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Whatsapp alternatives: Messenger from Signal to Threema to Wire can do that

Whatsapp alternatives. (Photo: Shutterstock)
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Whatsapp is currently down due to a worldwide malfunction. If you still want to communicate now, you can switch to one of the numerous alternatives. Whether Signal, Telegram or Threema, we present the various messengers.

Without Messenger it hardly works, but with WhatsApp it currently does not work either. Like other services from the Zuckerberg Group, Facebook’s messenger has not been usable or can only be used to a very limited extent since Monday afternoon. Whatsapp is also repeatedly criticized – most recently with the change in its terms and conditions, according to which a lot of data should be shared with the parent company Facebook. However, this regulation does not apply to the European Union, but Whatsapp is not particularly economical with user data. After all, there are numerous WhatsApp alternatives that rely on both a wide range of functions and secure end-to-end encryption.

Table of contents

  • Whatsapp is the market leader – by far
    Threema: Secure Messenger from Switzerland

  • Signal: Edward Snowden’s ers 4th choice
  • Wire: Pretty multi-messenger with servers in Europe
  • Ginlo: German open source messenger with end-to-end End encryption
  • Wickr: Free messenger with end-to-end -End encryption
  • Telegram: Multi-Messenger with growing User base – but not particularly serious
  • Conclusion – Whatsapp alternatives are there many …

Whatsapp is the market leader – by far

Whatsapp is undisputedly the most popular messenger on the market – across all platforms. In the app stores of the major mobile operating systems Android and iOS (and also the feature phone operating system KaiOS), the application is at the forefront. According to its own statements – as of February 2020 – two billion people use Facebook’s Messenger service.

Whatsapp: Widely used, but only moderately popular – in a sense a necessary evil. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Above all, the ease of use and the simple registration process seem to be a major factor in the success of the service to have. In order to use Whatsapp, the messenger only has to be downloaded from the app store – registration is via your own telephone number. After confirmation by the user, the service automatically compares the stored phone numbers with its own database. Afterwards, it is possible to exchange ideas with your contacts via WhatsApp and to send documents of any kind as well as voice messages and video chats with groups of up to eight people. Without comparing your own contacts with the Whatsapp database, the service only works to a massive extent. Whatsapp is not considered GDPR-compliant because of the contacts synchronization.

Despite its widespread use, the messaging tool is controversial: Whatsapp 2016 has an end-to-end -Encryption introduced and thus blossomed into one of the most secure messengers on the market. Nonetheless, the company collects a lot of user data such as your phone numbers, metadata and more – and shares it with the parent company Facebook. However, since 2016 Facebook has not been allowed to use the data of European users for its own purposes – this will not change despite the new terms and conditions. A look at Apple’s new data protection information in the App Store shows how extensive Whatsapp’s data collection is. Other messengers are much more economical in this regard.

Whatsapp collects a lot of information about its users. (Screenshot: t3n)

Also worth reading: Whatsapp backup with Google Drive – this is how it works

If you want to look for an alternative for your environment, you may find it in our overview. The messengers listed by us offer a similar range of functions, are offered for a wide range of platforms and are considered secure thanks to end-to-end encryption.

Threema: Secure Messenger from Switzerland

Threema Messenger. (Bild: Threema (bearbeitet))

Threema is considered a safe Whatsapp alternative . (Image: Threema (edited))

The issues of security and data protection are unfortunately still an issue with many messaging apps lower case, even if some have already added up on this. Threema was one of the first messengers where security was a top priority. The Swiss company behind the product ensures that all communication, including phone calls and video calls, is encrypted from start to finish between the participants. This means that neither the operator nor unauthorized third parties should be able to read. The application, with which text messages, photos, videos and your own location can be sent, is available for both iOS and Android and with Threema Web also for the desktop.

Whatsapp-Alternative Threema auch fürs Web. (Bild: Threema)

Whatsapp alternative Threema also for the web. (Image: Threema)

Threema emphasizes that the service uses metadata as sparingly as possible – as in the Nutrition Label from Apple’s App Store is displayed – also be your phone number not required for registration, but can be saved as an option. When setting up the app, a random Threema ID is generated instead. In this way, Threema could also be used completely anonymously, without any personal data. In addition, Threema is GDPR-compliant.

In contrast to Whatsapp, Threema is not free, but at an amount of four euros it is still affordable. The company offers a separate Threema Work Messenger for in-house use. In December 2020, the company disclosed the source code of its apps, which the developers describe as the last “puzzle piece for complete transparency” from Threema.

‎Threema. Sicherer Messenger
Threema. Secure Messenger
Price: 3, 99 €

Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger
Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger
Threema. Secure and private messenger
Developer: Threema GmbH
Price: € 3.99

  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot
  • Threema. Sicherer und privater Messenger Screenshot

Signal: Edward Snowden’s first choice

Signal verspricht sichere Kommunikation. (Foto: Open Whisper Systems)

Signal promises safe communication. (Photo: Open Whisper Systems)

The Signal app from Open Whisper Systems is available for Android and iOS and is the messenger of choice for whistleblower Edward Snowden. The messenger has an end-to-end encryption, which is developed open-source. With the messenger you can send text messages and make tap-proof phone calls and video chats. A client is also available for desktops and iPads. As with Whatsapp, you can send stickers, animated gifs and doodles – and text messages on images. Signal has been offering reactions à la Facebook since February 2020. The encryption of Whatsapp is also based on the technology of Open Whisper Systems, the company behind Signal.

Signal Messenger (Beta) unterstützt seit 2020 Reaktionen. (Screenshot: Signal; t3n)

Signal Messenger (Beta) has been supporting reactions since 2020. (Screenshot: Signal; t3n)

The range of functions of Signal continues to grow and you can be sure that no third party can read along. Signal also offers a message option with an expiration date. A local, encrypted backup solution is also on board. In contrast to a backup solution in the cloud, such as the one optionally available with WhatsApp, this is more secure. Because by backing up the chat history and other content in the cloud, the end-to-end encryption is interrupted. The registration takes place like with Whatsapp by telephone number, you do not have to enter your real name, a pseudonym is sufficient.

Signal Messenger: Tips and tricks for getting started

Interesting fact: Whatsapp co-founder Brian Acton, the Turned his back on the company in 2017 after the takeover by Facebook, had invested 50 million UD Sollar in the development of Signal in 2018 in order to make the messenger more suitable for the masses. Since the announcement of the general terms and conditions changes from Whatsapp, the messenger has received a strong rush of new customers. It is said that around 7.5 million new users were added to the 20 million active users at the end of 2020 in January.

‎Signal – Sicherer Messenger
Signal – Secure Messenger
Price: For free

Signal – Sicherer Messenger
Signal – Sicherer Messenger
Signal – Secure Messenger
Developer: Signal Foundation
Price: For free

  • Signal – Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Signal – Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Signal – Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Signal – Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Signal – Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Wire: Nice multi-messenger with servers in Europe

    Wire Messenger. (Bild: Wire)

    Wire Messenger. (Image: Wire)

    Another player on the messenger market is Wire Swiss, which with its Wire Messenger wants to compete against the top dog Whatsapp, among other things. The messenger is based on the WebRTC protocol and has a modern look. In addition to written messages and GIF, the application also supports the sending of voice messages in HD quality, all of which are end-to-end encrypted. Group chats with up to 500 participants are also possible. Each user can register up to eight devices, with messages being encrypted for each device individually, according to Wire. Wire Swiss, which has relocated its headquarters in Berlin and the holding company to Switzerland for a few months, emphasizes that all servers are located in the EU.

    The messenger can be used with iOS, Android, Windows and macOS devices – or with a current browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera). The company is financially supported by Skype co-founder Janus Friis. Good news: In July 2016, the company published the complete source code of the app on GitHub, and the server source code has also been available for inspection on GitHub since April 2017.

    For registration no phone number is required. Messenger can take over contacts from your address book – the phone numbers are encrypted. However, the synchronization is voluntary – the messenger can also be used without access to your address book. For companies, the company offers separate messenger solutions that, according to its own information, are also GDPR-compliant.

    ‎Wire • Sicherer Messenger
    Wire • Secure Messenger
    Price: For free

    Wire - Sicherer Messenger
    Wire - Sicherer Messenger
    Wire – Secure Messenger
    Developer: Wire Swiss GmbH
    Price: For free

    • Wire - Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Wire - Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Wire - Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Wire - Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Wire - Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Wire - Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Wire - Sicherer Messenger Screenshot
  • Ginlo: German open source messenger with end-to-end encryption

    Ginlo – the Whatsapp alternative from Germany? (Screenshots: Ginlo)

    A potential Whatsapp alternative from Germany is Ginlo. The messenger emerged from the Simsme app from Deutsche Post and was operated by Brabbler AG until its bankruptcy in 2019. Brabbler co-founder Karsten Schramm transferred the product to his own company in summer 2020 and is continuing the development of the service. He did not want to “sit and watch as the only German messenger platform that is not only fully encrypted and GDPR-compliant, but also allows unique interaction between private and business target groups, is given up,” Schramm explained in July 2020.

    According to the company, Ginlo is hosted in Germany, any Chats are end-to-end encrypted and are only stored encrypted on the devices of the chat participants. In addition to apps for iOS and Android, the company offers clients for Windows, macOS and Linux with which audio-video conferences can be carried out. The apps also support the usual functions such as sharing videos, photos, voice messages, locations, files in many formats and sending self-destructive or time-delayed messages . In addition, Ginlo offers the option of subscribing to content channels in various media.

    The Ginlo Messenger for private customers is free and is operated by the paid business solution is cross-financed, according to the company. According to Ginlo, both messengers are GDPR-compliant and should be published under an open source license in the long term. A mobile phone number is required to register. Access to the contacts stored on the smartphone is possible, but not absolutely necessary.

    Ginlo Private
    Price: For free

    ginlo Privat Messenger
    ginlo Privat Messenger
    ginlo private messenger
    Developer: ginlo.net
    Price: For free

    • ginlo Privat Messenger Screenshot
    • ginlo Privat Messenger Screenshot
    • ginlo Privat Messenger Screenshot
    • ginlo Privat Messenger Screenshot
    • ginlo Privat Messenger Screenshot

    Wickr: Free messenger with end-to-end encryption

    Die Whatsapp-Alternative Wickr wird von Fsociety in der Hackerserie Mr. Robot genutzt. (Bild: Wickr)

    The Whatsapp alternative Wickr is used by Fsociety in the hacker series Mr. Robot. (Image: Wickr)

    Wickr is another free messenger with end-to-end encryption that is used for various platforms is offered. According to the developer, there are apps for Android, iOS as well as Windows, OS X and Linux. The messenger enables the exchange of encrypted text, voice and video messages and offers the option of adding an expiration date to them á la Snapchat. Interesting: Before sending, Wickr removes the metadata from sent images and videos – metadata contains, among other things, the place and time of the recording.

    The messenger received a plus in attention through its use in the hacker series Mr. Robot – however, a reader had already drawn our attention to the app in the comments in 2014.

    Wickr Me – Private Messenger
    Wickr Me – Private Messenger
    Price: For free

    ‎Wickr Me - Private Messenger
    Wickr Me – Private Messenger
    Price: For free

    Telegram: Multi-Messenger with a growing user base – but not particularly serious

    Die WhatsApp-Alternative Telegram erfreut sich wachsender Beliebtheit. (Bild: Telegram)

    The Whatsapp alternative Telegram is enjoying growing popularity. (Image: Telegram)

    The messaging service Telegram, which was launched in mid-2013, claims to be highly encrypted which is a popular feature especially in the post-Prism era. According to the developers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, text messages as well as photos, videos and documents (such as Doc, Zip, MP3 files and more) that are up to 1.5 gigabytes in size can be sent. The creation of group chats is also supported – up to 200,000 contacts can be added to a group. As with Whatsapp, for example, you can share your own location with friends in real time.

    Telegram Gruppen unstertützt bis zu 200.000 Mitglieder. (Bild: Telegram)

    Telegram Groups support up to 200,000 members. (Image: Telegram)

    In contrast to Whatsapp, Threema or Signal, data is stored in the cloud so that conversations can be synchronized across multiple devices. This goes hand in hand with the fact that communication is not end-to-end encrypted as standard. Only in the “Secret Chat” is there end-to-end encryption with a Snapchat-like self-destruction function: This allows messages to be given an expiry date so that they self-destruct after a specified period of time. Messages can also be withdrawn.

    To register, the link with your telephone number and the indication of a first name is required. The cloud chat function may be useful for cross-device use. Furthermore, as with Whatsapp, the phone numbers of your contacts including first and last names from the address book must be synchronized. If you don’t give the app access to your contacts, you won’t be able to start a chat. At least: the synchronization can be deactivated, contacts can be deleted. It is unclear whether they will also be completely removed on the server side.

    Official clients are available for download for iOS, Android and also for desktop computers. In addition to official clients, unofficial applications are also available – this is possible because the developers offer parts of the code open source and provide the API.

    In 2021, the company said it now has 500 million active users per month. The user base is not nearly as large as that of Whatsapp, but it is still considerable. However, the service is not entirely without criticism: On the one hand, the encryption is criticized because, unlike the open source signal protocol from Open Whisper Systems or Threema, it is proprietary and is not disclosed, on the other hand, nobody knows where the company behind Telegram is at all has his office. The company has a certain dubious appearance.

    In addition, the messenger is considered a data protection nightmare, as Heise’s security expert Jürgen Schmidt demonstrated: Any data that is written into the chat , land on the Telegram servers before they are sent. According to his research, the complete chat history of all your conversations can be found there. Telegram can therefore not be categorized as particularly trustworthy.

    ‎Telegram Messenger
    Telegram Mes senger
    Price: For free

    Telegram
    Telegram
    Download QR code

    Telegram
    Developer : Telegram FZ-LLC
    Price: For free

    • Telegram Screenshot
    • Telegram Screenshot
    • Telegram Screenshot Telegram Screenshot

    • Telegram Screenshot
    • Telegram Screenshot
    • Telegram Screenshot
    • Telegram Screenshot

    Suitable for this: radicalization on Telegram: Nazis, weapons, drugs and Attila Hildmann

    Conclusion – there are many Whatsapp alternatives …

    Like this for a long time If you cannot see a complete overview of multi-messengers, the selection of useful Whatsapp alternatives on the market is not that small. The question of which of these should be used is not easy to answer. Many offer almost the same range of functions as Whatsapp, some even have more on the box. But what is mostly missing because of the network effect are friends and contacts. Because most of them do not want to leave the familiar WhatsApp universe. And to get them to install another messenger and also to use it, should often be difficult. The only thing that helps here is to do good persuasion. If you want to use a secure messenger with end-to-end encryption, you should try Signal or Threema – and of course invite your contacts to follow you.

    But why should one limit oneself to a single channel? Personally, I rely on a number of apps that keep me in touch with others. I only use WhatsApp when I have to. Instead, I rely on a combination of Twitter (yes, comparatively insecure) and Signal. An SMS is sent at most once a year.

    Which Whatsapp alternatives do you use, and which should from your point of view still be included in our overview?

    Overview of the Whatsapp alternatives

    The topics of security and data protection are addressed in many messaging Unfortunately, apps are still written in lower case, even if some have already added up on this. Threema was one of the first messengers where security was the top priority. (Image: Threema)

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    This article is updated regularly. Last update of the article: October 4th, 2021.

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    • Whatsapp Business: Facebook wants to use its messenger ever now earn money

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    Sallie Anderson
    Sallie works as the Writer at World Weekly News. She likes to write about the latest trends going on in our world and share it with our readers.

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