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

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WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps out there, with over five billion downloads on the Google Play Store alone. However, the messenger is losing users at a rampant rate because of the privacy havoc it created by updating its privacy policies.

Signal and Telegram, two messenger apps 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.

Why you should stop using WhatsApp?

Based on WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, the messaging app will mandatorily share users’ data with Facebook starting February 8th. Users have no choice but to accept the changes unless they wish to stop using the app.

The shared information will include “account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others” and a lot more.

Signal vs Telegram: The best WhatsApp alternative?

Signal and Telegram are both feature rich, reliable and easy to use chatting apps. That being said, one sits at the top over the other in certain aspects. Here are the big differences between the two WhatsApp alternatives.

Privacy

Given the context, it’s only natural that privacy is one of our biggest concerns. Now, the big question — which of the two is the most private messaging app?

We will answer that will by looking at Apple’s new app privacy labels, which tell users what data is being collected by the app — that acted as one of the biggest catalysts in bringing changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

iOS privacy labels are divided into three categories — Data used to track you, Data linked to you and data not linked to you.

Here are the stark differences between the data requested by Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp:

Signal

  • Phone Number

Telegram

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Contacts
  • User ID

WhatsApp

  • 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

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 —

Note: We will be adding more features to the list in the next few days.

Note: We will be adding more features to the list in the next few days.

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, iPadOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

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

Signal vs Telegram: Conclusion

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.

Charanjeet Singh

Charanjeet Singh

Charanjeet owns an iPhone but his love for Android customization lives on. If you ever ask him to choose between an iPhone, Pixel or Xiaomi; better if you don't.
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