If you are looking to ditch WhatsApp to get a messaging service from a company other than Facebook, there are actually a bunch of free and paid alternatives available.
And a number of competing messaging apps have seen an increase in the number of users over the past few days.
And if you are thinking of trying an alternative application for WhatsApp, here are some of the best alternatives available right now for users of various operating systems:
– ImplementationSignalFor Android andiOSAnd Windows andmacOSAndLinux:
When it comes to WhatsApp alternatives, Signal is usually the first suggestion. This is because it takes a very strict stance on privacy, not only because it is end-to-end encrypted, like WhatsApp, but because its code is open source. This means that anyone is able to scrutinize their practices and make suggestions. Unlike WhatsApp, users have to trust that Facebook is honest (and didn’t make any mistakes). Privacy experts can check the Signal code themselves, suggest improvements, and then check back in to see if the company has implemented the promised changes.
As a result, Signal’s open-source nature means that it is one of the most trusted and secure messaging apps on the planet. Edward Snowden previously revealed that he uses the app, along with the creator of “Twitter”, Jack Dorsey.
There is a very similar set of features to the WhatsApp app, including group chats, voice messages, and video calls with up to eight participants, GIFs, stickers, and more. Best of all, Signal is completely free to use. The app is operated by an independent, donation-based nonprofit, so you can support Signal as much as you can.
–ThreemaFor usersiOSAnd Android:
If you take your privacy seriously, Threema is a good place to start. At £ 2.99 ($ 4), it’s not actually the cheapest option, but it’s quite a bit less expensive compared to securing all your text messages, videos, voice messages and files. Unlike WhatsApp, Threema allows chatting anonymously, so there is no need to hand over your phone number or email to the company when creating an account.
Instead, the chat app will randomly generate a Threema ID when you start using the app, and this is how friends and family will be able to communicate with you inside the app. Even better, Threema does not display any ads or collect any information about its users.
And everything is protected with end-to-end encryption, including video calls, files, and even status updates (which is certainly not the case with all messaging services).
The Threema app, which was designed and built in Switzerland, does not skimp on features, as in addition to the usual text messages, voice and video calls, there is also secure file sharing, group chats and lists to broadcast messages to multiple users simultaneously. You will be able to send and receive messages on your smartphone, tablet and any web browser, thanks to the secure online portal as well.
– Telegram for users ofiOSApple and Apple Watch smartApple WatchAndroid, Windows, andLinuxAndmacOS:
Telegram is another hugely popular alternative to WhatsApp that provides some very powerful security features, although you will need to make some changes in the settings to really get the most out of this app. This is because Telegram does not use end-to-end encryption by default. Without any modifications, your messages will be stored on the company’s servers, which is not ideal. Fortunately, enabling confidential mode unlocks end-to-end encryption for all communications.
Not only that, but the messages will only be stored on your phone. And if someone decides that they want to delete a message, it will be deleted from all devices that received the text. You can also set expiration times on messages, so you don’t need to remember to go back and delete every single text, and it will automatically disappear from all devices when the timer reaches the zero point.
Telegram can be downloaded for free, as the company promises: “We will not sell ads or charge subscription fees.”
And like WhatsApp, Telegram is not open source, so its code has not been examined by security researchers like Signal. However, it is also not owned by Facebook, which has been involved in a number of privacy and data scandals.
Telegram has some powerful features as well, including stickers, voice memos, group chats, GIFs, and more. There are also photo and video editing tools built right into the messaging app, so you can make any last-minute edits before sending them to your friends and family.
Apple’s iMessage service is available on all Apple devices, which means that it is useless for those who want to communicate with friends on Android or Windows devices. However, for friends and family that are firmly rooted within the Apple system, it is not a bad system at all. Apple uses end-to-end encryption by default, so all of your text messages, voice memos and video clips are protected from prying eyes as your communications are broadcast all over the world.
–DiscordFor Android andiOSووبندوز وmacOSAndLinux:
Discord started out as a platform for players to discuss video games … but it has evolved into something much broader. Depending on how you take advantage of its features, Discord is now recommended as an alternative to privacy-focused messaging services like Telegram, as well as enterprise solutions like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Discord has a private messaging feature that is very similar to what we saw on WhatsApp, but unlike the Facebook-owned chat app, there is no need to hand over your phone number. Like Threema, you can create your own username to identify yourself to the server-based messaging app. This can be a random word of letters or numbers, if you want to hide your name and number from the service.
Discord users can create a group chat with up to 10 friends. And if you want to add more, you will need to start your own Discord server and handle the hosting yourself.
And the service has a list full of features, including group chats, video and photo sharing, the ability to send files, and more.