However, after Facebook acquired it, there were several controversies and discussions around the Privacy and Security Features that the app provides. Here is a quick comparison between WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal, to see which chat app is best in terms of online security and other features.
Part 1: WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal: Introduction
The three leading chat apps - WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal - are great in their own way. They’ve been useful in establishing the much-needed communicational connection between people.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform chat app that lets users share text messages, audio files, video files, documents and even GIFs with their contacts. They can share links, statuses and events with their loved ones. The app doesn’t rely on a cellular network or SMS exchange and provides free service as long as you have a stable internet connection.
The application was designed by two Americans - Jan Koum and Brian Acton. Surprisingly, they were both trying to acquire a job in the Facebook office but that did not happen. Instead, they developed their own app that Facebook bought in the year 2014. WhatsApp turned out to be a very convenient and useful tool for both normal and business communication with people.
Telegram is also a chat app that lets you exchange dialogue with your loved ones or acquaintances. It is a cross-platform, cloud-based, instant messaging software that lets you make groups, initiate video calls and audio calls, exchange GIF along with the common chat exchange. It was initially introduced for iOS users in August 2014 and the Android version was launched in October of the same year.
Nikolai and Pavel Durov - two Russian brothers were the ones who introduced Telegram to the world in the year 2013. They initially worked on the Russian Network, VK, which the Russian President’s Allies later took over. From 100 million active users in 2016, Telegram now has about 500 million active users in 2021.
Signal is a social media application that is similar to WhatsApp. It was founded by Moxie Marlinspike after receiving funds from the co-founder of WhatsApp, Brian Acton. It is the successor of the RedPhone which was an encrypted calling app. Signal was initially called ‘TextSecure’ and after a lot of revamping and developments, the two founders launched "Signal" in 2018.
It lets users exchange chat messages, voice recordings, audio files, video files, documents, GIFs, Emoticons, statuses and links with their contacts. It also allows users to create Groups that can accommodate up to 1000 members and the end-to-end encryption ensures that all the conversations are completely private.
Part 2: WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Security and Privacy
The concept of privacy is very important if you are putting out confidential information over an app that is connected to the world wide internet network. You never know who is picking up your data, exploiting or not exploiting it.
Here, we are comparing telegram vs WhatsApp vs signal security features:
End to End Encryption:
WhatsApp and Signal provide end-to-end encryption for chats on their platform. But this is a little flawed in the case of WhatsApp. The normal chats and business conversations are encrypted while you exchange the dialogue.
But the data that gets backed up in the cloud or drive is not encrypted. So, they can still access the conversations. However, Signal even encrypted backed up data, conversations and goes as far as to encrypt the metadata.
Telegram doesn’t have the feature of end to end encryption unless you enter a secret chat room with your group members. So, when we compare signal vs telegram vs WhatsApp
for end to end encryption, Signal is the clear winner.
WhatsApp acquires your Location, IP address, Contacts, Status updates, Your ISP details, Mobile phone model, purchase history, Crash data, performance and interaction data along with your profile picture and phone number.
Telegram only asks for your phone number that you’ve used to register, your email ID and contact info along with the data about your contacts. Signal doesn’t ask for anything but a cellular number to register with them.
WhatsApp falls behind Signal and WhatsApp in this feature. The group privacy is the highest in Signal and lowest in Telegram. There is not encryption or protection of data on telegram when you are conversing in a group. However, you can add up to 200,000 people to a telegram group. Only 256 people on WhatsApp and about 1000 people on Signal.
Addition to groups
When you want to add a particular contact to a group in Signal, you will have to send that person an invite even if they are in your contacts. They will have to accept it to be a part of your group. This is not the case with WhatsApp and Telegram. As long as you have the contact, you can add them to the group without their permission. WhatsApp and Telegram allow you to invite people to a group with a joining link. Signal doesn’t have this feature.
Part 3: Which is Safer to Use - Telegram or Signal?
WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram comparison has clearly shown us that WhatsApp depends on advertisements as its models to generate revenue. This makes all the user data available to business services at the pretence of providing ‘optimum services’ to its users. This is unsafe because, when the data is shifted between different platforms - from WhatsApp to Facebook and vice versa, the data privacy falls at risk.
But that is not the case with Telegram and Signal. Telegram doesn’t collect any information from the users except for their contacts to sync them with the software for quick suggestions and pop-ups when someone joins the platforms. It doesn’t generate revenue with user information or provides any other services to them. Also, the end-to-end encryption is absent in Telegram even though they are not spying on your chats.
Compared to WhatsApp, Telegram is safer but still not the best. Signal seems to be the most ideal choice at the moment. Brian Acton knew how the WhatsApp scenario and functions have changed after Facebook bought the application. Both the founders moved out of the association with Facebook Inc., after they’ve developed ‘unresolvable issues’ with them.
Signal app’s design and function fill all the loopholes that WhatsApp created. It doesn’t collect any information from the user except for the cellular phone number that they use to register with the platform. Other than that, everything is safe and secured. All the data, including the backup, is saved securely in cloud storage. They do not look into any of the conversations that you have with your contacts.
This makes Signal several times safer than WhatsApp or Telegram.
Now, we can separately talk about each app after the WhatsApp vs signal vs telegram scrutiny.
Telegram - Pros & Cons
- It is open source
- Chats backups available on Cloud
- There are no Advertisements
- There is a Screen Lock Feature
- There are self-destructive messages feature
- Doesn’t collect user data except for the Contacts and Phone number
- Doesn’t have end to end encryption
- Except for Secret chats, everything is open and not secured.
Signal - Pros & Cons
- It is an open-source software
- The end to end encryption works for all chats
- Data Backup is also encrypted
- No advertisements
- A Non-Profit cross-platform chatting app.
- No data stores in developer servers
- The desktop application is not well developed
If Privacy is your main concern, then Signal has you covered and will prove to be the best choice.
Part 4: What are you losing if you are planning to Shift from WhatsApp?
You have a lot to gain than lose. But only if you play your cards well. WhatsApp has been a convenient platform because it lets you communicate and hardly takes any space on your phone. The files you are exchanging on the platform, the size of your chats is also very small. However, it doesn’t let you shift your conversation from its database to any other cross-messaging chat app.
So, you can lose your data if you decide to uninstall WhatsApp. Unless you’ve backed up your data in the Cloud, you will end up losing everything. If you delete your WhatsApp account, they will be gone from the Google Drive storage too.
In order to have your chats and data backed up in the device, you have to change certain settings in the app. Go to Settings>Chats>Chat Backup and then determine how much of the data you want to save. You can save data every day or save the entire conversation you had in a month on a single day. The most preferred is to save it daily.
Also, WhatsApp has an auto-backup system that lets you save all your data safely. You can check it for yourself. Every day, at 2.00 AM, WhatsApp conducts a backup process that can last for a few minutes, depending upon the size of your files. It is important that you let your app perform this function so that you can transfer your data safe when you decide to say goodbye to WhatsApp.
You cannot transfer your data to other apps but you can still keep it safe for future reference. The next section will help you understand how it is done.
Tip - Third-Party Transfer Tool - MobileTrans
One of the best applications that get your job done in less than 4 steps is . When you are planning to delete WhatsApp forever, you can save your information on your PC or Laptop by using his transfer tool that takes only minutes to get the work done.
These are the steps that you need to follow:
Step 1: To begin with, you have to download the MobileTrans application from the official website. It just takes a few minutes to download. Launch the application and select WhatsApp Transfer under the tab "Phone to Phone".
Step 2: The application will ask you to connect your mobile device with the computer. Using a USB cable, connect the phone to the computer and it takes mere seconds for the application to detect the device. Then, different files can all be transferred and proceeded.
Step 3: Wait after "Proceed" and do not interrupt the process. It takes a few minutes to completely transfer the files and after the "Completion" message pops up on the screen, disconnect the phone.
This information will be saved on your personal computer. The quality and format of your audio files, images and videos will remain the same. You can read your chats again. The entire content will be saved in the PDF format and you can easily handle them even without the help of WhatsApp.
Online Privacy has become a major concern for everybody. The online applications and softwares are indeed utilizing the information of users to pile up their riches. This will not only prove to be a serious case of data breaching but can also affect the efficiency of the apps on a long run. The world opened its eyes to Signal after Elon Musk has openly persuaded people to use the cross-platform messaging app to communicate with everyone.