Feeling nostalgic? You can get AIM up and running right now, thanks to a reverse engineered server.

AIM Phoenix is an unauthorized third party server that old school AIM clients can actually connect to. The ads and stock tickers won’t work, so this isn’t a wholly authentic experience, but the messaging does—if you can find anyone to talk to.

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This isn’t straight forward to set up. You’ll have to install an old version of AIM—anything up to 5.9 is supported. Version 4.7 worked for us. Then you’ll have to create an account on the AIM Phoenix page. Next, in AIM, you’ll change the network settings, pointing to iwarg.ddns.net in port 5190. Like this:

This being a brand new server your old buddy list will not transfer over, so in order to talk to anyone you’ll need to convince others to set up this archaic software, configure the network settings, then add you. The server is pretty slow, so far as we can tell, so you’ll be getting the authentic retro experience.

Thanks to Scott Stein at CNET for pointing this out to us! Hopefully more third party servers will pop up over time, and we can all fight over which retro AIM server is the coolest.

Justin Pot Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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