Best Telegram Alternative – The most popular instant messengers in the world are far from the best.
Many of them are vulnerable: data can be leaked. And some have ads and paid features. We chose several messengers that are suitable for text and voice communication without unnecessary features and trackers.
Best Telegram Alternative
Advantages. Signal uses its own Signal Protocol end-to-end encryption technology for all messages, calls and media. When using it, even the servers transmitting this data will not be able to access user information. Signal Protocol is also used by large companies like Skype.
Group chats also have end-to-end encryption: they can be configured to auto-delete messages and restrict group invitations. Messages from group chats cannot be forwarded to other chats.
For secure communication, video calls are also provided on the Signal server over a secure channel. The messenger can hide your IP from the interlocutor, but because of this, the quality of the picture will decrease.
Otherwise, Signal repeats the functions of Telegram. Users can send and create their own stickers, set a timer to delete messages. The chat has a one-time media option: the messenger will automatically delete photo and audio messages after viewing.
Signal is ad-free and has no plans to introduce any. There’s also an “incognito keyboard” feature that disables automatic typing learning while using Signal.
Disadvantages. Unlike Telegram, Signal does not support uploading files larger than 100 megabytes. The application for computers does not work without being tied to a smartphone: you will have to enter using a QR code .
Advantages. “The most secure messenger in the world” is how Dust developers call their application. Dust supports end-to-end data encryption and deletes all data from the conversation after 24 hours, regardless of the chat settings.
At any time, interlocutors can delete messages – both their own and others. The application also sends a notification if the interlocutor took a screenshot of the correspondence or forwarded your messages to another user.
Disadvantages. Dust doesn’t have a desktop app – it’s only available on smartphones. Using the application is not very convenient because of its interface: the developers used different fonts, the icons are too large, there is no Russian language.
Discord was originally created for gamers. But over time, the application has become universal: it is used both for communication of interests and as a working tool. The channel system repeats Slack: you can distribute communication across different text and voice chats.
Advantages. The main advantage of Discord is convenient voice chats with good call quality. You can create separate communication channels and connect to them: your friends will see when you join. It is easy to create your own communities for communication: distribute roles with different functions among users and connect bots. For example, you can listen to music from YouTube together or watch memes from Reddit.
The application is synchronized between PC and smartphone. If you wish, you can skip the installation and open Discord in your browser.
Disadvantages. It’s easy to get confused about Discord’s settings and features – it’s overkill for simple messaging. Some advanced features like creating animated emojis are blocked in the basic version. Community customization and an increased amount of downloadable files are opened for paid boosts and a Nitro subscription – now it can not be bought in Russia.
When Google announced it was shutting down Hangouts , users were left with two alternatives from the company: Google Meet and Google Chat. Meet has been turned into a calling and conferencing app, while Chat has been turned into a messaging and collaboration app within the Google ecosystem.
Advantages. Google services are connected to Chat: Disk, Documents, Presentations. Files are easy to share in private messages and groups. For collaboration, there is a special Spaces feature to make changes to files in real time and see comments from other users.
Сhat is suitable both for communication in a small group and for a huge company. The maximum limit of participants in one chat is 25,000.
Disadvantages. If you don’t use Google services, Chat won’t be useful. As a standalone messenger, Chat isn’t as user-friendly as the other apps on the list. Services are not end-to-end encrypted: attackers can hack into your Google account and see all correspondence. For calls, you will have to use Google Meet.
What’s special: Integrates into the Apple ecosystem
What you need to register: Apple ID account
Where available: macOS, iOS, iPadOS and watchOS when connected to the Internet
iMessage combines a basic SMS application and a network messenger. When there is no Internet connection or if your interlocutor has Android, SMS is sent. If the connection is established, the messages go through the network.
Advantages. Messages in iMessage sync seamlessly across all Apple devices. Photos, videos and audio are uploaded to the company’s server. And sometimes you don’t even need to download files again to send media: the application will simply create a link for the interlocutor to iCloud.
Among the chips are branded Memoji. These are character-based emoji stickers that users create.
For security, Apple uses the Apple Push Notification Service, its own protocol for synchronous transfer of binary data. The company notes that encryption occurs on the device itself, so it does not have access to messages.
Disadvantages. There are still security issues : the network claims that privacy can be put at risk if message backups on iCloud servers are activated. If this is important to you, it is better to disable this feature in the settings.
Also, iMessage is sometimes devoid of convenient features. For example, voice messages on iPhones cannot be heard in the background in other applications. And they automatically disappear after listening if they are not saved in time. But Apple continues to update the messenger: in iOS 16 it will be possible to edit messages and unsend them.
Advantages. Bridgefy uses bluetooth to send messages instead of the internet and mobile network. Therefore, all messages do not enter the network or servers. Bridgefy is useful in places without internet access or in small areas with a weak signal.
There are two types of chats in Bridgefy: private chats and public rooms. You can create a private conversation only with a user who is within Bluetooth range.
First choose a name for your smartphone. Then you need to write any message to the open room – it will be visible to all nearby users. After that, you can be sent an invitation and start a private chat.
Disadvantages. You can send messages only at a distance of 100 meters. The distance can be even shorter if there are additional obstacles between the two devices, such as walls. Users complain that the application sometimes does not work at all. Can’t send media files, only text.
Advantages. Session uses decentralized servers to transfer information. This means that it will be more difficult for attackers to gain access to your data. At any time, you can see which IP addresses the Session is redirecting your messages to.
Session does not require an email or phone number to register. When you create a profile, the messenger creates a unique ID for you. To contact another user, send him an ID or a QR code in another messenger .
Disadvantages. It will not work to make a group chat with an invitation link in the same way – each participant will have to be added manually. There is little scope for customization: there is only a choice between light and dark theme.
You cannot add contacts directly from your phone – you must manually send your ID to another user. The file size limit is 10 MB. You can only restore your account using a passphrase that you need to remember.