DexChat is a cross-platform, lightweight instant messaging tool that provides a simple method for LAN and WAN chatting. Developed using Java, it enables you to send and receive messages between computers connected to the same network.
The program includes a server side that needs to be configured on the host computer in order to enable other users to connect to a chat session (named 'chatbox'). The server is given a unique ID that the client applications use to setup the connection. The user name, the server name and its IP address are customizable, while the chatbox can be secured by assigning it a password, so that only authorized clients can access it.
Connecting to a chatbox is just as easy, as you only have to check that the secure key is the same, choose the user name and specify the IP address of the host server.
The chat window interface is simple and clean, displaying details about the running server, the connected users, together with the received and the sent messages and their corresponding time. To make the conversation more fun, you can insert one of the available emoticons.
One of the drawbacks of the application is that the chat window is only refreshed when the user hovers the mouse cursor over it. Therefore, new messages and server notifications (such as when a new client computer is connected) are only displayed when you move the mouse around.
DexChat comes with a collection of commands that you can use in the server window to view a list of the online users, find out the total number of messages, read the server uptime or even hide the current conversation or delete the entire chat history.
Although it could use further improvements (such as the auto-refresh function), DexChat provides you with a LAN messaging tool that is user-friendly and enables you to stay in touch with other users in your network, without all the configuration hassle.