As Facebook scooped up WhatsApp, users are forced to hand over their messaging data to Facebook. If you aren’t ready for compromise, Safer and more private alternatives to WhatsApp are given here…so get your hands on Better Whatsapp!
WhatsApp is the latest craze… or you can say it sort of addiction. Many people join the craze of using WhatsApp for their communication purposes. It connects people around the globe… having more than 200 million active users per month. Unfortunately, some WhatsApp users are reported for switching to other mobile messaging applications, as Facebook has recently stunned the tech world by announcing its acquisition to WhatsApp for $19 billion. This deal actually win for both sides: as now, Facebook can provide a much-needed service that it hasn’t delivered ever; and despite the small startup, WhatsApp cashed in really big. But all hitches of the acquisition heavily fell on the shoulders of users alone. The deal raises many questions – Whether Facebook will kill WhatsApp or just let it flow in its merry way? Whether it will be free to use or available in paid version only? Whether Facebook will try to bring ads to WhatsApp, as it’s done with Instagram?
A bigger question is of data protection. WhatsApp already faced security holes in the past; and now being part of Facebook, it raises chances for data mining because it seems that users’ personal data is merged with Facebook data and why not? After all, Facebook is an advertising-based company. This sounds terribly risky! If you aren’t okay with such potential risk, just go for any of the safe and sound WhatsApp alternatives given below.
It is reported that 4.5 million new users joined Telegram after hearing about Whatsapp acquisition by Facebook, trusting encrypted service and self destruct feature of Telegram.
By design, it looks a lot like WhatsApp . Telegram has similar UI to Whatsapp; so anyone, who has already used the popular WhatsApp messenger, will not have any trouble in using Telegram. In the same way, it allows users to message quickly and stay in touch with friends, along with features like Group chat, file transfers (files, photos and videos) and location sharing. However Telegram is far better – it’s totally free to use forever, and messages are encrypted here so no one else can read them. Greatly, it’s cloud based so messages can be synced across devices. Telegram also has some smart features like the ability to start a secret chat, where messages can be deleted following a period of time, just like on Snapchat. On the unique side, it allows you to download and install the desktop app, so you can use the program on your computer too. It supports multiple platforms.
For security concern, it uses language that is quite strong and directly attacks WhatsApp. Here, messages or other file transfers are delivered via a 256-bit symmetric AES, RSA 2048 encryption along with Diffie-Hellman secure key exchange. In simple words, Telegram allows client-to-client messaging, wherein users can send message directly to addressee, without using the servers. In Start Secret Chat feature, your chat will open in a new chat window with end-to-end encryption. No data is stored on the Telegram servers. Telegram is claiming that its Secret Chat will be 200% secure, which definitely sounds confident. Another most interesting feature is self-destruct timer. On enabling this, you can spot how much time will pass between sending a message from your device to the receiver before it self-destructs. So now, messages are also destroyed for all time after a set period of time. Thus, WhatsApp is less than Telegram when it comes to privacy and security issues.
Within 24 hours of the Facebook-WhatsApp acquisition declaration, Threema reported that it had managed to top the German App Store charts with sign-up of 200,000 new users and more.
Threema is not free, but it would be your great alternate for WhatsApp. It has general user interface alike to Whatsapp and works like Whatsapp, but comes with end-to-end encryption between messages. Besides messages, it also provides encryption on image sharing, videos , GPS locations and voice chat too. It has asymmetric cryptography, wherein a message is encoded on the transmitter side with a public key and it will be decoded back on the in receipt side, using a second private key. Thus, only the intended recipient can read the transmitted messages, photos, videos and current location. Here messages are delivered quickly with instant messaging feel.
Another great feature is that users are allowed to sync contact list automatically and manually. users can verify a contact’s public keys, just by scanning a QR code from their mobile device. Threema is developed by software development company Kasper Systems GmbH, and available for $1.99 on iOS or Android.
If you care about your privacy a lot then go for Surespot Encrypted Messenger. It is an open-source messaging solution, supporting text, image, as well as audio messages with a Holo UI, media and emoji support. Here is no need of phone number or email signup, means totally confidential.
Surespot boasts 256-bit AES-GCM encryption with keys that are generated on your device using 521 bit ECDH, so that only you and the receiver can decrypt Surespot messages. Even with this level of encryption, messaging is incredibly fast and there’s nominal lag between sending and receiving text messages. It uses end-to-end encryption to keep your messages private, also forbids the recipient from sharing media you sent to them unless you clearly allow it. Interesting feature is that whenever you delete messages that you’ve sent, it will be removed from your device also from the receiving device without any particular setting of self-destruct timer.
Surespot can support multiple identities on a solo device. The user interface is simple and not loaded with a lot, making it very easy to use. Other users can be added by searching for their usernames or scanning the QR code on their device. As accounts aren’t linked to phone numbers, it is bad to find contacts. It lacks option to sync with your contacts it means you’ll have to exchange usernames with your friends.
However the development team is improving encrypted file transfer, video messages and group chat too. This app is totally free to download and use. But remember that Audio messages charge $1.99 to unlock the voice feature. Best thing is that it’s completely ad-free.
Users can send encrypted as well as self-destructing messages, easily at Wickr. It has a bunch of security measures that even the NSA can’t break. Military-grade encryption is used to make safe whatever the app sends – text, images, video, audio, or files – in transit. Even it doesn’t hoard any of the encryption keys on their own servers and no personal data is ever collected about the sender or receiver, even the locations of sender and receiver can not be recognized. This is all about security.
Every message can be set to self-destruct, wherein control of mobile messaging is transformed from receiver-based to sender-based. Here before you send message, you can decide how long your message sticks around, choosing a self-destruct time ranging from a few seconds to more than five days. Once the timer runs out, your sent message will be removed from the recipient’s phone automatically. Another best thing is that every message has a live countdown to know how long you have it until it goes away.
Wickr supports 4,096-bit RSA encryption, which is really secure protocol. In fact, the app exceeds the NSA Suite B Compliancy guidelines. It means its encryption complies with requirements of top-secret communication! Really serious encryption. What’s more, it removes the entire meta-data from your messages, including date, time, location, as well as device information.
Despite of having such a high level of security, messages are encrypted and sent fast as it took just few seconds to encrypt a text message with a 2MB photo. Notably fast!
No need of phone number or e-mail address to open a Wickr account. Wickr can search contacts for people you know (that also use the app) also adds them to your contacts list automatically. Note that you’ll have to add them by their username.
It has user-friendly interface, wherein you just need to tap the lock icon to open the message also to start the self-destruct timer. Moreover, Wickr is integrated with Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive, so you can send files directly and conveniently from your cloud storage.