Signal vs WhatsApp: Which Messaging App Is Better for You

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy was unveiled at the start of this year, and it caused quite a stir. WhatsApp’s new agreement is focused on planned platform upgrades that will allow businesses and users to communicate more effectively. Businesses can exploit user conversation data for their own marketing objectives, such as Facebook advertising. Hundreds of thousands of users have tried Signal and Telegram as alternatives to WhatsApp as a result of the new privacy policy. Signal vs WhatsApp: Signal has many of the same capabilities as WhatsApp and a comparable user experience, but it’s an open-source platform (which means security researchers can check for flaws) that isn’t for business. There is no difference in security, however, Signal lacks a cloud backup option.

Signal vs WhatsApp

Signal, previously a niche messaging service for the privacy-conscious, has surpassed social media and gaming apps as the most downloaded app in the United States. In many aspects, it’s comparable to WhatsApp, but with a focus on privacy and security. If you’re thinking about switching from WhatsApp to Signal but are unsure about the transition, you’ve come to the perfect spot.

We’ll compare signal vs WhatsApp in this post to find which IM app makes more sense for you. Let’s get this party started.

User Interface and Theming Engine

To navigate users, both WhatsApp and Signal use a simple User Interface. On WhatsApp, you’ll see a well-organized bottom bar with tabs for Chat, Calls, Stories, and Settings. Users may easily move between them without stretching their hands because of the implementation.

Signal vs WhatsApp: On WhatsApp, you'll see a well-organized bottom bar with tabs for Chat, Calls, Stories, and Settings.

All of the options are shown at the top of Signal. To open Settings or compose a new chat, you’ll have to go all the way to the top. The lack of a distinct Calls tab is one of Signal’s biggest flaws. In the app, there is no way to see the history of voice/video calls.

Signal vs WhatsApp: All the options are shown at the top of Signal.

When it comes to the theming options, both WhatsApp and Signal allow dark themes on iOS and Android. WhatsApp takes it a step further by allowing you to choose your chat backdrop as well. Signal only supports the chat theme, with the default background remaining boring white/black.

Security and Privacy: Signal vs WhatsApp

Between Signal and WhatsApp, the basic chat experience with text, emoji, GIF, stickers, and media files is nearly identical. When it comes to processing user data, there is a significant difference. Let’s take a look at WhatsApp’s approach to user privacy.

WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to safeguard users’ text messages, phone conversations, and video calls. It’s built on the Signal protocol, which is open-source. WhatsApp’s code is highly guarded, and while there is no proof that its encryption has been cracked, the truth is that its technology is difficult to investigate.

Signal vs WhatsApp: WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to safeguard users' text messages, phone conversations, and video calls.

WhatsApp collects your address book as well as other metadata such as IP addresses and connection details, and data is exchanged between the app and its parent firm because it is part of the Facebook family. To optimize Facebook marketing and product experience, the shared data is linked to Facebook profiles. There’s a reason why Mark Zuckerberg paid $19 billion in 2014 to buy WhatsApp.

By default, Signal employs the Open Whisper System to E2E encrypt all talks. It’s a free and open-source encryption method. The encryption keys are stored on users’ phones and computers rather than on a server, preventing spoofing attempts.

Signal allows you to verify each other’s profiles by using Safety Numbers or scanning QR codes that contain a unique set of numbers and marking them as verified.

Signal allows you to verify each other's profiles by using Safety Numbers or scanning QR codes

When it comes to voice communications, Signal has an option to ‘Always relay calls,’ which means that all calls are routed through the Signal server, preventing your IP address from being shown to your contact.

 Signal has an option to 'Always relay calls,' which means that all calls are routed through the Signal server, preventing your IP address from being shown to your contact.

Signal easily wins this round, as you can see. We can see why people like Edward Snowden, Jack Dorsey, and Elon Musk think Signal is a good idea.

Features List

Both WhatsApp and Signal come with a slew of features designed to improve the user experience for various types of people. Here are the Top 10 tips to use the signal app.

WhatsApp

  • Video calls in groups (up to 8 users)
  • WhatsApp Stories is a feature that allows you to share
  • Share your current location.
  • Messages that vanish
  • Up to 256 people can be in a group chat.
  • Payment using WhatsApp (India)

Signal

  • Support for communications that self-destruct
  • Using the Note to Self add-on, you may keep track of your thoughts and ideas.
  • Video calls in groups (up to 8 members)
  • Signal previews will not appear in the app switcher due to screen security.

Chat Backup: Signal vs WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s backups and restores chat data using third-party cloud services like Google Drive or iCloud. Keep in mind that these backups aren’t encrypted from beginning to end. You can also create an offline backup file that you can save to your device. There is no straightforward way to transfer conversation history from an Android device to an iPhone or vice versa.

WhatsApp's backups and restores chat data using third-party cloud services like Google Drive or iCloud.

To transfer user data from one device to another, Signal on iOS uses QR codes. On Android, you can restore data by manually moving the backup file from your old device to the new one. If you have lost your old phone, then there is no way to restore signal data on the new device.

Signal vs WhatsApp: To transfer user data from one device to another, Signal on iOS uses QR codes

Popularity

We can’t end the comparison without mentioning WhatsApp’s secret and most lethal weapon – popularity. The service is used by over two billion users around the world. There is a good chance that the majority on your contact list is already using WhatsApp. It becomes very convenient for an average user to start using the service with friends and family. After all, what good are all those privacy and security features if just a small percentage of your contacts are using them?

The signal is a relatively recent player in the instant messaging space. We don’t have official user numbers, but it’s a tiny fraction of WhatsApp’s. You’ll have to work hard to persuade your friends and family to test Signal.

Pricing and Platform

Both WhatsApp and Signal are completely free, with no advertisements or endorsements, and are compatible with all major computer and mobile platforms. However, Signal is a non-profit company that relies on contributions, whereas WhatsApp is controlled by Facebook, which makes money by selling data to advertisers.

Closing Remarks: Signal vs WhatsApp

It’s all a matter of personal taste. Stick with Facebook’s platform if you’re fine with WhatsApp’s policy changes and don’t want to go through the hassle of convincing your contacts to join the Signal network. Signal messenger has significantly stronger security features, but you may have to wait or even persuade your friends and family to join.

On the other hand, privacy is quickly becoming a luxury, and open-source programs such as Signal are more important than ever.

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