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Signal – the race for more privacy centric messaging

By January 19, 2021January 23rd, 2021No Comments
Signal - the race for more privacy centric messaging - signal header

Have you seen the single app in the top charts on the App Store so basically all platforms and taking the world by storm was over 50 million downloads check your messenger is not for profit profit-centric messaging app that is taking on the likes of WhatsApp and messenger head-on but why are people making the change why now and how can Signal be a benefit to your business let’s break it all down

Like other messaging apps, Signal messaging allows you to message groups, share photos, files, have voice calls, video calls, and have group chats up to 1000 people. A big tech company does not own Signal; instead, it is developed by a non-profit foundation funded by donations. Unlike its competitors, Facebook and WhatsApp Signal aren’t there to try and make money of sharing your data with advertising companies.

Signals look isn’t too different to any of its competitors (it’s quite normal for a chat app) however it’s all under the hood where Signal stands out. The conversations on Signal are encrypted using a protocol designed by Signal is self. This means that not even the Signal owners can monitor the messages you’re sending, which is a big positive. More important than that is the chat logs aren’t put on any servers, they are secured through the secure enclave on your device and chats are end-to-end meaning only the other people you’re talking to can view the messages.

Of course, other messaging apps offer encrypted messaging as an option. But for Signal it’s on by default and provides additional privacy features, including self-destructing messages, and that will automatically be removed after a short period. Again, these privacy features are on by default.

Signal has been around for quite a long time; however, it’s only just reached mainstream acceptance with more than 50 million downloads in the last few months. Encryption is the most significant feature, and that’s why so many people seem to be turning to Signal, because they are concerned about their privacy.

So many more people want to bring the conversations out of Facebook’s spying eyes. At the start of 2020, Apple announced new privacy features in IOS14, making it compulsory for apps to show the way they’re sharing your data, and WhatsApp came to find that it’s privacy measures would be shared with the public.

Signal has been around since 2013. It’s been a long known piece of software with privacy advocates and activists like Edward Snowden endorsing back in 2015 along with Elon Musk and Twitters CEO Jack Dorsey late 2020.

There are some big differences between Signal and Telegram, here’s what you should know to help you determine if Signal or Telegram is better for you.

The things that Telegram and Signal have in common is they both advertise as being private and secure. Big corporation owns neither of the apps. A not-for-profit owns Signal, while a private company owns Telegram. I could see that Signal in the future could have a freemium version of the app, which will give you some plus features for a monthly price subscription. Unfortunately, because a private company owns Telegram, it is more likely to sell ad space.

Both Signal and telegram chat apps come with all the standard features you’d expect of a messaging app: Photos file transfer voice and video calls. They both offer iPhone, iPad and Android apps along with Windows, PC, Mac apps also.

To join, all you need is a phone number for both. There’s no need to give more information than necessary.

Signal has better privacy features than Telegram. in fact, Signal is built from the ground up with privacy in mind. End-to-end encryption is offered for both Signal and Telegram; however, Signal uses it as a default. In contrast, Telegram offers end encryption through a ‘secret chat’ option. The ‘secret chat’ option is only available for one-on-one chats and isn’t provided to group messages, unlike Signal encrypts even group messages.

Signal conversations are stored on the device as default. In Telegram, they’re stored on servers which can be synchronised between devices which is great if you regularly switch from your laptop to your phone for messaging. That’s one of the big difference between the two platforms where the conversation is stored on the device by default and not on servers so if you go to an Android device none of your previous messages will show up.

One of the coolest features that I found is the ability to automatically blur faces in photos that you sent on the group message or just a one-on-one message that is very cool.

Telegram offers many features that Signal can’t; for example, you can have a 200,000 Person group compared to 1,000 on Signal (I don’t know why you’d want this). Imagine how chaotic that group chat would be. The other great thing is that Telegram allows users to transfer files up to 2 GB in size, while Signal when you can only transfer files up to 100MB.

Telegram allows you to also add bots to conversations, which is slightly different from what Signal allows; however, it isn’t available through private encryption. Still, the ability to use bolts to reply to messages is a big plus if you’re looking at offering to go-to information to a client.

Overall the telegram app has a friendlier interface and allows you to add sticker packs and gif animations and customise your backgrounds for conversations. That being said, Signal has announced that these features are being included in later updated to the platform. Will they be a paid add on we will have to wait and see.

Should you use Signal or Telegram?
If you’re if needing privacy for your communications, then you probably want to pick Signal. However, if you need more flexibility, then you should take a look at Telegram. The biggest drawcard for me is that Telegram allows you to sync your messages on all of your devices. More or less, you’ll have to give up full private experience or have less convenience of cloud syncing. An upside of both systems is that they don’t need integration with the big corporations like Facebook and Twitter that ask for your data to create your account.

Both these systems are going to change over time. They will have new features, so it’s worth doing your research and playing with both of them to see which one you prefer for personal or business use. For me, privacy is always crucial. I’ve been using Signal for some time and Telegram, and I do like Signals privacy-focused design. Telegram is excellent, but I feel like it’s not as secure, and maybe that’s why Signal has taken the world by storm is because it is just more secure. The world seems to be more alert of privacy, and maybe less is more.

So how do you get started with Signal? Well, all you need is to download the app on either the App Store on your iPhone or iPad or Google Play for Android. The setup process is quick and straightforward, and all you need is a phone number and access to your contacts of course contacts is optional, but that’s the best way to use Signal. From there, you can start conversations with anyone from your contact list who has an associated signal account.

If you want to start talking to someone who doesn’t have Signal all they have to do is download it and sign up, and you’ll get a notification when that contact signs up for Signal. Alternatively, you can download the Signal desktop app for Windows, Mac or Linux, and from the Signal foundation website. You can sync your messages from the signal app on your phone to your computer however it is optional.

What are your thoughts on Signal? Are you using it is it something that you think you may use? Let us know in the comments below.

As always keep an eye out on our blog because we will be doing a how-to video so you can see how to use Signal in your business workflow.