Signal and Telegram continue to grow in popularity every day. So which of these two apps appeals to you?
Due to an update to WhatsApp in recent months and the new user agreement it brings, many people have decided not to use this app. Naturally, it began to look at other alternative messaging platforms in the market. That’s where the names Telegram and Signal came to the fore.
We already know that many people are actively using Telegram. In fact, it is becoming very popular in the business world due to the new features it brings compared to WhatsApp. But Signal is relatively less well known than these other two applications. However, this platform manages to take its name to the top every day, especially in the UNITED States.
Telegram and Signal features
When it comes to security, many people declare Signal a clear winner. For starters, it encrypts all messages end-to-end by default. This means that no one can access your messages except you and the people you chat with. Telegram, in turn, has end-to-end encryption of only some messages and voice calls. The rest are potentially visible to Telegram employees, law enforcement and others.
Signal’s open source encryption protocol is available for everyone to see and anyone to review. This means that defects can be found and corrected quickly. Its encryption is even used by WhatsApp. For Encrypted Private Chats, Telegram uses its own MTProto 2.0 protocol, which is open source on the client side.
Telegram’s encryption technology has a limited history compared to Signal, many information security experts say. Of course, there’s still a consensus that it’s safer than MTProto 1.0. In addition, an academic research paper published in December 2020 suggested that Telegram is fundamentally robust by analyzing the MTProto 2.0 protocol. But he added that more research is needed to consider this protocol package absolutely safe.
Signal collects much less data about its users than Telegram. For example, it usually stores only the date you created your account and when you last connected. Telegram’s metadata may include your IP address (and, as a result, your location), as well as who you are talking to and when.
This means that when authorities arrive at the service provider’s facilities with a search warrant, this data can become important. You can also start Signal chats by typing another person’s number. But Telegram needs access to your contacts before you can send messages to anyone.
This point proves once again a better choice for those who are concerned that someone is using technology to spy on private conversations. Besides, the company belongs to a nonprofit foundation. But the founders of Telegram are Russian billionaires Pavel and Nikolai Durov, who also created VK, the country’s most popular social network. The brothers no longer live in Russia, and their company is in London, but many central operations are underway in Dubai.
Device support and ease of use for Signal and Telegram
Telegram holds the advantage in this category with windows phone support, as well as a Chrome browser extension and a completely web-based option. On the other hand, both Signal and Telegram are available on iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows and Linux platforms.
For both applications, the installation process is relatively simple. Download the software for your preferred platform, sign up using your phone number and enter the verification code that comes with SMS. Of course, in some cases Telegram can also make calls instead of sending code.
After this process, you can proceed to the user information section. At this point, you need to enter a name to complete your profile. But you don’t have to use your real name. For example, you can use a nickname or emoji. You will also be asked if you want to enable app permissions, such as access to your contacts.
Telegram and Signal general comparison
- Individual messages
Signal’s individual messages are end-to-end encrypted by default, while Telegram’s basic one-on-one chats are not encrypted. If you want to protect your communications on Telegram from the platform itself, you need to start a Secret Chat.
- Group chats
Both platforms offer group messaging options. Encryption is still only available on Signal. But at this point, Telegram has a big advantage. Signal groups can contain up to 1,000 users, while Telegram allows up to 200,000 group members.
- Voice and video calls
Both platforms have voice and video calling capabilities. Signal’s encrypted calls support up to 40 users within the group. Telegram is encrypted end-to-end and has a one-on-one video call, as well as voice chat that allows large groups to have conversations where members can come and go. Encrypting from client device to server. But it doesn’t do end-to-end encryption.
- Lost messages
Signal messages in any individual or group chat can be set to disappear between five seconds and a week. Telegram, on the other hand, has a similar self-destruct option not only for Private Chats, but also for regular chats. Let’s also mention that Signal is an image blur tool that lets you hide faces in photos and videos.
Telegram has many more options to personalize your experience. Therefore, it is a leader in this category. There are a lot of settings available that you can adjust around font, size and color themes, including emoji, animation and notifications.
If you send multiple song files at the same time and start them in the built-in media player, the app will create playlists. With Nearby Contacts, you can do surveys and tests, edit photos and videos, and view other users who are physically close to you.
Signal is a much simpler app that focuses on sending basic text, media and voicemails safely, although it recently offered animated stickers and was added to their existing emoji. In general, the platform is easy to navigate and you don’t need to do a lot of customization to get the most out of your experience.