Alternatives for WhatsApp

Alternatives for WhatsApp

Many people can no longer imagine life without chat apps. Chat services make it possible to communicate with each other without having to pay high calling or texting costs. WhatsApp is a good example of such a chat service. This is one of the most used messenger services in Europe, Russia, Africa and South America. WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. Because this chat service has so many users, it is the best option to reach as many people as possible. But is it the safest choice? Read all about the safest alternatives for WhatsApp here!


Why an alternative to WhatsApp?

Although WhatsApp is a very useful app, it is wise to consider the alternatives of this chat service. WhatsApp has some disadvantageous characteristics with regard to your privacy . In 2014 Facebook purchased the WhatsApp messenger service. There was a lot of fuss about this acquisition at the time. Users of WhatsApp were afraid that Facebook would collect the data from WhatsApp.

In 2016 Facebook changed the privacy conditions of WhatsApp and stated that WhatsApp can now also share data with third parties. They may share different data. This includes your telephone number, your contacts and your user data (when you have used the application). Furthermore, WhatsApp does not store your messages encrypted on your phone, this is naturally also a weak spot in WhatsApp’s security. When your phone is stolen, the thief can easily access your chat history.

WhatsApp can also store data outside of your phone. These are encrypted. WhatsApp offers the option to make a backup via a Cloud service. Previously the chat history was not encrypted, this made it easy for both Cloud providers and hackers to read your conversations. Today, WhatsApp uses encrypted backup. However, this leads to risks because various hackers have announced that this encryption can be deciphered. This can be done by using the SIM card of the phone that is used to make the backup. So WhatsApp has some security issues, both on the phone and when using external services. Enough reasons to think again about alternatives to WhatsApp.


Alternatives for WhatsApp

First you read all about 5 safe alternatives to WhatsApp. Next you will find information about 3 commonly used alternatives. These frequently used chat services are interesting because they have a lot of users. But first you read the safe alternatives.


What are safe alternatives to WhatsApp?

Nowadays there are many different chat apps, these apps offer the possibility to easily communicate with each other. But what if you want to chat with contacts completely anonymously? Then not all apps are equally suitable. Chat services have to take many things into account to guarantee your safety.

It is important that your information is not shared with third parties. This is, for example, the case with WhatsApp. Furthermore, a chat app must send your messages encrypted, otherwise they are vulnerable to Man In The Middle (MITM) attacks. These are attacks where hackers intercept your messages without your noticing. Your messages can then be read and changed by these hackers. Finally, apps must store your chat history securely. You will read below about 5 chat apps that, unlike WhatsApp, do justice to these criteria.

  • Surespot
  • Signal
  • Wire
  • Theme
  • Telegram

Surespot

Surespot logo

The first alternative is Surespot . This is the most secure alternative of all. This is just like WhatsApp a messenger service. Surespot emphasizes safety and privacy. They use strong 256-bit AES-GCM data encryption and end-to-end encryption. Surespot also applies SSL / TLS protocols that ensure that the communication between your device and the server is encrypted.

You can use Surespot completely anonymously. You don’t have to share a phone number or address book with the app. In addition, Surespot uses encrypted storage for your chat history, these messages are stored on your own phone. Finally, in no case does Surespot share data with third parties.

Unfortunately, Surespot has some minor drawbacks. This way you cannot install this application on all devices. Surespot is only available for Android and iOS. You can therefore not use this messenger on your laptop or PC. In addition, the number of users of Surespot is still limited. In 2018, the chat service had half a million users. It can therefore be difficult to reach everyone in your social network through this chat service.

PROSNEGATIVES
End-to-end encryptionLimited compatibility
Strong looseningFew users
Use anonymously
Secure storage of messages

Signal

Signal messenger logo

The second alternative to WhatsApp is Signal . This application is very safe and reliable. Moreover, the Signal application is very user-friendly. Furthermore, Signal’s chat traffic is encrypted end-to-end. And Signal also offers protection against MITM techniques. These are techniques where other parties try to intercept your chat traffic.

Furthermore, Signal applies SSL / TLS protocols and does not keep user logs. You can choose whether you give this app access to your address book. In addition, your chat history is stored encrypted on your device. This prevents all your data from being stolen in the event of loss or theft of your phone.

Unfortunately, Signal cannot be used anonymously. You will need to provide your telephone number when using. They do offer the possibility of using an extra telephone number. You can think of a simple prepaid number. This means that people you chat with will only see your second telephone number. You can find out how this works exactly on the Signal site. Signal is available for Android and iOS.

PROSNEGATIVES
End-to-end encryptionLimited compatibility
User friendlyFew users
Protection against MITM techniques No anonymous use possible
Secure storage of messages

Wire

Wire messenger logo

The third alternative is Wire . This is a well-protected chat service. On their website, they even claim to be the most secure chat service of all. Messages are sent with (HMAC-SHA 256 bit) end-to-end encryption. This is seen as a very strong encryption method for sending messages. The application uses SRTP encryption for video calls. This is also seen as a secure method of encrypting video calls. All messages are stored securely and encrypted on your phone.

In addition to good security, Wire can be used on many different operating systems. The application is available on Android, iOS, Windows and the internet. So you can even use Wire via a web browser on other operating systems. You can also log in on many devices at the same time with Wire.

The functionality of this chat service is also good. In addition to chatting and calling, you can also share files. You can also make video calls with several people at the same time. This is possible up to 10 people at the same time. Wire respects the privacy of their users. You can simply use the app without importing your contacts.

Unfortunately, Wire also has some drawbacks. Wire requires you to share your telephone number or email. They also offer less good protection against MITM techniques. Wire also logs behavioral data, for example with whom you have communicated. They say that they use this information only for technical purposes to improve the services.

PROSNEGATIVES
Strong end-to-end encryptionLess good protection against MITM techniques
Many functionalitiesRegisters behavioral data
Available for many operating systemsFew users
Secure storage of messages

Theme

Threema messenger logo

The fourth alternative is Threema . Threema is a chat service that focuses strongly on security and anonymity. Threema is based in Switzerland and must therefore comply with the strict European safety requirements for messenger services. On their website they give six guarantees that their users can count on. This includes a guarantee for complete anonymity and good encryption.

Threema uses a 256-bit asymmetric cryptography. All text messages sent via Threema are end-to-end encrypted. In addition, Threema has strong protection against MITM techniques. This prevents third parties from intercepting your chat traffic. Furthermore, all chat history is stored securely on your phone. So there is no personal information from you on the servers of Threema.

In addition to strong security, Threema has a large number of functionalities. With Threema you can not only chat and call, you can also share files, locations and surveys. You can also change the text format in messages.

Threema scores very well on respecting the privacy of users. The chat service does not keep behavior logs and you can use the application without an address book. You don’t even have to provide a telephone number or email. Unfortunately, Threema is not available on all operating systems. Threema is only offered for Android and iOS devices.

PROSNEGATIVES
End-to-end encryptionLimited compatibility
Many functionalitiesFew users
Complete anonymity
Secure storage of messages

Telegram

Telegram messenger logo

The fifth alternative is Telegram . This is the most famous alternative from WhatsApp and now has 200 million active users worldwide. Telegram was the first chat service with end-to-end encryption. They use an AES-256-bit symmetrical encryption. Telegram is also a very fast messenger service. This is because they have servers worldwide.

Telegram is also the messenger service with the most platform options. You can use the application on almost any device. Telegram also offers some interesting functionalities, such as a group chat that 100,000 people can participate in. Another big advantage of Telegram is that there is no limit on the number of photos and files that you can share.

Telegram also claims to be the safest chat service of all. They even offer a prize of $ 300,000 to the person who can crack their encryption. However, this chat service has been criticized for their encryption. This turned out to have some weaknesses. One of these weaknesses lies in the storage of messages. The messages are all stored on Telegram’s servers. According to security experts, it is safer if data is stored on users’ devices.

In addition, Telegram encountered criticism because end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default. This can only be activated by starting a private chat. When you use a regular chat, end-to-end encryption is disabled and behavioral data is collected. These behavioral data describe who you chat with and when you chat. Unfortunately, you cannot use Telegram anonymously, you must provide a telephone number and give the app access to your contacts.

PROSNEGATIVES
End-to-end encryption (not standard)Weak points in security
Unique functionalitiesCollected behavioral data
Fast chat serviceNo anonymous use
200 million users

Commonly used alternatives WhatsApp:

Below you will find all information about three commonly used alternatives to WhatsApp. These messenger services are no safer than WhatsApp, but we still include them in the alternatives because they have many users. This is an essential part of chat services, otherwise you cannot reach your contacts. These three options can also be used to get in touch with new people. In some countries it is precisely the following messenger services that are the most used means of communication.


Facebook Messenger (1.2 billion users):

Facebook Messenger logo

Facebook Messenger is a strong competitor of WhatsApp. This app is particularly popular in North America, Australia and some European countries. Messenger has all the functionalities that you are used to from WhatsApp. With Messenger you can send messages, share photos, make video calls and have group discussions. Furthermore, unlike WhatsApp, Messenger also offers a Snapchat-like function. This allows you to share photos with your friends, these photos disappear after a day.

Facebook Messenger also offers the “secret conversations” function. This encrypts messages end-to-end. However, this is done differently than other chat apps. Messages in Messenger are deciphered in the meantime and encrypted on Facebook’s servers. This allows Facebook to gain access to all your data including content of reporting. This is something that you have to take into account when considering this chat service.

PROSNEGATIVES
Many usersWeak points in security
Many functionalitiesCollects a lot of data
No anonymous use
No standard end-to-end encryption
Facebook can read chats

Viber (980 million users):

Viber messenger logo

Viber is a relatively unknown player in Western Europe and the United States. A large number of users are located in Asia and Russia. Viber is not the largest chat app in many countries, but they do have a reasonable market share. This chat app offers all the functionalities that competing apps also offer.

With Viber you can chat, make video calls, create group conversations and share files. In addition, Viber offers the possibility to send GIFs, just like WhatsApp. In addition, Viber has the unique function of switching devices during video calling. This allows you to easily switch from your laptop to your phone. Furthermore, this chat service can be used on all major operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS X.

Viber seems a safe alternative in itself, but this is not entirely true. This chat service uses 256-bit end-to-end encryption and they do not store any data on their servers. This is in itself good security from Viber, but this provider also has a number of weaknesses in their security. This way, they do keep connection logs. They can therefore see when and with whom you are in contact. Furthermore, you cannot use Viber anonymously and this provider requests access to all your contacts.

PROSNEGATIVES
Many usersWeak points in security
Many functionalitiesRequests access to your contacts
End-to-end encryptionNo anonymous use
Crashes often.
Connection logs

WeChat (963 million users):

WeChat messenger logo

WeChat has around 963 million users, most of whom are in China. This makes WeChat also the most used chat app in China. Quite few people outside of China know this app. Yet we include WeChat because it is a large chat service in Asia, so this app can be useful for communicating with people in this region.

WeChat is popular in Asia because it is more than just a chat app. WeChat clearly offers the most functionalities of all chat applications discussed in this article. With WeChat you can, for example, order food, unlock bicycles, call taxis and pay for products. The app also offers a kind of Snapchat function called “Moments”. Here you can place videos or photos of your daily life. You can also create a group chat with 500 people. Furthermore, the application has many more functions for social interactions. This way you can play games with your friends or use the ‘find my friends’ function.

Unfortunately, WeChat does have some major disadvantages compared to WhatsApp or Messenger. The chat app is under censorship of the Chinese government. They appear to exclude certain content. This way messages about protests are blocked and conversations seem to be intercepted. The University of Toronto has investigated the censorship of WeChat, the research shows a long list of words that are being blocked . WeChat also offers no end-to-end encryption. So keep in mind that this app is not safe.

PROSNEGATIVES
Many usersIs under censorship of China
Many functionalitiesasks for access to your contacts
Blocks content
Weak spots in security
non-encrypted storage

Choose from all Chat services with a VPN

There are many reasons for choosing an alternative from WhatsApp. This is possible for security reasons, but also because WhatsApp is blocked in your area. This is called a geographic blockade . You can choose to use an alternative. But there is also a possibility to unblock WhatsApp. This is possible with a VPN connection . With this VPN you can hide your IP address . You make websites believe that you are at a different location. This allows you to use WhatsApp.

Do you want to know more about a VPN connection? Then read our article about how a VPN works .


Conclusion

Chat apps have become an essential part of our daily lives. Every day, 55 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp. This also contains privacy-sensitive information. You can read in this article that WhatsApp entails certain safety risks. It is therefore wise to compare the alternatives.

There are many safe alternatives. You will find the five most secure options in this article. These are:

  • Surespot
  • Signal
  • Wire
  • Theme
  • Telegram

With these alternatives you are assured that your privacy remains guaranteed. If you are forced to use an alternative because WhatsApp is blocked in your area, you can possibly use a VPN. With a VPN you are not region bound and you can use WhatsApp again.

Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)