Even apart from the privacy viewpoint, there are plenty of other messaging apps that are more feature-rich and secure than WhatsApp. Check out some of the best WhatsApp alternatives that you can try below.
Best and Free WhatsApp Alternatives
Telegram is one of the leaders among other secure messaging apps, and as of January 2021, has reached 500 million monthly active users. Cloud Chat is the default messaging method and does not provide e2e encryption. All chats are stored on Telegram’s servers and are backed up to an in-built cloud backup.
While Telegram does not offer e2e encryption by default, they offer “Secret Chats”. Secret Chats can only be read on the device from which the message was sent and the device that received it. Even using the same accounts, it is not possible to read the messages on any other device. You can also send self-destructing messages that automatically disappear after a predefined time.
Take a look at all the major Telegram features below:
- Groups with up to 200,000 members
- Self-destructing and schedule messages
- The size limit for sharing files on Telegram is 1.5 GB
- Supports voice and video call on Android and iOS devices
- No data has been shared among third-parties or any governments to date
- Cross-platform availability
➤ Download – Telegram
Signal, once a niche messaging service for the privacy-minded, is currently the most downloaded app in the United States, unseating perennially popular social media and gaming apps. Other mainstream Signal features that WhatsApp users don’t have include view-once media messages, encrypted profiles, an incognito keyboard switch for Android to keep Gboard from sending your typing history back to Google, and backups that don’t default to unencrypted storage in Google Drive or iCloud. Below are some noteworthy Signal features:
- Supports self-destructing messages
- Note to Self to share your own thoughts and ideas without creating single-member groups
- Relay calls to hide IP address
- Signal uses a back-end user-facing encryption service
- Open-source Signal Protocol to implement end-to-end encryption
- Signal also encrypts your metadata offering multiple levels of security
- Available on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac
➤ Download – Signal
Viber is another popular messaging and VoIP app that really stands toe-to-toe with WhatsApp when it comes to features. Firstly, the app offers end-to-end encryption in calls, messages, and shared media. Furthermore, the messages saved in multiple devices are also encrypted, which brings us to the fact that the messaging apps packs in multi-device support, which WhatsApp lacks.
The messaging functions include support for stickers, file sharing, last seen, voice & video messages, public accounts, backup to Google Drive, and more. There is also a sticker store and Viber games, which are basically games you can play inside Viber.
- Voice and video calls
- Group chats and calls
- Stickers and gif support
- End-to-end encryption
- Desktop support
➤ Download – Viber
Threema – a Swiss-based company offers a chat messenger that is designed for both consumers and businesses. Unlike other free apps, Threema is a paid service and clearly puts its revenue model in front of you so that your data is never at stake. You don’t need to use your phone number to create an account that offers complete anonymity if you desire. Along with being E2E encrypted, your chats can be hidden and locked away with a pin for each contact. You can even verify every contact’s authenticity by scanning their QR code. No wonder why it’s getting popular in the enterprise sector.
- E2E encryption
- Private chat
- Contact verification
- $3 per month for personal use and $1.58 per user per month for business use
➤ Download – Threema
Keybase is another open-source secure chat application that is great for users who want to communicate securely. Since this is an open-source app, there’s no private company that is looking at all your data. On top of that, the data is end-to-end encrypted so at no point in time, the message is exposed to strangers.
At first glance, you might mistake the app for Slack but dig deeper and you will find the benefits of using Keybase over the rivals. Users aren’t even allowed to take screenshots of the app. Messages, media, and file transfers are protected in such a way that even Keybase can’t read your messages. Because Keybase is built on top of public-key identifiers, you can use the app anonymously as well.
- Privacy at heart
- Open-source software
- Available on all major platforms
➤ Download – Keybase
The end decision of which messaging app you will switch to from WhatsApp will depend on the preferences of your friend and family members. After all, what’s the use of all the privacy and security features if only a small portion of your contacts are using the app in the first place. Which app are you going to use in favor of WhatsApp? Sound off in the comments section below.