FAQ: How Secure Are WhatsApp Alternatives – Signal & Telegram?

If you’re looking to uninstall Whatsapp, you will have to make do without certain features.

Tech and Auto
3 min read
Photo for representation.

Keeping the controversial privacy policy update aside, WhatsApp is one of the most popular messenger apps in the world. However, WhatsApp is now being criticised for its new privacy policy updates, forcing its users to look for better alternatives.

The list of top two alternatives includes Signal and Telegram, and they are currently experiencing a surge in the number of downloads.

According to the data received from App Analytics Firm Sensor Tower, Signal has reported a 79 percent hike in the number of downloads from January 1 to January 6. On the other hand, WhatsApp has reported 11 percent uninstalls in the first week of 2021.

If you are planning to uninstall Whatsapp, here are some of the top features you will no longer have access to:

  • The WhatsApp stories feature is neither available on Telegram nor on the Signal app.
  • If you are one of those people who sends ‘Good morning’ messages to your broadcast list, then you might be disappointed, as this feature is only exclusively provided by WhatsApp.
  • Do you like to 'star' important messages so that you can quickly refer back to them later, well you will no longer be able to do that.
  • Remember, how you could quickly add any contact by just scanning a QR code. This option won't be available too.
  • Lost your phone? You will be disappointed to know that your chats won't be available on your google drive space. Unlike WhatsApp, Signal stores your chats on the phone storage and it is possible that you won't be able to retrieve your chats.
  • GIFs are fun to share, as they are way more effective than emojis and provides a range of expressions. However, Signal does not provide the GIF option as of now.
  • The real-time live location feature allows your friends and family to track your location in real-time, which has saved all of us a lot of trouble. Sadly, you will lose out on this feature as well.
  • WhatsApp bans any user who has been reported for violating any of its guidelines, but Signal only has the option of blocking, so you won't be able to report an account for any sort of harassment.
  • Concerning security reasons, WhatsApp has blocked registrations from virtual numbers, which means that every user needs to have a valid phone number to register. Whereas, any user can create an account on Signal using any virtual number available on the internet.
  • While the WhatsApp payment option made it easy for its users to transfer money, Signal and Telegram do not support this feature.

Alternatives to WhatsApp

Which app is more secure, Telegram or Signal?

Telegram and Signal both offer end to end Encryption (E2E), which means your chats cannot be read or hacked by anyone. However, in the case of Telegram, E2E is not a default option and one has to enable it, whereas Signal takes an extra step of precaution by encrypting your metadata as well. So by far, Signal is more secure than Telegram.

How is your data being collected?

Signal collects close to nothing except your phone number. Telegram only collects your contact information from your phone.

What is the maximum size limit of files that you can send?

Signal allows sending files under the limit of 100 MB whereas Telegram allows you to send and receive files under 1.5 GB.

How many people can you forward messages to?

In Telegram, you can share a forward to 100 recipients at once, whereas Signal only allows you to share forwards one at a time.

How can you recover your messages?

Backups work differently in both Signal and Telegram. Signal stores backup in the mobile device itself, whereas Telegram stores it in its cloud platform. If the phone is lost or changed, recovering data is easier for Telegram users in comparison with Signal users.

Can your calls be recorded?

None of your calls are recorded by Signal or Telegram, as all of your calls are encrypted.

Can you use virtual numbers for both Telegram and Signal?

Yes, any virtual number can be used for the creation of IDs on the Telegram and Signal application

Can you move WhatsApp group chats to Signal and Telegram?

The signal app allows you to transfer WhatsApp group chats in five simple steps:

- Create a group on signal

- Tap into group settings and click on ‘group link’

- Turn on the group link option and click on share

- Share in your former messenger of choice

Meanwhile, Telegram does not offer this option.

Which app provides better file storage service, Telegram or Signal?

Telegram offers unlimited cloud storage. Even if you do not have much free space in the phone storage you can download files that are accessible through your cloud storage, whereas Signal stores all your data in your phone storage.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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