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Privacy has become the most talked about concern in today’s world. We get to hear a lot of stories about data leaks, privacy, and internet surveillance by government agencies. Question about privacy was raised when Facebook found itself in Cambridge Analytica data case. Apart from social media, chat is another great way to stay connected with our friends and family. Millions of messages are being exchanged every day around the world.
This raised the question. How secure is your messaging app? What happens when you send a message? Due to these reasons, secure messaging apps are getting very popular. Today in this post we have highlighted our favorite best encrypted and secure messaging apps for Android and iOS. These apps have end-to-end encryption.
So if you are concern about your privacy, you should definitely consider switching to one the app mentioned in this article.
Best Encrypted And Secure Messaging Apps
l – Signal Private Messenger
Signal Private Messenger is one of the most secure messaging apps with end-to-end encryption. It was also praised and endorsed by the famous whistleblower Edward Snowden. Earlier it was known as the TextSecure and works on signal protocol.
Signal is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is free and easy to use. Singal private messenger is developed by Open Whisper Systems. You can use this app to send messages, files, photos, videos. It also has support for encrypted voice calling, video calling, and group chats. You can sign up for this messenger using your phone number. You can also send self-destructing messages with a time-limit.
As mentioned earlier, it is available for cross-platform. You can also download and use it from your computer. Singal is also open source, it makes it easier for the experts to find any vulnerabilities.
2 – WhatsApp Messenger
App is arguably one of the most popular messaging apps with over 1 billion active users. In the early days, WhatsApp didn’t have end-to-end encryption. In 2014 WhatsApp opted the Signal protocol (by Open Whisper Systems) for encryption. It is basically the same end-to-end encryption which is used in Signal Private Messenger.
This app has all the features one can ask for. Besides sending messages, you can also share images, videos, voice notes, files, and location. Voice/video calling and group chats are also protected by encryption. WhatsApp has also started to roll out the UPI feature to send and receive money.
You can sing up with a phone number. WhatsApp is free and the interface is also easy to use. WhatsApp is available on most mobile platforms including Android and iOS. You can also use it on your PC.
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3 – Telegram
Telegram is yet another great secure messaging app. It was initially launched back in 2013 and has gain popularity ever since. As of March 2018, Telegram had over 200 Million active users worldwide.
It uses the MTProto (symmetric encryption) for end-to-end encryption. All the chats and voice calls are encrypted. The design is very minimalistic and it free to use. Telegram also has an option for the secret chat which not only provides end-to-end encryption, chats also cannot be accessed any other device. In the secret chat, you can send self-destructed messages, you also have the option to delete the whole chat after a certain time.
Apart from that, you can share images, videos, files ( No limit on size ), location, stickers, and GIFs. Another notable feature is Channels, where you can broadcast messages. Telegram gives a permanent URL where users can find and join the channel.
Telegram is a very nice interface which is easy to use. This app is available for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, and web version.
4 – Wire
Wire is a cross-platform messaging application launched in 2014. They are based in Switzerland and protected the strict European privacy laws. This app features end-to-end encryption across all platforms and features.
Wire Secure Messenger is available for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, Linux, and browsers (Chome, Firefox, Opera, Edge). Wire also uses the Signal protocol (by Open Whisper Systems) for encryption. You can use wire to send text, images, videos, gifs, and music files. It also has the group calling feature with up to ten participants. You can also make encrypted video and voice calls. You can also send Self-destruct messages with a timer.
Wire is free for personal use and for commercial use prices starts at 4 Euros/month. It is also an open source project, making it easier to verify and improve. App Interface is also quite nice and easy to use.
Note – There was a security concern regarding Metadata. You can read about it here. Wire Swiss has confirmed the statement and promised to change it in future.
5 – Threema
Threema is one of the most secure and trusted apps available for Android and iOS. Threema is based out of Switzerland and protected by the strict privacy laws. Launched in 2013 and when Facebook acquired WhatsApp, many people migrated over to Threema. This App has over 1 Million active monthly users.
It is a paid app which will cost you $2.99. Threema uses the Open Source NaCl end-to-end encryption across its system. You can use Threema to send text messages, images, videos, voice messages, location, and files ( 20MB limit ). Voice calls also have encryption.
Threema doesn’t require email or phone number to register. Instead, it creates a unique ID. You can search other users by Threema ID and phone number ( If a user allows the phonebook sync). Since you are not using your e-mail id or phone number, it also ensures full anonymity. You can also use it on a computer using the web-version.
6 – Viber Messenger
Viber Messenger is an end-to-end encrypted messaging app launched in 2010 ( For iPhone). It is available on cross-platform for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Viber has over 900 million users around the world and in 2016 it surpassed WhatsApp in Russia. Viber is the most popular messaging app in Russia. Over to the security side, it uses the Signal protocol (by Open Whisper Systems) for end-to-end encryption. Encryption is only available in one-to-one and group chats.
Apart from text, you can share multimedia files, stickers, GIFs, contact, and location. You can also use Viber for voice and video calling. Viber out also provides VoIP where you can use make phone calls to mobile and landline around the world ( Credit required to make phone calls).
Viber messenger has a nice interface with lots of features. It is free to use for personal use.
7 – Silence
In simple terms, silence is the stripped down version of Signal ( Textsecure). When Signal was TextSecure. It uses the end-to-end encryption for SMS and MMS. It could the replacement for your existing SMS app on Android devices. As of making this post silence is only available for Android devices.
If you two persons are using silence, it will automatically send the end-to-end encrypted messages. When you are using it as an SMS app, all the messages are stored locally and they are encrypted. Another great thing about silence is that it works on OTA so no internet connection is required.
Silence is also free to use and Open source. The interface is just like any other SMS app nothing special about that. Long story short, Silence is a straightforward encrypted SMS app with no extra features.
Download for Android
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8 – Wickr Me – Private Messanger
Wickr Me is among the best encrypted and secure messaging apps and the promising one as well. Wickr Me uses end-to-end encryption for messaging and voice calling. You can also send self-destructing messages and also set a timer to delete all your previous conversation and attachments.
It was launched in 2012, and available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The Users don’t need a phone number or email address to create an account. You can share text, images, videos, files, and make voice calls.
Wickr Me was also featured on the famous TV show Mr. ROBOT. Wickr also runs a bounty program with the reward of $100,000 for finding any vulnerabilities.
It is free to use and doesn’t show any ads.
9 – Silent Phone
Silent phone is an encrypted messaging and VoIP application and comes from the makers of Blackphone. The app is free to download but the service is paid which will cost you $9.95/Month.
You can send end-to-end encrypted messages among other silent phone members. You can make phone calls, conference calls, share files, images, and videos. Users can also share files up to 100 MB per message. Silent phone also features encrypted VoIP calling to non-members. You can also set the timer to destroy your chat history.
Silent Phone application is available for Android and iOS devices. The app interface is also quite nice and easy to use. Silent Phone has been featured in many media outlets including The new york times, Forbes, Fast Company, etc.
10 – Tox Chat
In this list of best encrypted and secure messaging apps, Tox has a unique approach. Tox Project was initially developed in 2013 when the Edward Snowden made the surveillance-related data public. Tox uses a perfect forward secrecy protocol with no centralized servers. This service is available for all the platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
For Android devices, Tox has Antox and for iOS, they have Antidote for Tox. The interface is quite nice on both mobile apps and gets the job done. On both mobile platforms, you can message, share files ( without any size limit ), images, videos. Users can also make voice and video calls which are also protected with end-to-end encryption.
Tox is free to use and also open source.
11 – Dust
Dust is another great addition to this list. Earlier it was known as cyber-dust. All the conversation across app are end-t0-end encrypted. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Messages you sent aren’t stored on your phone or the servers. There is also a feature auto-dust which erases the messages after 24 hours. You can also set to erase as soon as the recipient reads it.
You can even erase your sent messages from other people’s phone. If someone tries to take the screenshot, you will get the notification. Names aren’t displayed in the chats so it would be impossible to prove if the message was sent by you. Users can send files, images, videos and more. This app is free to use.
Honourable Mentions – Best Encrypted and Secure Messaging Apps
Delta Chat – It uses the IMAP protocol with no centralized servers. Delta chat is also free to use and open source for code reviews. Currently, it is only available on Android. App interface looks quite similar to the WhatsApp, you can share unlimited texts, images, videos, audio messages and much more. You can learn more about Delta Chat Here
Riot.im – Riot.im is more like a group chat. It is one of the best alternatives to slack or any team managing app. It focuses on the privacy with end-to-end encryption. Riot.im is also open source and available for Android, iOS, Browser, and Desktops. You can make VoIP calls, conference calls, share files and also has the best integration with compatible apps. You can learn more about Riot.im Here.
FrozenChat – FrozenChat is yet another secure and encrypted messaging app available for Android users. It uses the XMPP protocol to send and receive messages. It is also best for anonymity, no one can prove if a certain message was sent by you. FrozenChat is open source and also avoid using any central server. Learn more about FrozenChat Here.
Facebook Messenger – Facebook messenger doesn’t provide end-to-end encryption across the board. Only the secret conversations are protected by the SignaProtocolol. App has lots of features, you can share files, images, videos, stickers, GIFs and much more. You can also use this app to make Voice/Video calls. Learn more about Facebook Messenger Here.
So these were our picks for best encrypted and secure messaging apps for Android and iOS. Did we miss anything? What messaging app do you guys use?
Do share your views in the comment section below.