• Priyanka Betala

WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal – What's better?

Updated: Apr 23

WhatsApp has been facing a lot of backlashes since it has rolled out its latest privacy policy. Facebook-owned company has been backlashed by several users over privacy concerns, and lots of people are looking for alternatives to WhatsApp. With the updated privacy policy of WhatsApp, it allows other Facebook-owned companies to access its data. Facebook has always been doubted for misusing one's data. Now the new privacy policy of WhatsApp also throws tons of questions regarding its privacy and data security. Both Telegram and all-new Signal which are being endorsed by Elon Musk-world's richest man are considered to be the best WhatsApp alternatives. But the question is are Signal and Telegram good enough that they can replace WhatsApp or be its alternative?

WhatsAppIt has everything that one would need on a social messaging service with a new feature added for Payments. Group chats can have at least 256 members, messages can be broadcasted to multiple contacts. It supports voice calls and video calls both for individuals and groups. Its features are:

· It uses End-to-End encryption (E2E) for communication which includes messages, voice calls, video calls, photos, etc.

· It uses the E2E protocol by Open Whisper System.

· Group video calls (8 users at any time).

· WhatsApp status also called WhatsApp stories.

· It allows you to share all sorts of files and documents up to 100MB.

· It allows to share photos, videos, and audio files up to 16MB.

· One can share their live location on WhatsApp.

· Backup and restore messages and data via cloud services like Google Drive and iCloud.

TelegramIt offers its support to groups with 2,00,000 members. It is known for its large and massive group formation. It also offers multiple group-specific features such as bots, polls, quizzes, and hashtags, extensive for large group experiences. Its features are:

· It has a feature of self-destructing messages, where the messages will automatically get deleted after a point of time.

· Size limit for sharing files on Telegram is 1.5GB.

· It also supports voice and video calls on both android and iOS devices.

· Telegram also supports E2E but only for secret chat features.

· The company confirmed that it doesn’t share any bytes of data with third parties, any government, or anyone else to date.

SignalNow let's discuss the latest competitor Signal. It offers secure messaging, voice and video calls with end-to-end encryption. One can create groups, but it can't broadcast messages to multiple contacts at once. It also has added features for group calling. Its features are:

· It supports self-destructing messages.

· It has a note to self-share own thoughts and ideas without creating single-member groups.

· It also allows relay voice calls to its servers, identity is not shared, it is the same as using a VPN.

· It uses black-end user-facing encryption service.

· It uses the open-source Signal Protocol to implement end-to-end encryption.

· It also encrypts one's metadata offering multiple levels of security.

Among three which one is more secure?

WhatsApp does not encrypt backups-cloud or local. WhatsApp also does not encrypt metadata unlike Signal, which is used to carry communication between two endpoints. WhatsApp group chats have been earlier found to be indexed on Google search which is a major data breach point.

Telegram group chats are not encrypted unless you use Secret Chats, which again only supports single-user communication.

In terms of user privacy, Signal offers the most secure form of communication you can get on the internet. But again, Signal lacks a host of features if compared to WhatsApp and Telegram. Signal by default encrypts all the local files with a 4-digit passphrase. It also supports encrypted group calls.

Here’s a list of data each of the messaging apps collects from their users:

WhatsApp Data Collection

· Device ID

· User ID

· Advertising Data

· Purchase History

· Coarse Location

· Phone Number

· Email Address

· Contacts

· Product Interaction

· Crash Data

· Performance Data

· Other Diagnostic Data

· Payment Info

· Customer Support

· Product Interaction

· Other User Content

Telegram Data Collection

· Contact Info

· Contacts

· User ID

Signal Data Collection

· None

· It only stores your phone number

Privacy is what everyone wants in today's world and we can say that all three apps are private in a way that is satisfactory. Even though WhatsApp does share your data with Facebook, as mentioned multiple times before, it is most related to the chats you have with business accounts and NOT with personal contacts. Telegram is cloud-based as well as secure at the same time and even Signal chats are end-to-end encrypted.

The only difference that can make one decide regarding which app to use is the feature set. And in our opinion, Telegram is the best option to go for if you want complete security along with ease of use and customization. WhatsApp can be the second alternative as billions of people worldwide use WhatsApp and it has a decent feature set. The Signal app is still in its early stages compared to the other two and has a lot to catch up on, but is another decent alternative if none of the other two suits you.

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