If you are looking for a safe platform whose sole selling point is privacy, then look no further; Signal is the app to download. An end to end encrypted messaging platform very similar to WhatsApp but known for its rigid attitude towards user privacy. All the data going through conversations on this platform is only accessible to the users on the 2 ends of the conversation; no third party, not even Signal itself, can access this data. It runs solely on donations, and it is also a non-profit, relatively small organization.
The app being open-sourced is free to be criticized by the users since its code is available online. Anybody can point out any security issues present on Signal if any. The interesting fact here is that the same code is used to build WhatsApp’s in-house encryption system.
The transition from WhatsApp to Signal will be seamless as both apps have a very similar and user-friendly interface. The interface to send messages, video call, the group video call is as easy to use as WhatsApp’s.
Another big name when it comes to WhatsApp alternatives is Telegram. Telegram has been around just as long as WhatsApp and is best known for its unique features.
Some of the features unique to Telegram are- the maximum participants limit, 200,000 users, and free file sharing up to 2GB. On top of this, you get public channels and self-destructing texts. The list doesn’t end here; you also get chatbots for personalized touch in the groups and integrate other services; this feature is unique to Telegram.
The standard for all messaging apps, i.e., end to end encryption, is also present. Still, on the default settings, the messages sent are also stored on Telegram’s servers. Once you enable the secret mode, the messages will not be stored on Telegram servers; the messages now only stored on the conversing phones will be deleted if one user deletes the text.
The last messaging app to feature in the piece is the Switzerland based app Threema. This is the only app on this list that charges money ($2.99) for the services it offers. However, it is not surprising as, in return, you get an end-to-end encryption service that doesn’t even need users to register with their phone numbers or email. Instead, the app generates a random Threema ID when you first start using the application and through which other users can communicate with you.
Moreover, this app offers users every important feature like text messaging, voice calls, video calls, file sharing, groups, lists, and access to a desktop web client.
Note: This app doesn’t collect any information, and its servers are hosted in Switzerland. Plus, it also doesn’t display any ads.
Famous in the gaming community, Discord has, over the years, evolved into much more. Catering to the different needs of the users, Discord has become an alternative to WhatsApp.
Typically, Discord is a server-based messaging app. However, it does offer features similar to WhatsApp, including private messaging, group chats, group calls, media sharing, and more. Moreover, you can create group chats for up to 10 friends. In case you need more, you have to create your own Discord server.
Plus, like Facebook, you have to add friends, which you can do with usernames or gamers tags, but unlike Signal and Telegram, Discord users are not required to share their phone number or real name.
Wire is another excellent substitute for WhatsApp. There are two versions of Wire available; one is the corporate collaboration suite that includes features like secure messaging, file-sharing, group chat, among others. The other one is the open-source, end-to-end encrypted, and free software-Wire Personal, which can work as an excellent replacement for WhatsApp.
Moreover, to use Wire, users just need to register with their email addresses or phone numbers. What’s more, Wire Personal doesn’t have a huge user base; it is limited to only a few hundred thousand. Nevertheless, it is free and, without a doubt, is a fantastic alternative for WhatsApp.
Note: It is worth mentioning that the company does store some data. However, it doesn’t keep the data to the level of WhatsApp.
If you want to migrate from WhatsApp, you can use either of the apps mentioned above, but as discussed earlier, Signal and Telegram are the most popular ones; try one of them if you have the urge to move.