Currently, WhatsApp is the most important messaging service on this planet with over 2 billion month-to-month energetic customers. Following that, Telegram accounts for 400 million and Signal stands at a ballpark of 10-20 million month-to-month energetic customers. Looking at the uncooked numbers, it’s clear that WhatsApp is wildly common and nearly ubiquitous whereas Telegram is catching up and Signal appears to have simply joined a million downloads race. Having mentioned that, numbers don’t inform you of all the things and that’s why we convey to you in-depth comparability between WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal.
In this text, we rigorously analyze the safety fashions of all three messaging companies and in addition, have a look at their distinct options. Now with all that mentioned, let’s undergo the article and discover who wins this battle.
WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal: A Rundown (2022)
We shall be evaluating these three prompt messengers on quite a lot of fronts: safety, options, and possession. We will talk about all of the stuff you get and lose by selecting certainly one of these messengers over the others, so you may make a nicely educated alternative about which app you wish to use.
As all the time, you should use the desk of contents to skip forward to any part you’d wish to examine.
Before something, I want to start with safety first because it’s essentially the most debatable and contentious matter among the many three messaging companies. So let’s begin off with WhatsApp’s safety mannequin first in this battle against Telegram and Signal.
One factor that WhatsApp positively has going for it’s its end-to-end encryption. Plus, E2E on WhatsApp is out there on every single mode of communication that the app permits. So all of your messages, video calls, voice calls, photographs, and anything you share are end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp.
What meaning is that you just and the recipient are the individuals who can learn the messages you ship to them? WhatsApp can’t decrypt the contents of your messages, calls, photographs, and many others, thus making certain your safety and privacy.
That mentioned, it’s noteworthy that WhatsApp makes use of the E2E protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems, which is the title behind Signal messenger. That’s a very good factor, as a result, the Signal protocol is open supply, extensively peer-reviewed, and is mostly thought of as among the finest protocols for implementing end-to-end encryption in messaging platforms.
It’s additionally noteworthy that although all of your communication on WhatsApp makes use of E2E encryption, the corporate doesn’t encrypt backups (cloud and native). Also, it doesn’t encrypt the metadata which is used to hold communication between two endpoints. This is likely one of the main criticisms of WhatsApp’s safety mannequin. While metadata doesn’t permit anybody to learn your messages, it lets authorities know whom and once you messaged somebody, and for a way lengthy.
Overall, WhatsApp does a reasonably strong job of making certain safety for its customers. That mentioned, WhatsApp has suffered a few main privateness nightmares, particularly the latest challenge with group chats getting listed on Google search. That challenge has been mounted, nonetheless, it was not a very good search for the messaging app.
As far as safety is anxious, Telegram does supply some protections to its customers. However, there are several ache factors in the way in which Telegram encrypts your messages and different data. For one, whereas Telegram helps E2E encryption, it’s not enabled by default. The sole means to make use of E2E encryption on Telegram is to make use of its secret chats function.
Messages despatched in a secret chat are E2E encrypted, which is good, however, common chats are usually not. This means implies that the messages are encrypted in your gadget after which they’re decrypted on Telegram’s server. Again, the messages are encrypted on the server and despatched to the recipient’s gadget for ultimate decryption. As you possibly can see, in this course, Telegram has the encryption keys on the server side and may, in concept, enter your regular chats
Even for those who’re utilizing secret chats, Telegram makes use of its personal proprietary encryption protocol, MTProto, to encrypt your messages. This might very nicely be wonderful, however, since it’s a closed-source protocol, safety researchers can’t confirm it. As such, safety researchers imagine that utilizing an open-source and extensively trusted protocol such because the Signal protocol would have been higher than utilizing a proprietary closed-source encryption protocol in Telegram.
On the user-facing facet of issues, Telegram, like WhatsApp, additionally presents an in-built app lock. However, end-to-end encryption is extremely scarce within the app. Telegram teams are usually not encrypted as a result of Secret Chats being solely supported for single-user communication. Moreover, Telegram’s desktop shopper doesn’t help E2E encryption on any platform apart from macOS.
Telegram’s safety isn’t almost as strong as WhatsApp’s or Signal Messenger’s.
The signal is by far the very best on the subject of safety, be it on the back end or the user-facing facet of the service.
As talked about above, Signal makes use of the open-source Signal Protocol to implement end-to-end encryption. And identical to WhatsApp, E2E encryption covers all types of communication on Signal.
While WhatsApp encrypts messages and calls (and that’s sufficient for many customers), Signal goes one step additional and encrypts the metadata too. To guard consumer privateness against all corners, Signal devised a brand new approach to talk between the sender and the recipient and it’s referred to as Sealed Sender. Basically, with Sealed Sender, nobody will be capable of knowing — not even Signal — who’s messaging whom, which is superb.
In addition, you may have some unbelievable privacy options on Signal that are going to make your messaging expertise much more personal and safe. For occasion, you possibly can lock the Signal with a passcode or biometrics. Then there’s 2FA and a choice to dam screenshots inside the app and the latest display screen. And lately Signal added a new feature to blur faces routinely earlier than sending photos. That’s cool, proper?
There was lately some reporting about Cellebrite cracking Signal’s safety. However, Signal has since debunked that information and you’ll learn extra about it here. All in all, when it comes to safety and privateness safety, Signal stands head and shoulder above WhatsApp and Telegram and that makes it the most secure messaging app of the three.
Why Is Signal Not As Popular As WhatsApp And Telegram
Moving on, let’s check out the options provided by these three apps and see which one presents essentially the most to its customers.
For essentially the most half, WhatsApp presents nearly every function you would possibly want. You get help for group chats with as many as 256 members. You may broadcast messages to several contacts at an identical time.
There’s additional help for voice and video calls, each for particular person customers, and teams. However, for group video calls, you might be restricted to eight customers at any time.
Apart from that, WhatsApp presents a definite function that neither Telegram presents nor Signal. Yes, I’m speaking WhatsApp Status (additionally referred to as Stories). Users love this function as they’re able to specify their ideas and emotions to their close ones. In a means, this makes WhatsApp a social media platform, and never only a messaging serv
Moving forward, you possibly can share all types of recordsdata on WhatsApp, however, there are file measurement limits to stick to. For photographs, movies, and audio recordsdata, the restriction is 16 MB. However, the paperwork will be as much as 100 MB. You may share live location along with your contacts and I’m positive many customers discover this function useful.
And since WhatsApp is supposed for basic customers, it presents seamless backup and restores performance using cloud services like Google Drive and iCloud. And the very best half is that cloud backup is free. Not to say, WhatsApp now additionally helps darkish mode. To study extra about its options, you possibly can head over to our article on the best WhatsApp tips and tricks.
While WhatsApp presents a lot of the options you’d want, Telegram is overloaded with features. The app presents so many options that it’s unbelievable. Similar to WhatsApp, you get the fundamentals corresponding to chats, group chats, and channels. However, not like WhatsApp’s 256 members restriction, Telegram brings help to teams with as many as 200,000 members!
It additionally presents several group-specific options corresponding to bots, polls, quizzes, hashtags, and much more which might make group experiences much more enjoyable.
The app additionally presents distinctive options corresponding to a self-destructing messages function which is nice for those who’re sending messages that you just don’t wish to stay on the recipient’s gadget for eternity. You additionally get help for enhancing despatched messages, together with options like message scheduling, sharing uncompressed media, themes, and much more.
Telegram additionally presents unbelievable granular help over notifications you obtain from the app. Plus, the scale restriction for sharing recordsdata on Telegram is a whopping 1.5 GB.
Up till some time in the past, Telegram didn’t supply video calls. However, the app now helps each voice and video call on Android and iOS gadgets, which is nice as a result of video name help being an enormous omission from the app.
You have safe messaging, voice, and video calls and all communications are end-to-end encrypted. Further, you possibly can create teams, nonetheless, you don’t have the choice to broadcast messages to several contacts without delay. Plus, Signal has lately added help for group calling as nicely, one thing that was lacking from the app for a very long time.
You have options corresponding to disappearing messages much like self-destructing messages of Telegram, and the power to ship a one-time viewable picture. For me, the very best function of Signal is “Note to Self”. Unlike WhatsApp, you don’t need to create a single-member group to ship notes to yourself. On Signal, the function is out there natively and you’ll jot down your ideas and concepts whereas messaging with your family and friends.
Apart from that, Signal lets you relay voice calls to its servers so your id stays hidden out of your contacts. The function is considerably much like what a VPN does. Signal additionally presents a built-in choice to cover your IP tackle. Further, you possibly can allow an incognito keyboard while typing on Signal, apply darkish mode, delete outdated messages in a single stroke, and naturally, blur faces and personal data from photos utilizing its powerful photo editor.
There are additional emojis and a few privacy stickers, however, they’re very restricted compared to WhatsApp and Telegram. All in all, Signal has a number of the finest privacy options, however, would possibly fall quickly for customers who need limitless customization choices. You can study extra about Signal options from our article on the best Signal tips and tricks.
While that was all about safety and options, now we have to talk about the possession of all three platforms: WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. Ownership is necessary as a result it permits us to know how firms want to monetize consumer information and allows us to take a knowledgeable choice.
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, and whereas for fairly a while the corporate had managed to maintain WhatsApp as no less than a little bit much less intrusive into your private life in comparison with its eponymous social media platform, that’s altering now.
That’s not all, all through WhatsApp’s lifetime below Facebook, there have been several allegations across the firm of breaking encryption and creating backdoors for presidency businesses.
There are additional studies about advertisements on WhatsApp turning into an actuality sooner quite than later. That provides Facebook with much more incentive to monetize your WhatsApp information. Plus, since WhatsApp doesn’t encrypt metadata, Facebook can readily use that to trace your conduct.
Alas, that is Facebook we’re speaking about, and I don’t suppose I have to level out the sheer incompetency (or unwillingness) of Facebook to guard consumer information or give any type of privacy protection. That’s one thing we have now witnessed in loads of elements because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Coming to Telegram, was launched in 2013 by Nikolai Durov and his youthful brother, Pavel Durov. Both are from Russia and are at present in self-imposed exile. Pavel Durov was dismissed as CEO of a Russian social-media website after he refused to hand over information about Ukrainian protesters to Russia’s safety businesses.
Apart from that, on many events, Pavel Durov has taken a principled place towards censorship and authorities interference. Looking at the historical past that geared the event of Telegram, I might say, it does encourage belief. However, the closed-source encryption protocol and non-compulsory E2E help depart the room for extra transparency and enhancement.
Finally, Signal is owned by the nonprofit Signal Foundation which is run by cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton. Moxie Marlinspike used to run Open Whisper Systems — the brainchild behind the Signal protocol. After he met Brian Acton in 2018, they fashioned a brand new alliance referred to as Signal Foundation. It now wholly funds the event of Signal messenger. It’s noteworthy that Brian Acton was the co-founder of WhatsApp. However, he left the corporate 3 years after Facebook acquired it.
Now, he oversees the event of Signal together with Moxie Marlinspike. Many high-flying folks together including Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower; Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, and others endorse Signal. In addition, Signal has obtained prime scores on the EFF’s Secure Messaging Scorecard making it essentially the safest messaging platform.
The signal is run by donations and grants, in case you’re questioning the way it makes cash. In truth, it’s also possible to donate to Signal to fund its future improvement.