice communications, computer assistance via screen sharing, transferring files between operating systems, etc.
Are there mobile apps (Android, iOS, etc.)?
Not yet. The application only supports desktop platforms right now but support for mobile devices is possible and may be provided in the future.
Who is the author of this application?
The author is a software engineer who has been programming for almost 30 years. He builds biotech software at his day job and spends many of his early mornings, late nights and weekends working on a variety of other software projects. Some of his projects include:

RentBOLD - a free, community driven rental platform
Easy File Cabinet - a low cost, digital file cabinet solution
Cloud Sticky Notes - a free, cloud based, desktop sticky note application
Free Hearing Test - a free, hearing test application
Does this application contain any malware or adware?
No, it does not but be sure to download the application from this web site. Beware of third party sites that repackage software with malware and offer it for download. Verify the MD5 checksum of the installer you download (checksums are displayed at the top of the download pages). Use a convenient tool like OnlineMD5 to generate a checksum of the installer in your possession.
What is meant by Buddy Comms being cross-platform?
It means that the application runs on multiple operating systems and is interoperable. Being interoperable means that your instance of Buddy Comms can connect to and communicate (VoIP, file transfer, screen share, etc.) with any other instance of Buddy Comms regardless of the host operating system. In other words, Buddy Comms on Windows can communicate with Buddy Comms on Mac which can communicate with Buddy Comms on Linux even if it is running on ARM (as opposed to x86).
Is the application secure?
Buddy Comms was designed from the ground up to offer rock solid security. Hosts can require password authentication and enable 128 bit encryption. Blacklists and feature restrictions allow administrators to block unwanted guests and limit features (e.g. file transfers, text chat, etc.).
Why does Buddy Comms not have all the features found in other VoIP products?
Buddy Comms was designed for groups of friends that want to quickly connect and communicate with each other without having to consider a large set of features that they probably do not care about or need. Buddy Comms does not aim to replace complicated VoIP solutions that address complex usage scenarios; simplicity is its strength.
How responsive is the VoIP? Is the latency acceptable?
Buddy Comms carefully balances latency with network overhead. Transferring voice data too eagerly, especially when many clients are connected, causes a flood of tiny packets that can cause packet loss and lead to choppy voice playback. Transferring voice data too infrequently causes unacceptable latency (the amount of time from when a client begins to speak to when other clients begin to hear it).

Buddy Comms balances latency and network overhead by utilizing 80 millisecond audio frames and voice processing performed by native libraries (as opposed to pure Java which is slower). The default buffer, to accommodate network jitter, is 20 milliseconds. It is tempting to say that latency measures at about 100 milliseconds but, in the real world, there are other factors, like those listed below, that contribute to latency.
  • Sound entering a microphone is not typically delivered to the application for a frame or two - 80 to 160 milliseconds.
  • The audio has to be processed (amplification, voice isolation, noise reduction, echo cancellation, compression) - 1 to 30 milliseconds depending on selected features and processor speed (Raspberry Pi takes about 30ms when everything is enabled and voice quality is turned all the way up).
  • The audio travels to the server and then to all clients - this varies based on network quality and distance but is typically measured in the tens of milliseconds for Internet based connections and significantly less for local area connections.
  • The receiving client has to decompress the data - typically 1 to 10 milliseconds based on processor speed.
  • The receiving client has to play the audio - this delay is hard to measure and depends on your sound card but probably ranges from a few milliseconds to a full frame.
Real world latency is somewhere in the range of 200 to 400 milliseconds which is very responsive. Be wary of applications that claim significantly lower latencies. They are probably referring to the best case scenario and ignoring other, unavoidable factors that contribute to latency.
How can the application run well if it is written in Java? I heard that Java is slow and outdated?
Just like any other language, Java can be slow if it is used incorrectly. When used correctly, Java is a powerful language that performs well and eases much of the burden faced by software developers. The author is an experienced Java developer. He carefully crafted Buddy Comms to be as performant and light-weight as possible.
Does Buddy Comms require a fast computer?
Buddy Comms has been carefully engineered to go easy on your CPU. The most intensive part of the VoIP algorithm is the audio compression and decompression. That aspect has been optimized via native libraries compiled for your system. You do not need a fast computer to run Buddy Comms. It is efficient enough to run great on even low powered systems such as the $35 Raspberry Pi.
The application allows me to evaluate it without restrictions for as long as I want. What's the catch?
There is no catch. The author wants you and your buddies to get together and have fun without the pain and frustration of traditional VoIP tools. He wants you to enjoy using Buddy Comms so much that you do not hesitate to pay for a license as soon as you decide that it is a keeper.
Why are licenses so affordable?
The author set the price low and sells license bundles at huge discounts because he wants the application to be affordable to as many people as possible. He does not want Buddy Comms to be out of reach for people with limited income. He hopes to see Buddy Comms become a staple that gamers choose and rely on because it works so well and costs so little.
Why would I pay for Buddy Comms when there is nothing to stop me from using it for free?
Some people will not pay for software no matter the cost. They will go to great lengths and spend enormous amounts of time to get it for free. If you are one of those people, the author does not want you to waste your time looking for license key hacks or using clumsy alternatives. Go ahead and use the application for free and spend your time gaming with your buddies. If you eventually come to appreciate the enormous amount of work that went into building Buddy Comms, purchase a license and get back to gaming.

Some people genuinely cannot afford a Buddy Comms license regardless of its low cost. If that is you, the author hopes you enjoy Buddy Comms on the house until life treats you better. Purchase a license in the future when you can afford it.

Most people are in a position to purchase a license and do not mind paying for well written software. A lot of (mostly figurative) blood, sweat and tears went into making Buddy Comms which makes your purchase very appreciated. If you love the application and feel you are getting too good a deal, make it up by leaving a tip.
Are there any recurring fees or hidden costs?
No, there are no hidden fees or recurring costs. Your one time license key purchase entitles you to future updates at no additional charge.
If I purchase a license, what is required to activate it?
When you purchase a license, you receive a 10 digit key. To activate your license, go to the About tab and click the activate it link. You can also click the Activate License button in the license reminder window. You will be prompted for your license key. Enter it and click the Activate button.

Buddy Comms uses an activation service to authenticate your license key. You need to have an Internet connection and be able to send and receive UDP packets.
How many times can I activate my license?
Each license can be activated on one computer. Safeguard your license keys and do not share them with others.
Can I host a dedicated server?
Yes. For details, take a look at the online software manual.
Can I host dedicated servers and charge users to connect to them?
Yes. You can host Buddy Comms servers and charge users to connect to them without paying any additional licensing or royalties to the author. The only thing the author wants in return is that you pay for a Buddy Comms license for your server and suggest to your customers that they purchase a Buddy Comms license if they have not already. You can launch as many server instances as you want on a single machine with a single license. If you host on multiple machines, please purchase a license for each machine.

Buddy Comms has been built to make it easy to launch server instances from the command line. Please see the online software manual for details.

At this time, the application does not support headless (no GUI) instances nor does it log detailed usage statistics. It is up to you to figure out how to bill your customers. You can use password authentication to restrict access to authorized users. You can use feature restrictions to tier the service or limit bandwidth usage (disable file transfers and screen sharing, etc.).
I have other questions, where can I get answers?
Take a look at the online software manual. It contains a lot of detailed information. If you cannot find an answer, contact the author (see below).
Troubleshooting
The author wants you to have a great experience. For additional information and troubleshooting, view the online software manual. Feel free to email the author with questions that the manual does not address.
Contact
Please direct inquiries to Matt (the author) at .