WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app on the planet with over 1billion users. The company releases new features regularly to ensure that the app remains at the top of it competitors.
What are WhatsApp’s Security Loopholes?
WhatsApp promises end-to-end encryption to it users. However, there are several loopholes that the company needs to address.
Its legal disclaimer states;
“As part of the Facebook family of companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, this family of companies. We may use the information we receive from them, and they may use the information we share with them, to help operate, provide, improve, understand, customize, support, and market our Services and their offerings.”
“Facebook and the other companies in the Facebook family also may use information from us to improve your experiences within their services such as making product suggestions.”
“We do not retain our users’ messages in the ordinary course of providing our Services. We do, however, host our users’ account information, including our users’ profile picture, profile name, or status message, if they decide to include them as part of their account information.”
In short, this means that while your messages are probably secure, WhatsApp stores user’s data on private servers. The company can use this information for marketing purposes.
What’s more, the data stored on their servers can be given to the government in case of an “out-of-ordinary” event. Hackers can also break into WhatsApp servers and gain access to the phone numbers and account details of users.
The policy makes it clear that the company collects a ton of telemetry data from your device. Then there’s the fact that everyone uses WhatsApp these days, so we won’t blame you if you feel it’s a little too annoying. So, if you are someone who wants to move on to a more personal or secure messaging app, here are the best WhatsApp alternative apps you can use.
10 Best Alternatives to WhatsApp
When it comes to best WhatsApp alternatives, Signal is at the forefront. Its popularity is largely because of the company’s stance on user’s privacy. Signal is an end-to-end encrypted app, just like WhatsApp. The messaging service promises that all your data is encrypted and can’t be viewed by Signal or third parties. It’s a relatively small company run by a not-for-profit organization and survives on donations.
What sets Signal apart, though, is the fact that the app is open source. All of its code is available online and is up for public scrutiny. This means that if there is any privacy issue in Signal, it can be checked by security experts. In fact, WhatsApp’s in-house encryption system is built using Signal’s code.
When it comes to user experience, Signal is quite similar to WhatsApp, and won’t be a big hurdle switching from WhatsApp to Signal. They both have a similar interface for sending messages, creating groups, making group voice and video calls (up to eight participants), sending stickers, and more, but unfortunately, you can’t send animated emojis with signal.
Signal is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. The app can be used for free, and all you need to sign up is your phone number.
Also Read: How to Check If Signal app Is Down
With more than 500 million active users, Telegram has been touted as the best alternative for WhatsApp for a long time now because of its stance on privacy and its suite of features.
The messaging service lets you create channels and groups with up to 200,000 users and share files of up to 2GB for free. There are public channels and self-destructing messages (unlike WhatsApp’s disappearing messages).
Telegram’s list of unique features is quite long. For instance, Telegram Bots. This feature lets you integrate different services and automation right into Telegram using different chatbots.
The app has an end-to-end encrypted chats, but the default chats are also stored on Telegram’s servers. If you want real, device-to-device encrypted chat, you can use the Secret Mode feature. Once enabled, messages are only stored on your phone. If one person deletes a message, it is deleted from both devices. Like Signal, Telegram offers the ability to automatically delete a message after a certain time. It also supports multimedia file sharing. Telegram is an open source software, a user friendly platform and it is cloud-based; so you never lose your material
Telegram can be used for free, and it’s available on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and the web.
Discord started out as a game chat platform, but it has evolved into something so much more. It’s now touted as an alternative to both Slack and WhatsApp, depending on your needs.
Discord is a server-based messaging app, but it also has a private message feature that’s very similar to WhatsApp. From its “Friends” tab, you can add friends using their username or gamer tags. You can then use Discord for private messaging, group chats, group calls, media sharing, and more. You can also create a group chat with up to 10 friends. If you need more, you can always start your own Discord server.
Discord is free, feature-rich, and private. Unlike Signal and Telegram, you don’t need to share your phone number, or even your real name to use Discord on iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux.
If you want to turn up the security key to 11, take a look at Keybase. Keybase started out as a key directory for private and public identifier keys, but it also has an end-to-end encrypted messaging component.
The messaging feature can be used for private messaging, groups, and teams. Keybase is an open-source app and uses public-key cryptography to protect messages. Messages, media, and file transfers are protected in such a way that even Keybase can’t read your messages.
Because Keybase is built on top of public-key identifiers, you can use the app anonymously as well. Keybase is available for free on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Threema takes security really seriously and it’s not afraid to charge for it. You pay a one-time fee when buying the app ($2.99), and in return, you get end-to-end encryption for all data that passes through the messaging service. This includes messages, video calls, files, and even status updates.
The company lets you chat anonymously and there’s no need to link a phone number or email to your account (they are optional). The service generates a random Threema ID when you first start using the app that other users can use to communicate with you.
Threema doesn’t collect any user data and doesn’t show any ads. It’s a Swiss-made app with servers hosted in Switzerland.
The app doesn’t skimp on features either. You get your usual text messaging, voice calls, video calls, file sharing, groups, lists, and access to a desktop web client. Threema is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and web.
One of the main problems with online messaging apps like WhatsApp is that they rely on an internet connection to work. And if you are out camping in the woods even the normal text messaging apps will not work. That’s where offline messaging apps come into play. These apps don’t require a mobile network or internet connection to work.
Rather, they create a peer-to-peer Bluetooth mesh network or Wifi Direct-based network on your phone and allow you to send messages to your nearby friends. If you are looking for such an app then you should use Bridgefy. Bridgefy offers three main types of messaging service; Person-to-Person mode, Broadcast mode, and Mesh mode.
You can send messages to a friend, broadcast them to entire group, and even use users as nodes to send messages to long distances. It is quite helpful during music festivals, sports events, natural disasters, and other such situations where you won’t be getting reliable mobile service.
In fact, Bridgefy and other such apps have become a bastion for protesters around the world as it allows them to evade internet censorship imposed by their governments. The app is free to download and use, and the best offline WhatsApp alternative in my opinion. You should check it out.
Kik is a great messaging app for users who don’t want to use their number to operate a messaging application. While chat services like WhatsApp require users to use their number, I know many users who are not comfortable with sharing their personal numbers to these platforms.
For those users, Kik is a great service as it only requires you to use your email ID. Once you sign up for the service using your email ID, Kik will create a unique user name for you which you can share with other Kik users to chat.
The best part about using Kik is that you are not losing out any messaging features. You still get access to all the important features including text messages, emojis, stickers, Gifs, photo sharing, video sharing, and group chats among other things.
Another unique feature of Kik is that it supports bots which is something that you do not get on WhatsApp. Using bots you can play quizzes, get fashion tips, latest news, and more. That said, the main USP of Kik remains its non-requirement of a phone number and if that’s something you want, definitely check it out.
While Snapchat technically is not just a messaging app rather a social media app, I use it more and more as a messaging application thanks to some unique features that no other messaging application can offer. For example, I can send messages which can self-destruct after a set period of time. It also notifies me when someone takes a screenshot of my chats with them. Finally, it offers the best face mask collection of all the apps that I have ever used which makes this app fun to use.
Other messaging features are also here such as the ability to create group chats, voice calls, group voice calls, gifs, and more. I also love Snapchat because it is one of the most innovative chat services on the market. The features that users on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger normally enjoy are generally copied from Snapchat. So, if you want to access these cool features and be the first to receive the latest chat features, Snapchat is the app to use.
Skype is without a doubt one of the best business chat applications of the market. With the power of Microsoft behind it, Skype has left all the other business chat applications in the dust. However, that progress has worked against Skype when it comes to personal chats as the business moniker that it has earned keeps normal users away. But let me tell you that Skype is one of the best chatting applications on the market especially if you make a lot of video and voice calls.
I especially find Skype useful when I am using it to make overseas calls as the sound and video quality on Skype is far better than its competition. I also love Skype for its group video call functionality.
While most other apps don’t support group video calls, the ones who do often lag when you add more than three to four people. If you are someone who makes a ton of video calls with their friends and family, I can certainly recommend Skype over WhatsApp or any such chat application. You should check out our Skype tricks article to learn how you can use this app to its fullest.
Viber is another popular messaging and VoIP app that really stands toe-to-toe with WhatsApp when it comes to features. Firstly, the app offers end-to-end encryption in calls, messages and the shared media. Moreover, the messages saved in multiple devices are also encrypted, which brings us to the fact that the messaging apps packs in multi-device support, which WhatsApp lacks.
Like WhatsApp, Viber lets you make video and voice calls but the app goes one step ahead with its Viber Out feature, which lets you make international calls to non-Viber users at nominal rates.
Talking about the messaging features, Viber includes support for stickers, file sharing, last seen, voice & video messages, public accounts, backup to Google Drive and more. There is also a sticker store and Viber games, which are basically games you can play inside Viber. If you consider everything, you’d notice that Viber is an app that is very similar to WhatsApp. It packs in most of the features from WhatsApp and then some more.
Another best WhatsApp alternative you can use is LINE, which is a highly popular cross-platform messaging app that packs in a ton of features. Like WhatsApp, the app features end-to-end encryption, support for voice and video calls & messages and more.
It also brings quite a few unique features when compared to WhatsApp like LINE Out (lets you make international calls to non-LINE users), sticker store, a cool Keep feature (lets you save your favorite messages, photos etc.), and more. It also features a timeline in the app, where you can see any status updates and photo changes from your friends. Other useful features of LINE include passcode lock, filter messages, themes, LINE Pay for payments, and more. There’s no doubt that LINE is a very capable and feature-rich messaging app, however, it does feel a little bloated. So, fans of WhatsApp’s simplicity might not like LINE much but if you aren’t bothered by that, you should give LINE a shot.
It available on Android, iOS, iPad, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Chrome, Firefox.
Above is the list of best alternatives to WhatsApp you can make use of in case you wake up and say that WhatsApp is no longer for you, in case someone blocks you on WhatsApp, and you want to unblock yourself so that you can keep on messaging the individual that blocks you, feel free to read our article on “how to unblock yourself on WhatsApp“
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What can I use instead of WhatsApp?
Ans: You can check out apps like Telegram or Signal instead of using WhatsApp on your smartphone.
Q. Is there a better app than WhatsApp?
Ans: Yes. If you want a feature-rich app that offers all the features you need, I’d recommend going with Telegram or Discord.
Q. Which is the best app for video calls other than WhatsApp?
Ans: Discord’s video calling is great if you often video call with friends. You can also check out Google Duo, a dedicated app from Google for video calling.
Q. Which is the most private messaging app?
Ans: If you value your privacy, you should install and use Signal.
Q. What messaging apps are associated with Facebook?
Ans: Other than WhatsApp, the messaging option of Instagram, Instagram’s Threads, and Messenger are associated with Facebook.