WhatsApp alternatives: secure messengers for iOS, Android, PC and Mac

You can chat and make calls with WhatsApp for free, but there has been criticism in terms of data protection. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON presents the alternatives to the messenger service with the green and white logo.

WhatsApp is one of the most widely used messengers worldwide; more than two billion people use the service. But a lack of security and the vague handling of personal data overshadow the success. Are you considering switching to a different chat app? Here you will find the best and most secure messengers – including downloads!

The best WhatsApp alternatives

The best apps for video calls

Also read: The best alternatives to WhatsApp

The best WhatsApp alternatives

Different messengers are recommended depending on the application. Do you want eye contact? Then video calls are ideal, for example with the specialists Zoom, Skype or Viber. Alternatively, you can use the messenger app Threads from Instagram, thanks to which you can share pictures, videos and messages with your closest friends. If a large variety of functions is important to you, Telegram and Line are suitable. Use Signal or Threema for maximum security against eavesdropping .
TECHNOLOGY BUTTON describes the current top apps below: Threema, Telegram, Viber, Signal, Wire – and provides you with the download links for them. There is also an overview of messengers that are especially suitable for video calls. In addition, you will find a selection of the best multi-messengers in the picture gallery above. They bring together various chat networks in one interface so that you can see all contacts and chats at the same time.

1. WhatsApp alternative: Threema

Threema logo © Threema GmbH

WhatsApp alternative Threema: security at a low price.

With Threema, you remain anonymous when writing or making calls and protect sensitive chats with a PIN or your fingerprint. Since August 2020, the service has finally been offering video telephony that is just as secure as your chats in the app. The messenger is financed by the one-time fee when purchasing it: For the security of your communication you pay up to 3.99 euros depending on the operating system. This income enables the provider to forego advertising and the sale of data. Given what other companies are making from your information, the price is low.

2. WhatsApp alternative: Signal

Signal logo © Signal

WhatsApp alternative signal: Edward Snowden’s first choice.

Chatting and making calls securely is possible with Signal: the app encrypts your chats and video and voice calls using the tried and tested end-to-end encryption. You can send files, images, clips and documents either to a group or to individuals. Great: The app’s source code is publicly available (open source) and can be checked by anyone. Existing data sniffing functions would therefore be discovered immediately.

3. WhatsApp alternative: Wire

Wire logo © Wire Swiss GmbH

WhatsApp alternative Wire: Messenger for private and business matters.

Wire is recommended for private as well as professional use. Chat, audio and video telephony are available for personal use – functions such as conference calls and screen transfer are suitable for professional matters. Wire syncs your chats and files on up to eight devices so you can access everything anywhere. Handy: If you don’t have an account, join conversations through the browser.

4. WhatsApp alternative: Telegram

Telegram logo © Telegram Messenger LLP

WhatsApp alternative Telegram: widespread use and wide range of functions.

One of the most popular free alternatives right now is called Telegram. The app offers the functions known from WhatsApp plus features such as self-deleting messages and channels. With the help of bots, i.e. small computer programs, users personalize their messenger and integrate, for example, Google search or a translator. However, the service is not particularly secure, as a test by Heise shows. Accordingly, all keystrokes land on the Telegram servers – and that before the messages are sent. On top of that, Telegram stores the chat history of its users centrally. That means: Telegram can, if necessary, deliver everything its users write, for example to authorities or place targeted advertising. There are so-called secret chats, but the function is well hidden and has some restrictions. The chats with end-to-end encryption cannot be used in group discussions.

5. WhatsApp alternative: Viber

Viber logo © Rakuten

WhatsApp alternative Viber: Users chat and make calls for free.

Viber offers secure communication and a wide range of functions. How to send messages, pictures, videos and documents and make phone calls via audio or video calls. The huge group chats are a special feature. The number of possible members of such a “community” is unlimited. Administrators with special rights can be assigned to watch over what is written and to ensure that we work together respectfully.

Video call and conference apps

Many of the chat programs above offer video functionality. There are also a number of services that are particularly suitable for video calls and conference calls. These include Zoom, Jitsi Meet, House Party and Discord.

Download Zoom for free

Zoom logo © Zoom

WhatsApp alternative Zoom: video conferencing with simple operation.

The Zoom service has been very popular since the beginning of the Corona crisis. This is mainly due to the ease of use: It is suitable for business conferences and private chats with family or friends. The free version allows meetings with up to 100 participants and a duration of 40 minutes. Video calls for two or live chats are not subject to any time limit. With zoom, the current PC screen can be released for video transmission; Access to cloud storage such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive is just as practical.

Video chats directly in the browser with Jitsi Meet

Jitsi Meet Logo © Jitsi Meet

WhatsApp alternative Jitsi Meet: start video calls directly in the browser.

With the free Jitsi Meet web app, you can make video calls in your browser – without installing or registering with a service provider. You can start a video conference via https://meet.jit.si and send other people an invitation link. Participants connect to the web meeting on the PC using Chrome or Firefox and on the mobile phone or tablet using the Jitsi app. In addition to video telephony, Jitsi Meet offers a text chat and other features such as a screen sharing function.

Discord: Not just for gamers

Discord logo © Discord

WhatsApp alternative Discord: more than a messenger for gamers.

Discord is probably known to most gamers: Many talk about it while playing. But the chat app is not only interesting for them. It combines private chats between two people, channels, group chats as well as audio and video calls on one platform. If you want to get in touch with friends, relatives or colleagues, create your own Discord server for free or join other servers.
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