Users were told that their personal information would be protected and not susceptible to the nefarious things that Mark Zuckerberg and company were known for, following social networking behemoth Facebook’s (now Meta) purchase everyone’s favorite mobile messaging service WhatsApp in 2014. In the name of the findings from analysis study, WhatsApp users’ privacy was gradually being violated more and more.
Gone are the days when you could trust that this app was completely private and that your personal information wouldn’t be misused and sold to advertisers, which is very clearly being done by big tech companies or ”Big Tech” today. But all isn’t lost. There are also those applications that still try, at least partially, to take care of the privacy of the user’s personal data. Read the rest of this article to find out exactly what kind of applications and services these are.
What Features Does Every App Need to Have to Compete with WhatsApp?
We expect these other options to have a number of WhatsApp’s key features. First is that they need to be appropriately structured and created to encourage user communication. The ability to call (both voice and video) should be a feature that these apps provide. The primary explanation for why so many individuals turn to WhatsApp for their requirements for communication is because of this.
The Facebook-owned program has evolved into an Android equivalent of FaceTime over time. Even because WhatsApp is encrypting data, it’s difficult to establish with certainty what information Facebook has accessibility to regarding you, the user. In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll examine more secure Internet communication services that employ “end-to-end” sort of digital encryption.
Wire (available for Android and iOS) lets you sign in using your phone number or email address, which is a nice extra. The program offers end-to-end text communication encryption using the Proteus messaging framework. The Wire and Proteus applications have both undergone public assessments, which is something that not many other apps can claim to have. When it comes to voice and video calls, end-to-end encryption (a type of encryption that ensures that only the recipient and the sender of the message know the content of the message) is ensured through DTLS with the SRTP protocol. This preserves the integrity of the message and prevents eavesdropping and unauthorized use of information and the message itself.
In terms of everyday features, Wire has everything you could possibly need in a client like this. This covers features like screen sharing, group video conferencing, and self-destructing messaging. For personal usage, you can utilize the app without charge; however, a business account costs money.
Element, formerly referred to as Riot.im, employs Matrix as its backend interface and is accessible through iOS, Android, and Windows browsers. It’s a great chat app, for those who love open source from start to finish. Everything from the chat client, chat protocol, and video conferencing software is open source. That explains why Element respects your privacy so much.
In the open-source community, people are generally very aware of their privacy. Therefore, they’ll often look for source code, to ensure that the software they rely on is safe to use. Setup is easy: register directly from the app without a phone number (a big plus if you don’t have access to it). The app’s options are rather clear, and there are also desktop applications accessible.
Signal (available for Android, iOS, Windows PC, Mac, Linux, and Chrome) is another great tool for safer communication on the Internet. The application is designed in a similar way to Telegram (the next app on the list and also the app on the list you’ve heard of in the biggest number). Your phone number will be used for private communication, which promises to save you money on SMS and MMS rates because it will only be used to identify you, not to send messages. Signal is also an open-source communication service, which has seen tremendous support in the last few years. One of the people who also use Signal is Edward Snowden, which further shows how reliable a tool it is for communicating via the Internet.
Signal achieves the ideal blend between private and entertaining use. Signal provides the majority of the characteristics you’d anticipate from a WhatsApp replacement, like disappearing messages, secure conversation verification, and 2FA. It’s becoming more and more obvious in this era of online privacy that you and the information you share are a commodity if there isn’t one. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to take your privacy back into your own hands, and an app like Signal is a great place to start doing that.
Telegram, which is accessible on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices, is arguably the best WhatsApp substitute. To begin with, setting up the service is extremely simple. It guides you through everything step by step, and it’s very easy to start a conversation with your contacts. Additionally, Telegram essentially has comparable features, such as voice and video messaging, a phone number-based login system, stickers, emojis, chatbots, groups, channels, and more.
Along with those great features, you can integrate it with your digital assistant on your smartphone. The nice part is that importing your WhatsApp chat into Telegram is simple. Also, you can use Telegram either on an Internet browser or directly on the desktop of Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems. Most notably, Telegram enables two-step verification and end-to-end encryption for private chats and calls.
The intriguing program Delta Chat (accessible on Android, iOS, and web browsers) earns a spot on this list of the best WhatsApp alternatives. Technically speaking, it’s an email application, but it also offers a sleek, dependable, and secure messaging interface, which is a useful addition.
You only need the recipient’s email address to deliver and receive messages from other people using Delta Chat, which makes it incredibly easy to do. Your text message recipients can respond to you by email rather than using Delta Chat themselves. Their replies will then appear in Delta Chat. Very helpful for a number of reasons, including the fact that those receiving your messages don’t need to install or utilize Delta Chat in order to open and read them. Additionally, Delta Chat is an exceptionally safe way to send emails.
The good thing is that Delta doesn’t have centralized monitoring and management, despite the fact that its UI isn’t as current as others. Delta appears to be a typical messaging software. There aren’t any Delta servers where users could post their private information. When a chat begins, the application automatically configures end-to-end encryption. If they implement the Autocrypt Level 1 data encryption standard, this can be done not only with other email apps but also with Delta Chat applications.
The finest messaging app support for privacy is definitely Wickr Me (compatible with iOS and Android). The press, global heads of state, and other individuals who choose to keep their work, actions, and communications private are said to employ it.
Similar to Element, Wickr Me doesn’t necessitate a phone number for logging in and has a ton of popular, not always required, but nevertheless fun elements like stickers and emoticons. But the parallels stop there. When you request it, Wickr irreversibly erases messages from your phone and doesn’t retain metadata or your contacts on its servers. This can be useful if you send links, images, or any other type of personal or sensitive information (whether for adult sites, e-commerce, or TopCasinoExpert.com directing to the best Tether online casinos in 2023). It’s completely free to use, has no advertisements, and, to make the subject matter more interesting, it reliably and excellently encrypts your data.
Threema (available for web browsers, Android, and iOS) is a paid alternative to WhatsApp. The nicest thing concerning the service in question is that you may use it fully anonymously without giving up any information you don’t want to, such as your phone number or email address.
Like many of the other alternatives we’ve put on this list of the best WhatsApp alternatives (but also similar apps), Threema is an open-source app and its software code can be seen by anyone. The application can be used to make end-to-end (encrypted, of course) video and voice calls, as well as to create surveys. On Android, users can also take advantage of distribution lists, which allow them to send messages to multiple recipients.
Your metadata is reduced to the bare essentials with Threema. For example, the app notes that it doesn’t keep track of who’s messaging whom. Threema access requires a one-time payment of $3.99, which isn’t a huge sum if you truly value your privacy, which this app will truly provide.
Conversations (only available for Android) is a messaging and VoIP app that asks users to pay a certain, albeit small, amount of money. Given that “free” apps typically depend upon storing your personal info and then selling it if they themselves wouldn’t afford the profit to their owners, putting just a few dollars in for an application may seem unexpected in this day and age if privacy is your main concern. Not so with the Conversations app.
Conversations is an open-source application based on Jabber/XMPP protocols. The corporation guarantees to never send any kind of information to the vendor and makes use of its own XMPP server. The fact that the application is open source means that anyone can go to GitHub to see what is contained in the code; for example, any problematic privacy issues and contribute themselves. It’s an application dedicated to being open source, which means available to everyone.
You must use a Google account or phone number with this app. Additionally, it requires very few permissions from you, although, of course, it will require access to the camera and microphone if you want to use its video and voice features.