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Signal Vs Telegram: Which Is The Best WhatsApp Alternative In 2021

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Signal Vs Telegram: Which Is The Best WhatsApp Alternative In 2021. WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there, with over five billion downloads on the Google Play Store alone. While Facebook has always been doubted for misusing user data, the new Whatsapp privacy policies throw a ton of questions over its security and data privacy. While WhatsApp alternative apps are being favored for better security, are they worthy enough to be your daily social messaging app?

Signal and Telegram, two messenger apps that are known to follow good privacy practices, are consequently witnessing a sudden surge in installations. Signal, in fact, has climbed to the top free apps category on the App Store in India.

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Things No One Told You

WhatsApp is currently the largest messaging service in the world with over 2 billion monthly active users. Telegram has around 400 million users, while Signal has around 20 million monthly active users.

While WhatsApp stands undefeated given the number of users, we can’t shy away from the growing popularity of Telegram and Signal.

The WhatsApp privacy policy update is helping the other two gain more users over the app’s security and privacy.


WhatsApp has everything you would need on a social messaging service including the new in-app payments feature. Group chats work with up to 256 members. You can broadcast messages to multiple contacts, support voice and video calls, both for individuals and groups.

  • Group video calls (8 users at any time)
  • WhatsApp Status feature (also called WhatsApp stories)
  • Whatsapp allows you to share all sorts of files and documents (up to 100MB)
  • Photos, videos, and audio files can be shared up to 16 MB
  • You can share live location with your contacts
  • Backup and restore messages and data via cloud services like Google Drive and iCloud
  • WhatsApp uses end to end encryption (E2E) for communication: messages, video calls, voice calls, photos, and anything
  • WhatsApp uses E2E protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems, same as Signal


Telegram offers support to groups with up to 200,000 members. Known for its large and massive groups, Telegram offers multiple group-specific features such as bots, polls, quizzes, and hashtags, extensive for large group experiences.

  • Self-destructing messages, where the message will get deleted after a point of time
  • The size limit for sharing files on Telegram is 1.5 GB
  • Supports voice and video call on Android and iOS devices
  • Telegram supports E2E only secret chats feature
  • The company confirmed it shares 0 bytes of data with third-parties or any governments to date


Coming to the latest member, Signal offers secure messaging, voice, and video calls with end-to-end encryption. You can create groups, but can’t broadcast messages to multiple contacts at once. Signal also has added support for group calling.

  • Supports self-destructing messages
  • Note to Self to share your own thoughts and ideas without creating single-member groups
  • Signal allows relay voice calls to its servers, identity is not shared, the same as using a VPN
  • Signal uses a back-end user-facing encryption service
  • It uses the open-source Signal Protocol to implement end-to-end encryption
  • Signal also encrypts your metadata offering multiple levels of security

WhatsApp vs Signal vs Telegram: Privacy Permissions, Which One More Secure?

WhatsApp does not encrypt backups (cloud or local). Whatsapp also does not encrypt metadata unlike Signal, which is used to carry communication between two endpoints. WhatsApp group chats have been earlier found to be indexed on Google search, a major data breach point.

Telegram group chats are not encrypted unless you use Secret Chats, which again only supports single-user communication.

In terms of user privacy, Signal offers the most secure form of communication you can get on the internet. But again, Signal lacks a host of features if compared to Whatsapp and Telegram. Signal by default encrypts all the local files with a 4-digit passphrase. It also supports encrypted group calls.

Here’s a list of data each of the messaging apps collects from their users:

WhatsApp Data Collection

  • Device ID
  • User ID
  • Advertising Data
  • Purchase History
  • Coarse Location
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Contacts
  • Product Interaction
  • Crash Data
  • Performance Data
  • Other Diagnostic Data
  • Payment Info
  • Customer Support
  • Product Interaction
  • Other User Content

Telegram Data Collection

  • Contact Info
  • Contacts
  • User ID

Signal Data Collection

  • None
  • It only stores your phone number

We hope that all your doubts about whether you should uninstall WhatsApp or not are cleared after looking at its data collection practices.

As for Signal vs Telegram, it’s safe to say that Signal is the most private messaging app here. Signal makes no attempt to identify you or your account whereas Telegram can with the help of User ID. That being said, Telegram is also quite privacy-focused if you’d compare it to many other messenger apps.

Messaging features

If you are looking for the best WhatsApp alternative, be assured as Signal and Telegram both have a ton of features. However, you will notice a few differences between the two

Signal Private messenger features that are not available on Telegram

  • Disable read indicators and typing indications. Toggling them off would mean the recipient won’t know if you have read the message and whether you’re have typed something or not
  • Quickly reply to messages with emoji reactions

Telegram messenger features that are not available on Signal

  • View online status or last seen of the recipient
  • Start a chat with a person without knowing their phone number
  • Telegram groups can have up to 200,000 members
  • You can send animated stickers and GIFs (Signal supports sending GIFs via gif supported keyboards, but does not offer in-app GIF integration)
  • You can edit the messages after you’ve sent them.
  • Delete messages from the group if you are the admin
  • Chats can be sorted into folders

Comparing the two, Telegram has the upper hand in features. However, Signal is constantly improving and adding new things.

Note that we’ve only mentioned features that are unique to both messengers. If you are switching from WhatsApp, you will have no problem using any one of them.

Platform availability

Signal and Telegram are both available on Android, iOS, iPad, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Telegram, however, also has a web version and a Chrome web extension.

Signal vs Telegram: Conclusion (Which Is The Best WhatsApp Alternative)

Overall, Signal and Telegram are both good WhatsApp alternatives. However, if we look into particular areas, Signal cannot be beaten in privacy whereas Telegram is the winner when it comes to features.

We hope this post helped you to find out the Signal Vs Telegram: Which Is The Best WhatsApp Alternative In 2021.

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Source Foss Bytes Trak

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