Signal vs Telegram vs WhatsApp

privacy Jan 15, 2021

TLDR:

Signal is the best choice

TLDR explanation:


With the recent backslash on Facebook on updating WhatsApp's privacy policy a lot of people (especially Indians) are leaving WhatsApp and moving to Signal and Telegram.

I'll compare their merits and demerits point-by-point:

#1 Privacy

  • All Signal, Telegram and WhatsApp use End2End Encryption but Telegram's doesn't have E2E enabled by default and is not available for group chats.
  • WhatsApp and Signal use the Signal protocol and is completely E2E. Neither of then can read your texts but WhatsApp does collect your meta-data and monetizes it.
  • Signal doesn't store your meta-data or other information such has who you text with and your profile picture.

Verdict: Signal wins

#2 Encryption backdoors

  • Telegram holds your encryption keys which essentially gives them a backdoor access to your data and meta data.
  • Signal and WhatsApp don't hold your encryption keys but WhatsApp cannot be verified. Though governments have been trying to setup backdoors in WhatsApp.

Verdict: Signal wins

#3 Verifiability (Open Source)

  • WhatsApp is completely proprietary and both the app and back-end are closed source. None of the claims by Facebook/WhatsApp can be verified.
  • Telegram's app is open-source and can be verified but their back-end is still closed source.
  • Signal's both app and back-end are open-source.

Verdict: Signal wins

#4 Features

  • All WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram are feature-rich and can do everything you'll find useful.
  • WhatsApp have stories and payments.
  • Telegram has the ability to create bots which increases use-cases.
  • You can add up to 200,000 members in a group in Telegram.

Verdict: Telegram wins

#5 Platform's Future

  • Signal is a non-profit and runs completely on generous donations.
  • Telegram plans to injects ads in their app.
  • WhatsApp is a for-profit and monetizes your personal lives.

Verdict: Signal wins

#6 Reputation

  • Signal is recommended by privacy advocates such as Edward Snowden, WhatsApp's co-founder and Elon Musk
  • Telegram is very popular among crypto communities
  • WhatsApp is owned by Facebook so it has a very bad reputation.

Verdict: Signal wins

#6 Disadvantages

  • WhatsApp:
    - Not private
    - Owned by Facebook
    - Shares data with Facebook
  • Telegram:
    - Telegram holds your encryption keys
    - Planned Ads
  • Signal:
    - Less features compared to Telegram.

Final verdict: Signal is the best choice. Privacy is a fundamental human right and Signal truly respects that.

Notable source:

• Telegram is not secure: https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/49782/is-telegram-secure

Tags

ParmuTownley

Tis' my blog

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