Signal is the app that is currently competing against Telegram for being the messaging application that sets the goal on privacy thanks to end-to-end encryption.
Act quickly. take it into account due to the mess that WhatsApp has made at the beginning of this year 2021 by updating the terms for the privacy of your messages and that you have left doubts about the use of them for commercial purposes. So Signal comes into play by offering end-to-end encryption by default.
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Valuing the messages you send through your chat app
With all the evolution of smartphones, apps, social networks and the Internet, sometimes, or almost always, we forget that a chat app, as they are WhatsApp or Signal, allow us to communicate with our relatives, friends, family, work contacts, colleagues and more through those messages.
Making a simile to put in value what the chat messages would be if we took them to our real life. The messages we send are what our house or home would be like. And in our home we are not going to let anyone enter to "listen" or meddle in what does not matter to them. In other words, our chat messages must be private and always protected.
End-to-end encryption by default
That is why an app like Signal becomes essential for this. In order to protect your messages and not allow anyone to be able to "read" them. Being an app that by default has end-to-end encryption, it means that the messages will always be encrypted and there will never be the possibility of reading them.
If you already Telegram, the other chat app that is benefiting from the uncertainty created over WhatsApp, which has been noted for its privacy and even used by protesters to coordinate movements As in Hong Kong, it uses that end-to-end encryption, but only in the private chats that we start, we can better understand the need for an app like Signal; in fact we included it days ago in how one of the privacy apps on Android.
Signal is a chat app like WhatsApp, but it encrypts both messages like all the content you share through conversations. And it is that it even encrypts video calls to protect them. It is your maximum privacy.
The "keys" that are used to encrypt user communications are generated and stored on the same user devices. To verify the veracity that a user is who they say they are, Signal compares key fingerprints or QR codes.
What is Signal
Mainly Signal is an open source application for instant messaging and calls, free and open source. That is, if you handle a little programming, you can go to its repository and take a look at the code.
Another of its added values is that it is developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger, a non-profit foundation and that was founded by Brian Acton with a capital of 50 million dollars; Acton is well known for being one of the two co-founders of WhatsApp (In fact, it left WhatsApp shortly after it was bought by Facebook.)
Regarding the characteristics of Signal, it is a chat app to use that moves away from all the features and functions of other apps such as Telegram or WhatsApp. You have to count on that not even two years have passed since the Signal Foundation was born, so it can be better understood in the process that it is.
But this does not mean that have some of the most important functions we are looking for in a messaging app:
- Protect messages, multimedia content you share and video calls with end-to-end encryption
- Audio and video calls
- It has a mobile version and a desktop version on Linux, Windows and Mac
- Group audio and video calls allow up to 8 users
- Allows lock the app with a PIN, password or biometrics (such as a fingerprint sensor)
- Allows send disappearing messages or send one-shot photos
- Allows blur faces when sending an image to a contact
- Personal notes in the cloud
- Group chats with options for administrators
If we put face to face against these apps logically it loses, since Telegram or WhatsApp themselves have been incorporating news for years every few months. The experience is greater, but as we have said, it will be necessary to value what it means that your messages are always encrypted and remain private.
Differences in privacy between Signal and Telegram
These days ago a lot has been written about the real difference between Signal and Telegram. The discussions are being heated as many maintain that Telegram is just as safe, although it should be mentioned that Telegram only uses end-to-end encryption when creating a private chat. That is, we have to start a private chat to be able to enjoy that technology.
Instead, Signal has it by default and you don't need to do anything, since the app is like this since we started it. This is a great advantage because we will always know that everything we send or receive will be safe.
Now we could ask why Telegram doesn't use that end-to-end encryption, but it was the same Telegram that mentioned a little while ago that it does not use that technology because it slows down the servers and there are some of the basic features of the messaging app that do not work with encryption activated.
Some downsides of Signal
The greatest of all is that Signal forces us to identify ourselves with a phone number to be able to use it. Instead Telegram offers the ability to register without a phone number. Although it must be said that Signal does allow identification through a VoIP (Voice over IP) phone.
It is one of the biggest problems that Signal has encountered, since there are many users who do not feel good about providing their phone number to be able to identify themselves in the app and start. A method that shares with WhatsApp or another like KakaoTalk.
Which does not mean that all of us who have installed WhatsApp with a phone number, nor do we take into account that way of identifying ourselves to start with Signal.
The other big but, is that in Signal we will not have most of our contacts with the app installed. A fact that will reduce the growth rate as happened to Telegram. It will be a matter of time that Signal is more and more installed and we can have talks with friends or family; although we can always be the ones to encourage them to install it.
The future of Signal
Signal has a great future and it is because more and more users value their data and privacy. In fact, we only have to see how Europe is governed by GDPR laws, and that they have prevented WhatsApp from using this update of the terms in the European Union. That is, if you are in Europe, you may not care about this update to the privacy terms.
The fact that more and more users value privacy means that Signal will attract more and more people who want to have their messages encrypted. Based on new updates that are gradually arriving, the distance that distances it from others with greater experience will be shortened.
So just like it happened in the early days of Telegram, Signal will increase in number of users and as long as WhatsApp does not change course and put the dots on the i's for privacy.
Be that as it may, Signal has been able to grow by 4.300% in recent weeks, so if you haven't had the chance to try it, we encourage you to try it, since it offers a very nice interface, it moves very well and at the moment it has many of the options that we look for in an app of this type.