Best Free WhatsApp Alternatives for Better User Privacy & Safety

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This article covers some of the best free WhatsApp alternatives for better user privacy and safety. WhatsApp has revised its privacy policies recently which indicates that the company is going against its own words on user privacy. According to new privacy policies, WhatsApp will share some user details with Facebook and other Facebook-owned companies. This includes phone numbers, service-related information, transaction data, mobile device information, IP address, and information on how you use other Facebook-owned services. This change is going into action on February 8th, 2021, and WhatsApp users have to agree with the service in order to keep using the messaging service.

This has sparked a conversation about user privacy all around the internet. This ongoing debate has made many users consider other alternatives for better privacy. There are many options in the market offering a variety of features that you can go with. But in this case, the active userbase of the service matters a lot. So, here are three alternatives to WhatsApp offering similar features with a decent userbase.

Also read: Firefox Preview: Free Privacy-focused Android Browser by Mozilla

Best Free WhatsApp Alternatives for Better User Privacy

Signal

whatsapp_privacy_alternative-signal

Signal is one of the best WhatsApp alternatives when it comes to privacy and security. It is an end-to-end encrypted messaging service that is run by a non-profit organization. Singal has an open-source protocol that offers end-to-end encryption where no third party can access your data, not even Signal itself. The service is popular among journalists and got recommendations from some popular people including Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Edward Snowden. Similar to WhatsApp, the app is cross-platform with desktop clients for PC. Here are the main highlights of the service:

  • Free (without ads)
  • Cross-platform (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Windows, Linux)
  • Encrypted Chat Groups (up to 150 participants)
  • Video and Audio calls
  • Disappearing Messages
  • Message Request
  • Screen Lock
  • Local chat backups
  • No data collection

Telegram

whatsapp_privacy_alternative-telegram

Telegram is another messaging platform people are migrating to. It is a decent messaging app that offers almost all features that you get on WhatsApp except Stories and end-to-end encryption. The chats and group chats are not end-to-end encrypted but it offers to disappear message feature which is end-to-end encrypted. Telegram is also available cross-platform and lets you share files up to 1.5GB in size. Here are the main highlights of the service:

  • Free (planning to introduce ads)
  • Cross-platform (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows)
  • Chat Groups (up to 200,000 participants)
  • Video and Audio calls
  • Disappearing Messages
  • Screen Lock
  • Chat Backup on Telegram Cloud
  • Collects name, phone number, contacts, and user ID.

Viber

whatsapp_privacy_alternative-viber

Viber is an old player in this game which was quite popular before the WhatsApp era. It is also getting users’ attention as a reliable alternative to WhatsApp. Viber also offers end-to-end encryption for chat, voice calls, video calls, and group chats. It is available for Android, iOS, and Windows. Similar to WhatsApp, it uses Google Drive for chat backup. Viber has ads to offers teh service for free and assures that no one has access to your chats. Here are the main highlights of the service:

  • Free (with ads)
  • Cross-platform (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows)
  • Encrypted Chat Groups (up to 250¬†participants)
  • Video and Audio calls
  • Disappearing Messages
  • Screen Lock
  • Chat backup on Google Drive
  • Collects Location, Device ID, Phone number, User ID, Contact Information, Product Interaction, and Purchase History.

Wrap Up

These are a few alternatives you can consider if you are planning to leave WhatsApp. You can pick one of these depending on what features you need and where most of your contacts are. I personally recommend Singal as it offers full user privacy without any ads or data collection, and matches most of the features of WhatsApp.

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