In todays worlds secure messaging is very important given privacy concerns all over the world. With goverments snooping around and corporations are after your.data.
whether you need a secure messaging app to communicate with your loved ones or your business associate, managers or customers. You will find one in our list
We are going to study the most popular secure messaging apps along with their pros and cons.
- AWS Wickr
- element app
Signal is the gold standard in secure messaging communications due to its robust security features
It has often been regarded as the most secure messaging app by cyber security experts and privacy advocates.
Signal works on zero trust arhitecture, which assumes that any part of the communication system can be compromised and thus utilizes multiple mechanisms and thus has no centralized part that has complete access to data.
Also, there are no trackers, no ads just secure and free messaging. Signal runs on domation and does not show ads on its platform or harvest data from its users
This ensures data privacy and security
- End-to-End Encryption: With the Open Source Signal Protocol and end to end encryption. Even Signal can't read your messages
- Forward secrecy: With Signal you have a pair of encryption keys for each message, even if an encryption key is compromised only that message can be potentially seen. All other messages are still secure
- Self-destructing messages: Signal has an optional self destructing message feature where the messages are automatically deleted after a set period of time after they are seen.
- Sealed Sender: This feature Obscures the meta, thus hiding the sender of the message along with the message body itself
- Open Source Signal Protocol: Signal is based on the Open Source Signal Protocol which can be seen and audited by anyone and thus it is more secure and trust worthy than closed source programs where you have to trust the software provider on how secure the software really is.
- Multi device support: Signal comes with Multi-device support. Which means it can run on mobile phones and laptops and desktop computers. You can install it on all your devices and sync between them
- Speed and reliability: Signal provides high speed and reliable messaging, though more focus is on security than on reliable sending the message to the user.
- Customization: There is a little bit of customization with wallpapers
- Free: Signal is completely free to use for everyone
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app globally. It offers secure messaging both 1-1 and in groups.
WhatsApp is owned by facebook, which is nowadays called as Meta. Meta is known to harvest data to show ads etc.
- End-to-End Encryption: Like Signal WhatsApp also provides end to end encryption, so no one and that is not even WhatsApp can read your messages. You can also choose how you show up online and what you share with other people
- Voice, Video and Group Video: Along with messages WhatsApp also has voice calling and group video calling. There are also voice memo and other features available. One thing to note these features are also available on Signal
- Two Step Verification: There is two step verification also available with WhatsApp that requires a pin that is sent to your phone number to verify
- Groups: You can also create groups in whatsapp and share stuff there. It is like a private social media. for example like family group, friend group etc. The Max Group size of whatsapp is 1024 users while that of Telegram is 200,000 users
- Business Features: WhatsApp has launched new business features where small business or large enterprises can cantact with their customers on WhatsApp. It is an effort on monitizing the chat platform by Meta
- Massive userbase: WhatsApp has the largest user base of all chat providers in the world. With billions of online users, whatsapp is the go to app for a lot of people
- Rich features: WhatsApp has a lot of rich features which makes it engage to use like stickers, Video message, Voice Message, Status page etc. Some of these features are also available in other chat providers like Signal but those features are not quite as extensive while others like Viber and Telegram have features that WhatsApp does not have
- multi platform availability: WhatsApp can be used in multiple devices but it does require your phone to authenticate the device on first use and then after a set period of time
- intiuitive design: WhatsApp design is quite intuitive and has been used for quite some time. People are familiar with this design for some time now.
Telegram is a secure messaging app that runs on the Telegram protocol. Its clients are open source but the server is not open source
Telegram offers optional end-to-end encryption and a paid tier with more features. It has features like file sharing upto 2 gb of data
The unique feature about telegram is that it offers both private 1-1 and group chats and also public channels where everyone can chat
Telegram is also like a social media inside a messaging app. It supports private groups of up to 200,000 people and public channels with unlimited people and messages
File sharing of upto 2 gb data i s also not commonly found in security focus messaging apps like Signal.
- Encryption (optional): Telegram only offers encryption on the secret chats. All the regular chats are encrypted in transit but are decrypted on the telegram servers
- self destructing messages: In the secret chat sections, telegram also has the self destructing messages feature
- two step verification: Similar to whatsApp telegram also offers the two step verification features
- account self destruction: Telegram has a unique account self destruct feature, where in if you do not use telegram for a certain amount of time. The default is 6 months but can be adjusted then the account self destructs
- Rich features: Telegram offers a lot of rich features for a secure app. Lots of stickers, night mode, video editing capabilities that makes the user more engaging
- Customization: There is a lot of customization available with telegram. You can customize almost any aspect of hte telegram app, from creating folders, to creating custom cloud themes, changing colors and walpaper, you can do almost anything with telegram
- Speed and performance: Telegram says that it is the fastest messager of all time and it delivers messages faster and quicker and any other application
- multi platform support: You can use telegram on almost any platform. With dedicated apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS and many other platforms
- Size of Media and Groups: With groups you can create groups with 200,000 people in telegram and with media any size media can be sent in the telegram channel. You can even send files that are in gigabytes in the chat room
- Social Media: Telegram has become more like a social media platform with groups upto 200,000 users and no limit of file and image sharing.
AWS wickr is a high security messaging application. It is focused towards professionals in industries where privacy and confidentiality are important as compared to general purpose secure appls like Signal and WhatsApp
These industries include legal, govermental and healthcare sectors among others. Wick has enterprise level services and is in compliance with various authorities which is required for business and enterprise communications
- End-to-End Encryption: AWS wickr was founded in 2012 and provides end to end encryption as a default setting like Signal and WhatsApp
- Perfect forward secrecy: Wickr has perfect forward secrecy and a zero knowledge system just like the Signal protocal which means every message has its unique encryption key
- Performance: Wickr is used inside companies hence the focus is always there on speed and reliability. The company depends on the app for communication so it should work as expected
- Secure Shredder: the app comes with a secure shredder feature which automatically deletes decrypted messages that have been downloaded to the device.
- Password and Biometric options: Wickr allows the users to lock the wickr app with a password or a biometric option thus providing an additional layer of security
- Administrative controls: Wickr is ment to be used inside organizations and companies and thus there are administration controls available to monitor and control users and groups, and check compliance with company policies, these features are important to the target customers
- Multi Platform support: Like other apps the wickr also has multi platform supports and works on mobile as well as desktop computers and devices
Theema is swiss based secure messaging application. It is more. privacy based application alternative to mainstream chat platforms. Switzerland has strong privacy laws that gives theema a strategic position and advantage to data protection
The key feature of theema is that is allows for an anonymous chat application as well as it does not require your phone number or email for account creation
unlike other messaging services theema is a paid messaging service. Theema is also open source like Signal
and unlike other chat app providers Theema is based in Swizterland, it is one of the most privacy focused chat apps
- Minimalist design: Theema design is focused on messaging and devoid of fancy features that other apps might offer
- Paid App: It is a paid app unlike others such as Signal or WhatsApp. You pay once and use it for the lifetime
- Performance: It is quite performant app because it is built to be lightwieght and work on older devices as well
- QR code verification: To add contacts you need to scan a QR code as Theema does not use phone numbers for added security
- Anonymous: Theema is an anonymous app as it does not identify anyone personally on its platform. It does not even ask for your phone number
- Local data storage: All the messages and data are stored locally on your device and never on the Theema servers. As soon as a message is send to the intended user, Theema deletes it from its servers
- End-to-End Encryption: Theema provides end to end encryption for all messages and chats
- Open source and auditable: Theema runs on Open source code and is auditable by third parties
- Corporate solution also available: Theema also provides a corporate solution
Element app is a secure messaging app built on the matrix protocol. It is aiming to provide a secure voice, text and video messaging platform for organizations and businesses.
Previously it was known as a gaming chat provider and it has moved away from gaming and towards businesses and large enterprises
The core feature of element is the decentralized nature of the messaging protocol. Rather than relay on a server to send and recieve messages, it uses the matrix network and does the message transmission through a decentralized network of servers
- End-to-End Encryption: Like other secure messaging apps Element provides an end to end encryption solution to messaging and calls
- Decentralization: the element app runs on the open source matrix network. Matrix is a decentralized network for secure communication. Because it is decentralized there is no single server from which all communication takes place
- Cross Signalling Keys: Matrix has a feature called cross singing keys that helps with device verification and is a great security measure
- File encryption: All the files that are transferred with Element are encrypted
- Community Features: Element has community features like rooms that can act as a private social media for your corporation. Like for example you can have a social media internally for all employees with Element
- Simple to use: Element has been designed to be simple and easy to use
- Admin features: Element is focused towards corporations and large scale companies thus it has admin features that allows for user control and roles that help you precision customize the access to chat
- Customization: You can customize the element app using various built in customization features provided.
- Identity Management: Securely identify your users and let them signin in using various tools like passwords or biometrics using the built in identity management with Element.
Viber is one of the older platforms for chat messaging. It was launched in 2010 as a VoIP service and then expanded into chat and video messaging as well
It is owned by the Japanese multinational corporation which also ownes Kobo and other products Rakuten.
Viber is mainly used in asia, eastern europe and other markets where people mainly expats need to make international calls
It also provides international cellular calling at discounted rates
- End to End Encryption: Like most secure messaging services viber also provides end to end encryption of all calls and text messages
- Trust Indicators: As Viber also works with non viber users it has a color coded system to identify the users of the level of trust for a particular user.
- Self destructing messages: Viber offers self destructing messages feature like Signal and WhatsApp and like Signal you have enable it.
- Group Chat security: Viber has the group chat functionality that is also super secure unlike the telegram app which the public chat is not end to end encrypted and everything is decrypted on the telegrams servers.
- Sleek UI: Viber has a sleek UI and is quite an finished product with many many features. As its owned by Rakuten, colors fonts and overall UI is near perfect
- Stickers and Gifs: Stickers and Gifs and other rich media is available with Viber. You can also create your own stickers and gifs
- Multi Platform Support: With viber you get multi platform support like you can use it on desktops and mobile devices alike
- Social Media features: Viber has social media features built in, it is like a small private social media platfrom with your friends and family
- International calling at discounted rates with Viber Out: Viber is used mostly by expats and they might want to call back to their home countries. Viber has a paid feature for that. You can pay to purchase Viber out and call to international numbers
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In this article we explored secure messaging apps where you can contact and message people securely knowing no third party is snooping on you.
You get the freedom to talk to anyone without the fear of snooping
I hope you liked the article. Thank you for reading