WhatsApp users worldwide are a little worried about how the new terms and conditions of the app will affect their privacy. Thus, instead of accepting the new terms and conditions, users are switching to other alternatives of WhatsApp. One of the apps which has gained a lot of popularity because of the switch is ‘Signal’. Multiple personalities, including Elon Musk, have endorsed ‘Signal’ to be the application users can switch to. Then there is ‘Telegram’, a popular texting app that has existed for a few years in India now. That is why, today we are comparing WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram so that it becomes easy for you to decide which application you want to go with.
WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Basic Features
WhatsApp has its advantages and limitations. Users can create groups in WhatsApp and add up to 256 members. The app enables users to make group voice and video calls. There is also a broadcasting feature that allows the message to be delivered to multiple contacts simultaneously. The app only allows up to 8 people to join a group video call. WhatsApp also supports individual video and voice calling.
Users can post status, which is similar to that of Instagram story. The app allows sharing of pictures, videos, and documents with contacts. However, the maximum size of the video, photo, and audio files being shared is limited to 16MB and documents is limited to 100MB. WhatsApp offers third-party backup services with Google Drive and iCloud, and it is completely free.
Coming to Telegram, it has multiple features which WhatsApp doesn’t. Users can add up to 2,00,000 contacts in a group. There are features such as polls, hashtags, quizzes, which enhance interaction between the users in a group. The maximum size limit for a file that can be shared by the users is 1.5GB. It also has a self-destructing feature for the messages which WhatsApp doesn’t. Users can also make voice and video calls.
Signal offers texting, voice calling, and video calling services. All the communication is end-to-end encrypted. There is no broadcasting feature; however, users can create groups and group calling feature is also present. Users get a ‘Note to Self’ feature to jot down anything important they don’t want to forget. In comparison to WhatsApp, the emojis are very limited. The app also supports self-destructing messages feature.
WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Security
WhatsApp chats are very secure since they are end-to-end encrypted and no, Facebook is not collecting chat data of the users with the new terms and conditions of the application. However, none of the backup data in WhatsApp is encrypted.
Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption for chats. But that is not the default setting, for keeping the chats safe, users need to use the ‘secrets chat’ feature of the app. The company also claims that none of the user data has been shared with other companies until now. There is one thing though; Telegram doesn’t support the ‘secret chats’ feature on its desktop version in Windows computers/laptops.
Signal is by the far the best amongst the three when it comes to security. The app uses open-source Signal Protocol for enabling end-to-end encryption of chats just like WhatsApp. But Signal also encrypts the metadata to protect user privacy from all corners which WhatsApp doesn’t. The app also supports encrypted group calls.
WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Data Collected
Signal collects nothing other than the user's phone number whereas Telegram only collects user ID, contacts, and contact info of the user.
WhatsApp on the other hands collects the following data after the implementation of new terms and conditions: user ID, device ID, purchase history, advertising data, phone number, coarse location, contacts, email address, crash data, product integration, payment information, other diagnostic data, performance data, product interaction, customer support, and other user content.