Cyber Security Comparison

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Key Features, Privacy and All You Need to Know

WhatsApp decided to update its policies on data regulations and its policies include letting users’ data accessed by Facebook. WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram war is on.

It’s not the first time that WhatsApp tried to do this but this time now the key difference has people truly worried, if you don’t accept the policies by February 8, you’ll no longer be allowed to use WhatsApp.

This is such my way or the highway situation which has many worried. This has been happening over the last couple of days, you may have heard of these controversies and concerns as well. WhatsApp says it’s a usual update.

But the truly interesting thing is the advent of new players trying to grab some of that space. Among them, messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. Signal is aggressively calling out for people to join them if they are worried about WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

And Elon Musk has no less gone out and endorsed Signal. Elon also revealed that he already donated Signal and planning to donate more. Here are the tweets:

So, what’s the true picture if you compare WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram? Signal is considered to be the most secure of the lot. Now, interestingly the data according to the Sensor Tower, there has been a spike in terms of download and trend from the 1st January and it’s maintained the momentum till now.

Let’s look at the overall numbers, Signal has still 10 million to 12 million users while WhatsApp has 5 Billion, it’s still the largest messaging service. We know, it’s not going to easy to migrate to Signal or Telegram but you may choose to use two apps – one for secondary transactions, professional conversations, and Signal for one-on-one private conversations. Let’s see how this evolves.

But we are happy that people are more concerned about their privacy and taking it serious.

So, first of all, if you go about WhatsApp vs Telegram, the features and options available are more or less similar. In fact, there are a couple of extra features you’ll find on Telegram. Let’s say you’re a brand or an influencer, you can send notifications or broadcast your messages to all your followers instantly in a click.

If you’re concerned about your privacy or data being tracked, Signal is end to end and client to client encrypted, your messages, calls, video calls, and even group calls are fully encrypted. On Signal end to end encryption is on by default but you have to switch on the encryption manually on Telegram.

The only personal data Signal stores is your phone number. Telegram has access to your contact info, contacts and user ID.

Talking about the user interface, Signal has a nice and clean interface, almost similar in comparison to WhatsApp while Telegram is a little bit complicated for non-techies.

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram – Major Features

Here is a chart showing comparison of important features between WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram - Features and Encryption

What Data Do WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal Collect?

Let’s look into data and information WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal collect.

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram

It’s obvious WhatsApp is planning to collect almost all data to track users and show ads, while Telegram and Signal require limited data to connect you with your contacts.

Conclusion

WhatsApp privacy policy is yet to be implemented, also the Facebook-owned company issued a statement that the policy change is for business users only. If you really love your WhatsApp, you should wait till February for the final policy change notice.

If you have made a mind to ditch WhatsApp, then you can either go for Telegram or Signal whichever you find easier to use. Telegram has more vibrant features than WhatsApp and Signal like more stickers and wallpapers and convenient to use on a desktop too. Signal has more security features when compared to Telegram and WhatsApp. Signal is friendly and better for personal and private conversations while Telegram has a lot to offer for businesses and organizations.

An engineer and a tech enthusiast, driven by curiosity.

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