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Top Secured Messaging Applications | The world is moving away from SMS and MMS as the default way to text message people. Our smartphones enable constant and instant communication with our family, friends, and work colleagues. However, the best messenger app is the one you can convince all of your friends and family to use. Most of these apps are free and work over an Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi). In this list, we’ll explore the best messenger apps and chat apps for Android and IOS.
WhatsApp is the undisputed ruler of free mobile messaging in much of the world. Launched in 2009 as a way to send messages over a data connection rather than SMS, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Currently, WhatsApp is the largest messaging service in the world with over 2 billion monthly active users. The app is a fully-featured messaging client that supports text chats, as well as photos, short videos, and voice messaging.
It has gained more users due to its improved features. What makes WhatsApp stand out from the rest of the apps is the fact that it does not have any advertisements. Additionally, it is free and can be downloaded easily. You can also send files (up to 2GB in size) to other users on WhatsApp. Chats take the form of one-on-one interactions with other WhatsApp users or group chats of up to 512 participants.
WhatsApp users can place free voice and video calls to other users of the service. Group calls can be made with up to 32 people, and all communication is secured with the same end-to-end encryption. What that means, is that you and the recipient are the only people who can read the messages you send to them. WhatsApp can’t decrypt the contents of your messages, calls, photos, etc, thus ensuring your security and privacy.
Telegram is WhatsApp’s longtime competitor created by Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur who’s behind Russia’s most popular social media platform. Nikolai developed the MTProto custom data protocol, the foundation for Telegram, while Pavel provided financial and ideological support. Today, Telegram remains one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide. There is support for stickers and GIFs, photo and video editing, and group chats for up to 200,000 people.
People love Telegram because it’s fast, easy to use, and has cloud-based storage that allows you to share files of any size, limitlessly. End-to-end encryption is supported in Telegram, though you’ll need to be using the Secret Chats feature to use it. Secret Chats are not automatically backed up to Telegram’s servers by default. Telegram is also completely free and doesn’t contain ads. Funded by a donation, the app’s makers promise it will stay free, will never sell data, and isn’t aiming to generate revenue.
Also, Telegram offers secret chats where users can privately exchange self-destructing messages. Telegram has reassured that it’s “disclosed 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including governments” for Cloud Chats stored in its servers, though if you’re especially concerned about messaging privacy, you’ll want to stick with Secret Chats.
Signal, the first free iOS app with end-to-end encrypted voice calls, is the heir of the RedPhone voice calling app and the TextSecure texting program, originally published by Open Whisper Systems, and its creators’ security researcher Moxie Marlinspike and roboticist Stuart Anderson in May 2010. As a unit of the two apps, the launch of Signal happened on July 29, 2014. After he met Brian Acton in 2018, they formed a new alliance called Signal Foundation. It now wholly funds the development of Signal messenger. You can download the Signal app on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and PC. Notably, there are no apps for Web or Chrome.
Like its competitors, the Signal messenger app has all of the essential features covered – free SMS (text) and MMS (group and media), voice and video calls, option to share location, files, and documents. Signal uses the open-source Signal Protocol to implement end-to-end encryption. And just like WhatsApp, the E2E encryption covers all forms of communication on Signal. Another feature that Signal provides is Message Reaction. This option allows you to respond to a message with an emoji reaction, which can be quite convenient and add up to a conversation dynamic.
All of your conversations in Signal are handled via end-to-end encryption, meaning Signal “can’t read your messages or listen to your calls, and no one else can either.” If you send or receive a message in Signal, no matter who it’s from, it’s end-to-end encrypted in this fashion. Not to mention, Signal by default encrypts all the local files with a 4-digit passphrase. And if you want to create an encrypted local backup then you can do that as well. The app now also supports encrypted group calls. Group chats can have up to 1000 members, while voice and video calls are currently limited to 40 participants. Signal is run by donations and grants, in case you’re wondering how it makes money. In fact, you can also donate to Signal to fund its future development.
Comparison Between Telegram, WhatsApp, and Signal?
|Stores No metadata||x||x||x||✔|
|Phone number NOT required||x||x||x||✔|
|Surveillance NOT possible||x||x||x||✔|