WhatsApp made news recently after updating its privacy policies, causing uproar among its users. To put it another way, Facebook and its partner firms, as well as businesses on WhatsApp, will now have access to your WhatsApp data. Your chats, on the other hand, would stay private because they are encrypted end-to-end. If you’ve been considering jumping ship, We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the 8 best WhatsApp alternatives for the privacy-conscious, that you can use right away.
Best WhatsApp Alternatives for the Privacy Conscious
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging programs in the world, with over 2 billion active users worldwide. Even when Facebook bought it in 2014, the platform remained a separate app for a long time. Despite the app’s end-to-end encryption, security-conscious users and privacy experts are concerned about the app’s privacy. Let’s have a look at the 8 best WhatsApp alternatives for the privacy-conscious.
Because it provides a solid set of privacy-focused features, Session is one of the strongest contenders as a WhatsApp replacement. To begin, you don’t need a phone number to start chatting. It’s a QR code and a randomly generated key that you must share with a contact. Because everything is decentralized, it keeps your discussions locally and nothing ever stays on Session servers.
Even in 2021, Session is open-source and has desktop clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux, something WhatsApp does not have. The session, on the other hand, lacks some crucial capabilities that most users would miss, such as video and audio calls.
- There is no need to provide a phone number.
- No permissions to contact are required.
- Take screenshots are not allowed.
- Chats that are encrypted from beginning to conclusion
- Messages that are self-destructive
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux are the platforms.
Sure-spot is another privacy-focused chat messenger that protects your texts to the highest level. Instead of using your phone number or email address to create an account, you construct an identity that is never tied to your personal information. You can only retrieve your account if you have backed up your identity credentials to Google Drive if you ever lose your phone. You’d have to establish a new account otherwise.
Sure-spot allows for end-to-end encrypted chats, including text, images, and audio messaging. There are no fancy frills and the UI is rather basic. It’s an excellent option if you only want an app that focuses on keeping your discussions safe. Sure-spot is a totally free service.
- There’s no need to send an email or call.
- No authorization from contacts is necessary.
- Encryption of chat and voice messages from beginning to end
Android and iOS
3. Telegram: Best WhatsApp Alternatives for the Privacy-conscious
One of the main reasons why people are hesitant to use Session or Sure-spot is that none of their friends use them. Telegram has over 400 million active users, which is much higher than the other apps. And it is one of the 8 best WhatsApp alternatives for the privacy-conscious, Telegram provides server-client encryption for both text and voice calls, ensuring that your communications remain private. Secret chats provide an additional layer of E2E encryption if you like it.
Telegram can also be accessed from many devices, unlike WhatsApp only has a web version that is linked to your phone. Telegram provides stickers, chat folders, and dark mode, among other cosmetic elements. You may also use bots to manage groups and automate chores. Telegram is one of the finest WhatsApp alternatives since it does not have a revenue strategy that allows it to display your adverts. It’s fully open-source and free.
- Encryption between the server and the client
- Encryption from beginning to end
- Secret Conversations
- Messages that are self-destructive
- A larger collection of people
Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Then there’s Signal, which recently gained traction as a WhatsApp competitor when Elon Musk tweeted about it. In Signal vs Telegram, Signal unlike Telegram uses its own Signal Protocol to provide end-to-end encryption for all chats and video calls. You can send self-destructing messages, which will remove after the timer runs out.
Even though Signal provides group conversations, group calls, audio messaging, and other features, it lacks some Telegrams. Signal focuses on providing a secure chat messenger rather than a more active one. Based on these data, you can simply choose your poison. The signal is fully free, and its parent firm is a non-profit that relies on donations to stay afloat. There’s no need to sell their souls or your data.
- Signal Protocol provides end-to-end encryption.
- Video calls and encrypted chats
- Messages that are self-destructive
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux.
The wire is a major supporter of user privacy, and the chat messenger provides exactly that. It includes a solid infrastructure that allows you to use E2E encryption to keep your chats secure, with the key changing with each communication. Unlike Signal, you may use your phone or email to establish an account and use the software on numerous devices, up to eight. Despite the fact that Wire is a for-profit organization, it is totally open-sourced and subject to independent audits on a regular basis.
- Encryption from end to end
- Audits conducted by third parties
- Check the fingerprints of your contacts.
- Backward and forward secrecy
Android, Windows, iOS, Linux, and Desktop.
The wire is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and browsers.
Apple has long been a supporter of user privacy and has taken steps to protect it, such as adding nutrition labels to the App Store. Messages, often known as iMessage, is Apple’s native messaging program and a good WhatsApp replacement. The only requirement for using iMessage is that you own an Apple device. iMessage works/syncs beautifully between devices, so you can use it on your iPad, iPhone, and Mac at the same time.
- E2E Encryption
- Encrypted cloud backup
- Option disable the backup
iOS, iPad, and macOS
Comes Preinstalled on all Apple devices
Threema is a GDPR-compliant chat messenger headquartered in Switzerland that caters to both consumers and enterprises. It’s a premium app that openly discloses its income strategy, ensuring that your personal information is never compromised. If you want complete privacy, you don’t have to enter your phone number to register an account. Your chats can be concealed and locked away with a pin for each contact, in addition to being E2E encrypted. Before initiating the chat, you may even verify each contact’s validity by scanning their QR code.
When it comes to additional features, you’ll find polling choices, text formatting, private and group chats, a dark theme, and so on. Threema is a premium app that costs $3 for personal usage and $1.58 per month per user for businesses.
- E2E encryption
- Private chats
- Contact verification
Android, iOS, and Web.
Wickr is a chat messenger that focuses on user privacy and security and built its service from the ground up. It employs a zero-trust platform design which means your data is encrypted while being transferred and deleted from the servers as soon as it is delivered. Along with E2E encryption, every message, file, video, and voice message you send would be encrypted with a new key.
Additionally, you get multi-factor authentication, user-key verification, self-destructing messages, and overlay protection to name a few. Wickr is available for both consumers and professional teams. You can either go with Wickr Me, Pro for consumers, and Wickr Enterprise is for professionals. It is free for consumer use and teams can get it for $4.99/mo/user.
- It uses encryption with a key length of 256 bits.
- Secrecy in advance
- Design of a platform with zero trust
- Authentication with many factors
- Audits by third parties
Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux are the platforms available.
Final Remarks: 8 Best WhatsApp Alternatives for the Privacy Conscious
These are a few deserving candidates for the title of WhatsApp alternative. All of the messaging applications meet the minimum requirements and provide greater privacy and security than WhatsApp. Which app will you be using? Send me a tweet if you know of a better option.