The Best Secure Messenger Apps for Private Communication
Communication today is not only the hundreds of text messages we exchange with friends and colleagues, but also the exchange of files, screenshots, links to posts in social networks, and information in general. With so much personal data being sent over the internet, one of the main problems becomes security.
All messengers work via the internet, which means that you have to depend on the reliability of your internet provider and the security of the program code, as well as the security of a huge number of servers that store copies of all messages.
Today, developers of messaging programs are working to protect the privacy and data of their users as much as possible. Let’s look at the advantages of the best secure messenger apps and focus in more detail on some of them.
The previous top messaging apps are here.
How encryption works in messengers
Encryption works by scrambling data so that it cannot be read without a key. This key is usually used jointly by the sender and the recipient, which allows them to decode the message after it is sent.
End-to-end encryption protects messages from unauthorized persons without telling the messenger server the secret keys of the users. Thus, the server cannot decrypt the information transmitted from user to user, and cannot recognize it. This means that people who have access to this server will also not be able to read your messages and see your personal data.
In some messengers (for example, Telegram), a hybrid form is implemented: in ordinary chats, the server has access to encryption keys, and if the user creates a secret chat, the messages in it will be additionally protected by end-to-end encryption, and the server will not be able to get keys to them.
Let’s look at the most secure and private messaging apps.
The best secure messenger apps
Utopia P2P is a decentralized anonymous ecosystem of the third generation, which provides comprehensive protection of user data. Firstly, the ecosystem is anonymous, so the user does not need to enter personal data to register. Secondly, all data is encrypted with multi-level encryption. Thirdly, the ecosystem is built on peer-to-peer technology. That is, data is not stored using a single server — it is stored in encrypted containers.
uMessenger is an alternative messenger in Utopia P2P. It provides completely safe and anonymous communication within the ecosystem. It does not need to be downloaded additionally — it is automatically available in the ecosystem, like all its other tools.
In addition, there is a mobile version of the messenger developed for the Android operating system. All its functions are just like the desktop version.
uMessenger is a full-fledged chat where you can send and receive text and voice messages. In addition, there is a voice replacement function, for those who want to hide their real voice. The messenger is supplemented with multimedia support, as well as its own sticker packs and various emoticons.
By the way, for fans of news and entertainment channels, Utopia P2P has uChannels. Here you can both find out the latest news topics and discuss them without censorship.
The messenger has the function of creating private chats for two users and for a group of several people. Through such chats, you can transfer any confidential information without fear of data leaks.
Encryption ensures the security of all data in the messenger. All files are stored in special private containers at the sender’s and recipient’s location.
- Backed by the decentralized Utopia P2P ecosystem
- Anonymous and secure
- No surveillance or censorship
- Anonymous registration and use
- Ability to create private chats and channels
- Desktop version for Windows, macOS, and Linux
- Mobile version for Android
- No mobile version for iOS
Learn more about Utopia P2P’s advantages here.
Signal is a popular messenger that has established itself as one of the most reliable and secure messaging applications. Information encryption is implemented using the Signal Protocol, which many of its competitors began to adopt to protect the privacy of their users.
Signal is equipped with a standard set of functions for a modern messenger: private and group chats and audio-video calls, file exchange, voice messages, images, and videos.
Among the disadvantages of this application is the mandatory entry of a phone number during registration, which leaves the user no chance of anonymity.
- Proprietary end-to-end encryption protocol
- Signal transmission protocol with Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) for all messages and calls
- Possibility of disappearing messages as an additional protection
- Publication of transparency reports and security checks
- Completely free open-source product
- Phone number required for registration
- Lack of video calls with numerous participants
- Unencrypted metadata (Signal encrypts the contents of messages, but not metadata such as the date of sending and receiving, the length of the message and the recipient’s phone number)
Telegram is a messenger that allows users to exchange text messages, voice messages, photos, videos, files, and more. Telegram was founded by Pavel Durov in 2013, and it quickly became one of the most popular messengers on the world market.
Telegram uses end-to-end encryption to protect messages, and it has many features to ensure user privacy, such as the ability to create secret chats, self-destructing messages, and the ability to block access to an account using two-factor authentication.
Telegram also provides an API for developers, which allows them to create third-party applications and bots to work with the messenger. Telegram is also popular among communities that use it to create channels and groups where you can communicate and share information on various topics.
- End-to-end encryption
- Encryption algorithms: MTProto, proprietary protocol
- Open-source applications and Telegram Database Library
- Ability to create secret chats
- Authorization on multiple devices at the same time
- Two-factor authorization support
- The ability to block access to the account
- GDPR compliant
- Some chats are not protected by end-to-end encryption. In such chats, messages can be intercepted by attackers if they gain access to Telegram servers.
- Metadata Storage: Telegram stores message metadata, such as the time of sending and receiving messages, which can be used to track users.
- Backup: Telegram allows users to create backups of chats in cloud storage, but this data is not encrypted end-to-end, which can lead to the leakage of confidential information.
- Optional two-factor authentication: Telegram provides the option to use two-factor authentication to protect the account, but this is not mandatory. This means that users may remain vulnerable if they do not enable this feature.
Read more about Telegram here.
Wire offers a messaging and collaboration solution for corporate communication. The developer of this product guarantees complete security, end-to-end encryption, and compliance with international standards ISO, CCPA, GDPR, SOX.
Wire uses end-to-end encryption protocols to protect messages, files, and voice messages from interception and listening. Wire also provides the ability to communicate in group chats and conduct voice and video calls, as well as the ability to transfer files up to 5 GB. Wire also allows users to delete messages on all recipient devices and at any time to prevent their leakage or unwanted access.
- End-to-end encryption: Wire uses end-to-end encryption to protect messages and files from interception and listening.
- Encryption algorithms: Proteus protocol, WebRTC (DTLS, KASE, SRTP) with PFS.
- Privacy protection: Wire allows users to delete messages on all recipient devices and at any time to prevent them from being leaked or unwanted access.
- Open source: Wire is open-source software that allows researchers to check software security for vulnerabilities and detect them earlier than attackers.
- Complies with ISO, CCPA, GDPR, SOX requirements.
- Server version: Wire allows you to deploy the program on your own server, which helps prevent information leaks.
- Phone number or postal address is required.
- Two-factor authentication is not supported.
- Limited auditability: Wire has limited capabilities for users who want to independently audit software security.
- Unencrypted metadata: Wire encrypts the contents of messages, but not metadata such as the date of sending and receiving, the length of the message, and the recipient’s phone number.