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Security and Features Comparison: Signal vs WhatsApp vs Telegram

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Full Comparison: Signal vs WhatsApp vs Telegram

Some WhatsApp users have received privacy policy updates that contain three important things. One of them is user data that is shared on Facebook as the parent of WhatsApp.

The user is "forced" to accept the policy, or the account is threatened with uselessness. This makes some WhatsApp users look for alternatives to other messaging service providers. 

Especially those who prioritise privacy. There are two applications that are options, namely Telegram and Signal. So, what are the differences between WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal, especially regarding user data management? 

WhatsApp

WhatsApp applies End-to-end encryption (E2E) to all of its communications and services, whether individual communications or group communications. With this feature, WhatsApp says that it does not save any messages on its servers once sent, but they are stored for up to 30 days until they are received by the recipient. 

One of the great advantages of WhatsApp is that it is available for various platforms such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and even Windows Phone. There is also a web-based version, but this must be used when also connected to a mobile phone.

Apart from sending text-based messages, users can also use voice and video calls as options, and you can send photos and files to the person you are chatting with. 

It's not just a matter of personal communication with friends and family on a relatively small scale. Whatsapp offers space for group chats which allows up to 256 people to take part in a single chat.

Telegram

Just like Whatsapp and Signal. Telegram is a cross-platform messaging app, available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS and Linux. 

This service uses the MTProto encryption protocol, but not all of them are encrypted the same way. Most of the messages are stored on Telegram cloud servers and encrypted on the server. Only when you use the Secret Chats feature will it be securely encrypted on the sending and receiving devices to ensure complete privacy.

The Secret Chat feature itself can only be read on the device from which the message was sent, and the device that received it. Even using the same account, it's impossible to read messages on other devices.

Apart from that Telegram can support group chats of up to 200 thousand people with the option to use 'channels' which can be public or private. Public channels make it possible to send messages to a large number of people at once, and they can have an unlimited number of subscribers. 

Whether in group chats, or individually, Telegram allows you to share files up to 1.5GB in size, as well as photo-sharing options.

Signal

Signal is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android platforms. As well as a standalone desktop version of Signal, such as to use it you have to install and configure the mobile app first. After that, you don't need to connect with the cellphone. 

Signal is claimed to be an anti-tapping messaging application. Because this application supports an end-to-end encryption feature called Signal Protocol. Through this feature, it is believed that no one other than the intended sender and recipient can see the message that is sent. 

To further increase security, it is possible to choose how long messages and conversations are for a certain period of time.

The encryption key is stored on the user's phone and computer instead of the developer's servers, so it avoids the potential risk of spoofing. You will be warned if the security key of anyone you talk to changes. 

Group chats on Signal can include an almost unlimited number of people. Signal can also be used as the default SMS application on Android, although text messages cannot be encrypted.

Conclusion 

It can be concluded that in terms of feature richness, Telegram is superior to WhatsApp and Signal. 

But in terms of security and privacy, Signal is unmatched by the other two applications. So, which app do you find the most interesting?

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FAQ: Security and Features Comparison: Signal vs WhatsApp vs Telegram
Security and Features Comparison: Signal vs WhatsApp vs Telegram
Signal is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android platforms. As well as a standalone desktop version of Signal, such as to use it you ...
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