A few days ago, WhatsApp apps continued to work but did not show new content, including any messages sent or received during the problems leading to business transactions disruption. However, if those business owners have access to some of these WhatsApp alternatives, their businesses will still be intact and safe from any downtime.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular chatting apps in the world accounted for over 1.9 billion users as of the year 2019, and 60 billion messages are sent per day on the platform. WhatsApp allows business owners to send text messages, images, and video files, making free voice and video calls, sending voice messages.
Business owners can use WhatsApp on a smartphone or desktop being a cross-platform application and all your data will be available on all devices. There are some significant privacy issues in the past, and WhatsApp does not have a clean rap sheet on that.
However, due to these privacy issues, many users don’t feel like being a part of the vast WhatsApp ecosystem and this has paved the way for many WhatApp alternatives to come up. Whatever is your concerns about WhatsApp, we’ve selected the 7 best WhatsApp alternatives 2021 you can try out.
Signal Private Message
The Signal private message is a WhatsApp alternative for end-to-end messaging protocol developed by cryptographer and privacy activist Moxie Marlinspike. The Signal private message is open source and it has been professionally audited for security vulnerabilities and is widely admired for its cryptographic strength.
Signal private message has been used by a variety of 3rd party messaging apps to provide secure end-to-end encryption for messages. These include
- Facebook Messenger
Unlike WhatsApp messaging app and other 3rd party apps that implement the Signal private message app, however, the Signal app from the Signal Foundation is 100% free. This WhatsApp alternative messaging app is designed to replace your phone’s regular SMS messenger app on Android (not iOS). Texts exchanged to other Signal users are end-to-end encrypted, but texts to non-signal users are not.
Signal will warn you when messages are sent unencrypted. All these quality has made Signal very transparent in use, but the fact that users must register with a valid phone number to match contacts is also the main source of criticism the app receives. It should be noted, though, that contacts are stored locally only and cannot be accessed by Signal Foundation.
This is another WhatsApp alternative messaging app based in Switzerland, a country with very strong data privacy laws and independent from the United States and European Union. Threema also owns its server infrastructure located in Switzerland.
Your email address or phone number is not required to register an account, and it is possible to purchase Threema for Android anonymously using Bitcoin. Threema claims this allows you to text and make calls anonymously, and it goes to lengths to ensure that a minimum amount of metadata is collected.
The fact that this WhatsApp alternative messaging app is not free is likely to be a pain point for some individuals, but at around $3 one-time purchase, it is unlikely to break the bank for most. This may contribute, however, to one of the biggest downsides with Threema: that its userbase is relatively small.
Threema features distribution lists that allow you to send messages to multiple separate recipients. In addition to fully E2EE group text and voice calls, Threema offers a group polling feature. E2EE video calls are supported, but not for groups.
Element is a messaging app that does not rely on a centralized server network to function like other WhatsApp alternative messaging app (although, as in the case of using AWS, this can be a highly distributed network). Element users can set up their servers using the Matrix communications protocol or connect to Matrix servers that have been set up by other users.
Matrix servers are interoperable, so any user of any Matrix client (Element is the most popular of these) can communicate with any other Matrix user. Matrix “bridges” even allow for communication with the users of other popular messaging platforms, such as Signal, Slack, or even WhatsApp.
Users email or phone number is not required to register with Element, although these can be added to make contact matching easier. By default, messages are hosted on a large public server run by Matrix, but you can connect to any Matrix server or set one up yourself in a matter of seconds.
On this WhatsApp alternative, all text chats and 1 to1 voice and video calls are end-to-end encrypted. Group voice and video calls ( which also allow screen sharing) leverage Jitsi ( without E2EE support in Element at present). The Element app is free, but premium plans are available for Element-managed Matrix servers.
For any iPhone and Mac users who are looking for the best WhatsApp alternative, iMessage is the best app similar to WhatsApp. Not only that users will be able to send messages to smartphone number, whether they’re using iMessage or not, but Apple has a proven track record of not bending to demands by governments that it add backdoors to its encryption.
iMessage has the full features as the other popular messaging apps, with support for images, GIFs, video and group calls. In some countries, iMessage users can even send each other money using Apple Pay.
On iMessage, Video and voice calling is not included, users have to do that in the FaceTime app instead, and FaceTime works only with Apple devices. Why iMessage and FaceTime have not been blended into one single communications app isn’t clear, but that’s the way it is. At least it’s already installed on all iPhones and most Macs.
This WhatsApp alternative is owned by Japanese e-retailer Rakuten, Viber is a service that started life as a VoIP app and gradually grew to include things like text messaging, voice calls, group messaging, fully synced desktop and mobile apps, and more. All tied to your phone number
Like other WhatsApp alternative messaging app, Viber is also end-to-end encrypted but features unique features including AR-powered selfie lenses (in partnership with Snapchat), group video calls, and a ‘Communities’ feature that is a social network that lets people across the world discuss specific topics of interest.
These messaging apps like WhatsApp are free to use, though you can subscribe to ‘Viber Out’, a service that lets you make unlimited international calls to phones that don’t have Viber installed. It’s $6 a month.
This WhatsApp alternative messaging app places ephemeral messaging front and centre, with messages disappearing from both the sending and receiving devices after a set period (six days by default). Undelivered messages sitting on these alternatives to WhatsApp 2021 servers are also deleted after this time.
There are 3 Wickr apps, with the free Wickr Me being the version designed for personal use. The lowest tier of the more Slack-like Wickr Pro is also free, although it requires you to verify your identity at a start-up. Users can also set a Burn-On-Read timer to determine how long a message lasts before self-destructing once it has been read. If it is not read then it will self destruct at the end of the message timer length.
All metadata is scrubbed once a message is opened or expires (whichever comes first). No phone number or email is needed to register with the service. Up to 10 users can be invited into a room or end-to-end encrypted text or voice group chat. Video conferencing is not available in Wickr Me, although it is supported in the Wickr Pro app (including E2EE group chat with all room members).
This other app like WhatsApp is Google’s answer to iMessage, and it’s usually available on modern Android phones right out of the box. If you can’t find it, you can download Google Messages from Google Play. This WhatsApp alternative is designed to replace the existing SMS app and integrated with all Google’s services, Google Messages is essentially iMessage, but for Android (and Windows, but not Macs or iOS).
On Google messages, end-to-end encryption is automatic when you’re messaging anyone else with the WhatsApp alternative messaging app and you can send all your usual images and files as you would with something like WhatsApp.
As a similar app like WhatsApp for general-purpose messenger that genuinely respects your privacy, Signal is the best WhatsApp alternative for you, although being hosted on AWS servers remains a concern in light of its reliance on SGX.
Other WhatsApp alternatives discussed in this article offer all the useful features that will appeal to those who need them, whether it’s anonymous sign-up, business collaboration tools, or server federation. Element/Matrix is a particularly strong choice for privacy enthusiasts, although its niche user base severely hampers its practicality as a WhatsApp alternative.
Culled from ProtonMail | Best WhatsApp Alternatives that Respect Your Privacy
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