WhatsApp has been the top dog among messenger services for years. But the competition is growing. The most attractive alternatives include Signal and Telegram. We show you the differences between the two.
Telegram vs Signal App: The Telegram messenger at a glance
Telegram is a free messenger service and has been a steadily growing competition and alternative to WhatsApp. The messenger allows you to send data packages of up to 1.5 GB in the cloud-based messenger. Telegram is available for Android and iOS. There is also a desktop app (Windows, MacOS, Linux).
- Features: Telegram scores with a wide range of features. Of courese, there is the obligatory chat function. You can also record audio and video messages and send them to your contacts. Voice calls can also be made.
- Moreover, you can send large amounts of data in the form of documents, pictures, graphics or videos. The only flaw is that video calls are not supported by Telegram.
- Using Telegram, you can chat with up to 1.000 contacts in a group.
- Data storage: Telegram stores all uploaded files in a cloud. This allows you to use the data on any device on which you have Telegram installed. The messenger service thus stores all content on the Telegram servers. After a certain time, however, the data is automatically deleted.
- Encryption: The messages on Telegram are encrypted. The “normal” cloud chats have client-server/server-client encryption.
- The so-called “secret chats”, on the other hand, are end-to-end encrypted. Contacts stored on the smartphone are therefore not read by Telegram. However, you have to activate this secret mode first.
- Availability: You cannot register with Telegram without a phone number. It does not matter whether the number is your current cellphone number or a landline.
Signal: Secure messenger with end-to-end encryption
When it comes to Telegram vs Signal, one point in favour of the latter is that Signal is open source. This means that the code used is public and can be changed and customized. The messenger also has prominent supporters: privacy activist Edward Snowden says he uses Signal every day. It is available for Android and iOS as well as PC.
- Features: Signal offers all the usual Messenger functions – from sending text messages and voice messages to audio and video calls.
- You can send files such as documents, photos or videos via Signal. In a group, you can also chat with several people at the same time.
- There is no cloud storage like on Telegram.
- Data storage: Signal is considered a very secure messenger that complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Messages and files are automatically deleted after a certain time.
- One drawback: Signal reads the contacts stored on your smartphone. However, the contacts are only used in the app and not stored on the Signal servers.
- Encryption: All communication via Signal is end-to-end encrypted. Thus, only the parties involved in a chat can read the sent messages.
- Phone calls via Signal are supposed to be tap-proof. This works with a unique security number assigned to each conversation.
- Availability: To use Signal, you need to provide a cellphone number. Verification during registration is done via SMS. Android smartphones must have at least Android 4.4 installed.