Mumble for encrypted Skype-like conversations


I’ve recently discovered a program called “Mumble” that’s great for chatting with friends. It’s like Skype, but more secure (according to everything I’ve read), and has much higher audio quality than Skype. It was invented by computer gamers so they can talk in groups while gaming across the miles.

Neema and I use Mumble for doing our live call-in radio show, since we’re in different states, and the satellite transmitter/streaming system is in a third state.

Download Mumble, HERE. (Click on the blue thing that says “Mumble Client”, not the red thing that says “SOFTWARE UPDATE REQUIRED”). Pick your operating system.

Install Mumble. Plug your microphone/headset into the computer, then go through the audio setup wizard.

Then open up Configure/Settings, and change things to these settings:

best mumble audio and network settings

mumble setup for best audio, 2

mumble setup for best audio, 3

The only thing I’d recommend maybe doing differently is in the first screenshot, under Compression, where I have a Quality setting of 91 kb/sec….That’s because I live in Wyoming and my DSL is not the fastest. If you live in a big city with really fast DSL, set it all the way over to the right. If you have DSL that’s even slower than in Wyoming, set it a little lower than 91 kb/sec.

When click Server/Connect, you’ll get a list of servers, by country. Pick an empty server in your country (you can tell it’s empty if there are no numbers under “Users”). When you log on a server, you may get a a notification that says “this server certificate has expired, do you want to connect anyway?” Go ahead and connect.

You can log in and jump on to an empty server to test it out with a friend, but if the person who owns the server comes on, be polite and leave. What I did is set up my own server by clicking on the green “create a mumble server” link on the main Mumble page. It’s 4 dollars a month for up to ten users at a time (great for people who work in teams across the miles), and you can password protect it.

You can even record from within Mumble. Mumble has a red button on it to bring up the recording interface:

Recording In Mumble

Mumble puts the WAV files of the recording in your MyDocuments folder by default.

Please read my related article, How to take phone calls on a live Internet or radio show.


–Michael W. Dean