Signal better than Whatsapp-which one to choose in 2021?
Image: Signal.org

Signal better than Whatsapp-which one to choose in 2021?

Signal better than WhatsApp? Which one to use to stay connected in 2021? Whats app or signal app? Which one to use as your messaging service in 2021? The question seems quite bewildering, but here is a simple guide that will help ease all the confusion.

What is the Signal app?

Beginning with what is the signal app, it is a simple messaging app like the Whats App. And allows users to send, messages, share media files, make voice and video calls coupled with many other features. As whatsapp recently unveiled its new privacy policy, privacy concerns have been doing rounds ever since. It has left its users worrying for all the right reasons. So, the Signal app provides a good number of similar messaging features but, with a special focus on privacy. And it also boasts of the privacy-focused tagline “Say Hello to privacy”. Let’s explore more about the similarities, differences, privacy, and security features of both the apps.

Compatibility with various platforms

Firstly, talking about its compatibility with the various platforms, the Signal app is pretty much a friendly app with a lot of them. It has spearheaded through the market and has now clinched the number one position for download in many app stores. And, according to an app analytics Sensor Reporter, the Signal app has seen a rise of nearly 79 percent in less than a week. So, the app is compatible with various operating systems and is downloadable for Android, iPhone, and iPad, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Not, just the compatibility, its ease of usage also makes it a strong contender against what’s app. And that’s the strong reason biggies like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey from the online world have come forward in strong support of the Signal App.

Is Signal better than WhatsApp and new?

To those, who have missed the birth year of Signal App, here is a quick view about when did it come into being. Signal foundation and the signal messenger developed the app and it was initially released in the year 2014. Brian Acton, who was also a co-founder of WhatsApp, and Moxie Marlinspike were the founder of the Signal messaging app. But, later Brian Acton quit WhatsApp in 2017 and funded the Signal app. So, it has a recent stable version is newer than the initial release.

Salient Features, Security and Privacy of Signal app compared with WhatsApp

The Signal app, unlike the WhatsApp application focuses on its users’ data privacy. Although WhatsApp has for its users the standard protocols of security that even the Signal app has but there still is a significant difference between the two.

End-to-End Encryption: Both the apps follow security standards like end-to-end encryption for messages, voice, and video calls. But what’s app still has some questionable room left for data privacy.

Dark-mode: Users can choose to opt from dark or light mode as per their feel preference.

Disappearing of messages: The Signal app also provides its users an option to delete messages, which is a similar option as in whatsapp. The settings for the same can be turned on, and messages can be deleted from anywhere between 5 seconds to a week.

 Desktop support or web version: Both the apps allow desktop support, i.e. you can have your app on the desktop after scanning a QR code. The desktop version is downloadable from signal’s official website.

PIN-verification: Now both what’s app and the Signal app provides this PIN verification. But in the case of the Signal app, the PIN cannot be recovered in case you forget it. But one can always change it from the settings.

Locking chats and blurring faces:

What’s app though provides archiving of chats, but it does not provide locking of a particular chat, unlike the Signal app. The signal app also has an edge over what’s app in a feature called blur faces. The other standard features that the Signal app has been sharing of media files, addressing individuals in a group, and also inviting people through links.

Group chats and video Calling: Signal app allows its users to make groups that can have members up to 1000(which is a new group feature) for chatting as compared to Whatsapp which has only 256 members.  While member limit for group video calling for both the apps is up to 8 members. One has to send invites to people to be added to a particular group. This is different from what users usually do on a whats app group.

Business Account:

Unlike Whats App, Signal does not offer a special provision of having a business account. This means that any user can be contacted and added as a regular user. It does allow you to block any unwanted user at any given point of time like the whats app, though.

Biometric features: While the whats app now has a fingerprint-enabled feature to lock your chats, coupled with a two-factor authentication. The signal app also has finger-print and FaceID features along with a provision of blocking screenshots.

Relay Calls: Having relay calls enabled, you can hide your IP address from the person you want to get connected to. But signal maintains that this might sometimes reduce the quality of calls but still achievable. Another two important features are that you can turn it off when you are typing the message. And also there isn’t any feature like Status that shows when one is online.

Media File Sharing: Both the apps Whatsapp and Signal, allow media file up to a good limit. This involves the sharing of photographs and video clips.

Meta Data Encryption: An important security, as well as a privacy feature that Signal takes pride in talking about, is its metadata encryption. This means that it not only encrypts the data itself but also encrypts metadata. It also provides a sealed sender feature which enables users to hide details of sender and receiver.

Ownership:

While the social media giant Facebook owns Whatsapp now, the Signal app on the other hand is not associated with any tech-giant. They claim of being a non-profit independent organization and develop their app through grants and donations. Thus, the downloading and installation of their app is free for all and they also seem stringent about their acquisition policies. So, compared to what’s app there are least chances of data-leakage via Signal as none of the data is shared with any tech-giants.

Where is my data saved on Signal App and Whats app?

In the signal app, all of your data, say chats, voice messages, media files, etc. are stored on your local device and not on the Singal’s servers. The app does not have any provision to cloud or Google Drive your data. Thus, Signal claims of better security by saving data only on your local device. So, if you switch to a new phone or lose your phone for whatever reasons, and re-install Signal, then old chats or the data will be lost. However, you can always transfer your data consciously before switching to a new, if the need be.

What data do these apps take?

What’s app collects a lot of data from its users. It includes device ID, user ID, registered phone number, email address, all of your contacts, many a time advertising data, Crash data, performance data, diagnostic data, location and also payment information, etc. This data is way more than what the Signal app collects from its users. While Signal on the other hand demands only the user’s phone number to register. It does however take some important data like tokens, keys, push tokens, etc. but this is important to establish communication between two users.

What signal promises to offer soon?

The signal app promises to offer chat backgrounds or wallpapers, stickers similar to what’s app, and also auto-downloading of media files. All of these will seem similar to what’s app.

Final thoughts on “Is Signal better than Whatsapp?”

While both the apps provide a plethora of features, the Signal app is sure to win as far as the data-privacy is concerned. And for the people who are extremely data-conscious, should certainly think of switching onto the Signal app. While what’s app has been bashed extremely hard for its privacy policy, it remains an alternative for millions of people.

Also Read: Top 5 lesser known Indian Inventions

Disclaimer: The above article has been aggregated by a computer program and summarised by an Steamdaily specialist. You can read the original article at signal
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