Telegram, TextSecure, Briar: security focused WhatsApp alternatives


Telegram is a WhatsApp alternative which aims at being fast and secure. It is not fully open source but it promises to release more and more code in the long run. Right now the focus is on releasing stuff for developers to start building on top of Telegram. Originally Telegram uses the MTProto Mobile Protocol. The look and feel is almost same as WhatsApp but the security features look promising. I logged in from the Android app as well as from browser using Webogram and immediately it sent me an alert message that there is a second login and how to terminate that. More on features:

  • Official apps for Android, iOS
  • Unofficial ports for web browsers (Webogram), a second edition, Chrome app, CLI (Linux), Windows Phone. Some of the ports work on Linux, Windows and MAC. Telegram JAVA libraries are also available.
  • Group chat with maximum 200 contacts
  • Secret Chats with end-to-end encryption to ensure messages can be read only by the intended recipient. Nothing is logged in the servers and messages can be set to auto-destruct both from sender and recipient devices.
  • Fast messaging service: uses a decentralized infrastructure with data centers positioned around the globe to connect people to the closest possible server
  • Uses minimum possible bytes to transmit messages. Probably uses state-of-the-art compression techniques.
  • Share videos up to 1GB, photos or forward any received media
  • Free unlimited cloud storage. Messages are stored in the cloud, so access from any device using Telegram.
  • Free and no-ads


TextSecure is another privacy-oriented messaging app with a clean interface. This app too has a strong security focus. You should also take a RedPhone from the same company, that encrypts your calls. Features:

  • Group chat support, share media and attachments
  • Server doesn’t access or store user information
  • Advanced end-to-end encryption protocol applied for every message
  • Free and open source
  • Fast message delivery

Check out this paper to know how secure TextSecure is.


The third app in this list is still in private Beta at the time of writing. The proposed features are:

  • Peer-to-peer encrypted messaging and forums
  • Messages are stored securely on your device, not in the cloud
  • Connect directly with nearby contacts – no Internet access required
  • Free and open source software


[Courtesy: Jester Raiin]

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