Here in our detailed, unbiased WhatsApp vs Signal guide, we take a look at what two very popular and widely used instant messaging apps offer. We take a look at WhatsApp, its history, its security features and compare them with Signal and features that this service offers. Once you are done with our WhatsApp vs Signal guide, you know what both services offer and you know which service offers better features to match your preferences.
Both Signal and WhatsApp are very popular instant messaging options alongside several other services of this kind including Telegram Messenger, Wickr, Viber, and Threema that we explored in other articles, so make sure you check those as well. Both WhatsApp and Signal use the best end-to-end encryption technology thanks to which you can rest assured that everything you share using the services is truly safe and well-protected from the prying eyes, hackers, and intruders.
While they use very similar technology, there are some major differences in the way they operate and in the way they protect your private messages, photos, and files you share. Further in this WhatsApp vs Signal guide, we take a look at the services’ privacy and security features, privacy and security tools employed, and other options so that you can decide which service works better for you.
WhatsApp vs Signal Features
WhatsApp was launched back in 2009 by WhatsApp Inc. while today the service is owned and operated by Facebook Inc. This is a cross-platform, freeware instant messaging app that can be downloaded to iOS and Android devices as well as Windows-powered desktop devices. Just like other instant messaging apps out there, with WhatsApp, you can send text messages, as well as make video and voice calls, send files, images, and share other content.
Crafted by Signal Messenger LLC and the Signal Technology Foundation, Signal is also a cross-platform instant messaging service. The very first version of the Signal app was released back in July of 2014. Today, the app can be downloaded to iOS and Android devices as well as to desktop devices powered by Windows. Just like with WhatsApp, with Signal you can send files including images and videos, text messages, make video and voice calls, send notes, and everything else you expect from a modern instant messaging app.
Both services run on portable devices including iOS and Android-powered smartphones and you can use them any time and any place for as long as you are connected to the Internet. As previously mentioned, you can use both WhatsApp and Signal on your desktop computer once you get the apps. To use WhatsApp, you need to provide your mobile telephone number and Signal also required that you identify your telephone number to get starts.
In other words, to use WhatsApp and Signal, you register by providing your personal information alongside providing your telephone number. Signal is empowered with the best end-to-end encryption introduced by Open Whisper Systems. In other words, Signal supports encrypted instant messaging which ensures the highest degree of online and data privacy and security. WhatsApp also employs similar encryption technology to protect your private conversations.
WhatsApp Vs Signal Security
With over two billion users, WhatsApp is the most used instant messaging service by both Android and iOS users while Signal had around 40 million active users several months back and its loyal user base has been growing exponentially in recent times. Further in this WhatsApp vs Signal guide, we explore the services’ security features and this is what should matter the most when deciding which service is better.
When looking for a great, reliable, and secure instant messaging app, you naturally look into security features and WhatsApp and Signal have some differences when it comes to their major privacy and security features. As previously mentioned, both WhatsApp and Signal employ end-to-end encryption in their apps which means outside parties cannot intercept your private messages sent using the services.
In their essence, WhatsApp and Signal that provide encryption for video calls, voice messages, file sharing, and texting, are safe to use. Nonetheless, there are some security and privacy differences between WhatsApp and Signal. Let’s examine Signal first.
- Signal does not collect any private data you share except your telephone number
- Signal is free of ads, fully open-source
- Signal uses end-to-end Signal Protocol encryption
- Signal lets you send disappearing messages
When it comes to WhatsApp and its security, privacy, and other features:
- WhatsApp is not open-source except for its encryption
- WhatsApp uses the same end-to-end encryption as Signal
- WhatsApp collects some of your private data linked to you
- WhatsApp regular and business versions of the app are free
Which One is Better?
When discussing WhatsApp vs Signal, it all comes down to their privacy and security measures employed. When looking for an instant messaging app, you want your private data to be safeguarded and protected at all times from third parties and you also want your identity to be safeguarded. Since both WhatsApp and Signal use the same end-to-end encryption technology and this technology is the best what we have today, you can rest assured that both services safeguard your identity and everything you share.
However, WhatsApp is more vulnerable since its encryption protocol used is open-source and it is more prone to hacking simply because it has a much bigger user base. At the same time, Signal has more privacy and security features that are regularly updated such as encrypted profiles, incognito keyboard options, as well as view-once text and media messages. Signal also offers screen security options to make sure that no one takes screenshots of your private messages and you easily enable it in the Settings section.
WhatsApp and Signal both offer fingerprint lock options so you are the only person who can access your chats and conversations. WhatsApp also allows you to hide your statuses and last seen and the same is available when using Signal. With WhatsApp statuses, you also have three options to choose from. At the same time, WhatsApp is known for collecting the most amount of your private data when compared to similar services while Signal does not collect any of your data except your telephone number. So, which one is better? This is entirely up to you and your preferences and what you value more, privacy and security features, fancier options, or a great user base. The bottom line, both value your online privacy as they should.