Telegram vs. Signal vs. WhatsApp: Which is best for you?

Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram logos on Android phonesSupply: Joe Maring / Android Central

Messaging apps are a dime-a-dozen nowadays, however on the subject of the large leagues, 3 choices stand out above the remaining. WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal have all observed various ranges of luck through the years. On the other hand, after the new Fb outage, which introduced WhatsApp to its knees and brought about thousands and thousands to flock to Telegram — you’ll be questioning whether or not you will have to transfer too.

WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal are all observed as one of the most best Android messaging apps lately to be had, however relying on the place your wishes lie, one is most probably a greater are compatible over the remaining. So nowadays, we are going to will let you sift via the entirety and make the best choice conceivable.

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Whether or not you might be an current WhatsApp consumer having a look for a brand new house or are simply getting began on the earth of third-party messaging products and services, here is the entirety you want to learn about Telegram vs. Signal vs. WhatsApp.


Signal website showing app availability

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central


Telegram is to be had for all primary platforms, together with Android, iOS, PC, Mac, or even Linux. There also are Internet and Chrome apps, which means you’ll use Telegram simply high-quality on a Chromebook, too.

One of the most best issues about Telegram is that there isn’t any restrict on what number of gadgets you’ll log into directly. So despite the fact that you might have more than one telephones and computer systems, you’ll log into your Telegram account on they all and feature it paintings and not using a hitch.


On the subject of availability, Signal is the weakest of the bunch. You’ll obtain the Signal app on Android, iOS, Mac, Home windows, and PC. Particularly, there are not any apps for Internet or Chrome.

You’ll log into your Signal account on more than one gadgets, despite the fact that there is a restrict of 5 tool connections in line with account. Moreover, you’ll simplest be logged in to Signal on one phone at a time.


WhatsApp is lovely very similar to Signal at the availability entrance, despite the fact that it does have a notable edge. The app is to be had for Android, iOS, PC, and Mac. There is additionally a Internet Jstomer that may appease Chrome OS customers. And for those who transfer between iOS and Android, WhatsApp lately added the approach to transfer your chat historical past throughout platforms.

Very similar to Signal, WhatsApp has strict limits on tool connections. Simply 4 lively gadgets are allowed in line with account, and on the subject of telephones, WhatsApp can simplest be used one by one. On the other hand, WhatsApp would possibly upload multi-phone enhance in an upcoming replace with the intention to get admission to messages on each your individual and paintings telephones.

Best availability: Telegram

Should you use a large number of other units and wish to get admission to your messages on they all, Telegram is the clean winner. And despite the fact that you do not, it is simply great no longer having to fret about tool limits the best way you do with Signal and WhatsApp.

Message encryption

Encryption info about WhatsApp

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central


All 3 apps be offering encryption in a single shape or any other, despite the fact that the implementation differs for each and every. In Telegram’s case, all of your common messages (aka Cloud Chats) are encrypted the use of the client-server/server-client same old. This permits smooth get admission to for your conversations throughout your whole gadgets, despite the fact that it isn’t the similar point of end-to-end encryption you get through default from different products and services.

Finish-to-end encryption is supported in Telegram, despite the fact that you can wish to be the use of the Secret Chats function to make use of it. Secret Chats aren’t routinely sponsored as much as Telegram’s servers through default. To allow the function, you want to show Secret Chats on in my opinion for each and every touch. And, sadly, Secret Chats aren’t to be had for crew chats.

Telegram has reassured that it is “disclosed 0 bytes of consumer information to 3rd events, together with governments” for Cloud Chats saved in its servers, despite the fact that if you are particularly enthusiastic about messaging privateness, you will want to keep on with Secret Chats.


All your conversations in Signal are treated by the use of end-to-end encryption, which means Signal “cannot learn your messages or concentrate for your calls, and no person else can both.” Should you ship or obtain a message in Signal, regardless of who it is from, it is end-to-end encrypted on this style.

This is the principle explanation why Signal has a lot stricter tool availability than Telegram does. Nonetheless, if privateness is of the maximum significance to you, you’ll be OK giving up that comfort because of this. Moreover, crew chats in Signal are end-to-end encrypted and not using a downside.


WhatsApp is nearly just like Signal on this regard, seeing as how all WhatsApp conversations are end-to-end encrypted through default. Which means that simplest you and the individual you might be messaging can see the contents of your dialogue and that “no one in between, no longer even WhatsApp” can see what you might be announcing. Very similar to Signal, end-to-end encryption carries over to crew chats.

This default encryption was once how WhatsApp justified its coverage that you just simplest log into one phone at a time. Now that WhatsApp is allegedly creating multi-phone enhance, we will be able to simplest suppose the corporate is doing so with out affecting that end-to-end encryption — which is not a very easy job. Typically talking, WhatsApp provides that high-level encryption with out you having to think carefully about it.

One different encryption perk: WhatsApp now permits you to again up your chat historical past to Google Force with an encryption key simplest you’ll get admission to.

Best encryption: Signal and WhatsApp

This one is a tie. Signal and WhatsApp each be offering end-to-end encryption through default, making them significantly extra safe than Telegram. On the other hand, whilst you’ll technically get end-to-end encryption in Telegram, the implementation is not just about as seamless or purposeful.

Privateness and safety

Security info about Signal

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central


Out of doors of the fewer safe encryption gadget introduced through Telegram, you will have to additionally understand how the corporate stocks your information. Taking a look at Telegram’s privateness coverage, the corporate states the next:

We would possibly percentage your individual information with: (1) our mum or dad corporate, Telegram Crew Inc, situated within the British Virgin Islands; and (2) Telegram FZ-LLC, a gaggle member situated in Dubai, to lend a hand supply, support and enhance our Services and products. We can put into effect suitable safeguards to offer protection to the protection and integrity of that non-public information. This may take the type of same old contract clauses licensed through the Eu Fee in an settlement between us and our related crew corporations.

Telegram additionally has the proper to percentage your information with legislation enforcement government if it “receives a courtroom order that confirms you are a terror suspect.” Telegram says this has but to occur for what it is value and can be totally clear if it ever does.


Signal’s privateness coverage notes that the corporate would possibly percentage your knowledge with third-parties, with the corporate providing an additional rationalization as follows:

As an example, our 3rd-Celebration Suppliers ship a verification code for your phone quantity whilst you sign in for our Services and products. Those suppliers are sure through their Privateness Insurance policies to safeguard that knowledge. Should you use different 3rd-Celebration Services and products like YouTube, Spotify, Giphy, and many others., in reference to our Services and products, their Phrases and Privateness Insurance policies govern your use of the ones products and services.

Signal additionally outlines different cases by which your information would possibly wish to be shared. Those come with:

  • To satisfy any acceptable legislation, legislation, criminal procedure, or enforceable governmental request.
  • To implement acceptable Phrases, together with investigation of attainable violations.
  • To stumble on, save you, or differently deal with fraud, safety, or technical problems.
  • To give protection to in opposition to hurt to the rights, assets, or protection of Signal, our customers, or the general public as required or approved through legislation.


Whilst WhatsApp will get safety issues from its end-to-end encryption, a contemporary coverage trade required all WhatsApp customers should percentage the next information with Fb — with the specter of shedding get admission to to their accounts if they did not:

  • Profile identify
  • Profile image
  • IP deal with
  • Phone quantity and contacts listing
  • App logs
  • Standing messages

Moreover, WhatsApp famous that they’d then percentage that knowledge with “different Fb Firms … to lend a hand function, supply, support, perceive, customise, enhance, and marketplace our Services and products.”

The Indian executive later requested WhatsApp to withdraw this coverage, and it agreed to not restrict accounts that refused to just accept the brand new coverage. Germany additionally selected to “choose out” and give protection to German customers from agreeing to the ideas call for.

This “voluntary” disclosure apart, WhatsApp got here underneath fireplace lately after a file claimed its messages were not in truth end-to-end encrypted, as a result of its workers incessantly read about “thousands and thousands of items of customers’ content material” and infrequently move information alongside to legislation enforcement businesses.

Fb answered that it simplest examines messages when folks “file unsolicited mail or abuse.” However this does imply that if somebody you message studies you, Fb could have get admission to to the offending statements. It is lately running on a gadget the place you’ll file a unmarried message as a substitute of sending the 5 most up-to-date through default.

WhatsApp was once additionally fined $266 million for violating EU information privateness rules, despite the fact that it is interesting the ruling.

All controversy apart, WhatsApp has begun to include some helpful privateness equipment into its messaging choices. As an example, you’ll ship “View As soon as” movies and pictures that disappear after the recipient sees it. And the corporate is reportedly checking out other disappearing-message durations, together with one the place your messages disappear after simply 24 hours.

Best privateness & safety: Signal

Higher its tighter encryption, clear privateness coverage, and total focal point on consumer safety, Signal is probably the most best choices available in the market if you need a safe messaging app that respects your information.

App interface

WhatsApp home page

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central


Messaging apps have a tendency to be a few of our most-used programs, and as such, you need to ensure whichever carrier you select has a purposeful and satisfying app to have interaction with. Relating to Telegram, that is precisely what you get.

Your house web page presentations a listing of all of your ongoing conversations, and for those who faucet the hunt icon within the upper-right nook, you’ll simply glance up chats, information, and contacts. All your different settings are hidden within the hamburger menu, with this revealing a number of various choices — starting from beginning a brand new crew, viewing your name historical past, having a look up stored messages, and extra.

I believe Telegram may just get pleasure from a backside navigation bar to extra simply provide a few of these options. Nonetheless, after navigating throughout the app and seeing the place the entirety is, it does not take too lengthy to get pleased with it.


Signal has an overly an identical UI in comparison to Telegram, which is to mention it is very minimum and smooth to navigate. Ongoing conversations are introduced on your house display screen, and if you want to appear one thing up, there is a seek serve as on the most sensible of the display screen.

Tapping the 3 dots subsequent to the hunt instrument finds the remainder of your choices, permitting you to start out a brand new crew, mark messages as learn, invite pals, or dive into your settings. I desire the presentation of Telegram, however each apps successfully display the entire identical knowledge on the finish of the day.


WhatsApp’s interface additionally has so much in not unusual with Telegram and Signal, nevertheless it has essentially the most happening with its house monitors of the 3 apps.

The default web page in WhatsApp presentations your whole conversations, and if you want to do a handy guide a rough seek, you might have the hunt function on the most sensible of the display screen. In contrast to Telegram and Signal, despite the fact that, there may be extra you’ll do with no need to open a hamburger or overflow menu.

To the left of the Chats’ web page is a shortcut for temporarily taking a photograph or video, and as soon as you have got captured one thing, you’ll both submit it for your Standing or ship it without delay to one in all your contacts. You’ll be able to additionally in finding two different pages to the proper of your Chats, together with devoted pages for WhatsApp Standing (aka tales) and your name historical past.

To get admission to the settings, create a brand new crew, and extra, you simply wish to faucet the 3 dots within the upper-right nook to view the overflow menu.

Best app interface: Tie

Making an allowance for that design is this type of subjective subject, we are going to name this one a tie. Telegram and Signal are each superb selections if you need a messaging app with a super-clean interface, however for other folks that might reasonably have one thing a little extra purposeful, WhatsApp is also a greater are compatible.


Telegram customization options

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central


Telegram gives tough customization options for customers to tinker with, making it an implausible selection if you wish to fine-tune your messaging enjoy for your precise liking. Taking a handy guide a rough take a look at the Chat Settings web page within the Telegram app, here is only a small style of what you’ll trade:

  • Message textual content dimension
  • Colour theme
  • Message corners
  • Auto-night mode
  • Emoji animations

You’ll be able to understand that Signal and WhatsApp glance to provide an identical customization choices on paper, however on the subject of how a few of these issues are carried out, Telegram is going the additional mile to position extra keep an eye on on your palms.

You’ll use fundamental gentle/darkish modes for your theme, but when that isn’t sufficient, you’ll additionally customise the background and message bubble colours to nearly anything else you’ll consider. You even have extremely granular keep an eye on over your messages’ textual content dimension, with Telegram providing you with a slider that levels between 12 and 30.

Maximum lately, Telegram took a few of WhatsApp’s best customization options. For example, it can help you theme particular person chats as a substitute of the entire app or ship interactive emoji with full-screen results.


Via comparability, Signal’s customization choices are so much much less spectacular. You’ll trade the app’s theme, however simplest to a gentle or darkish mode. You are able to regulate message textual content dimension, despite the fact that you might be restricted to 4 pre-set choices. You’ll upload customized Signal sticky label packs, however so can Telegram. An identical capability is there, simply in a lesser capability.

Some customers are completely high-quality with the customization options Signal supplies, nevertheless it is objectively weaker in comparison to Telegram.


You’ll be able to discover a Chat menu throughout the WhatsApp settings web page to customise your time throughout the app, however the customization to be had to you is restricted, very similar to Signal. Theming is limited to simply gentle and darkish modes. You’ll trade the wallpaper at the back of your conversations and alter your font dimension the use of 3 choices — small, medium, and big.

Sadly, there may be truly no longer a lot else to mention past that.

Best customization: Telegram

If you need a messaging app that permits you to put your individual contact on with reference to the entirety, you can really feel appropriate at house with Telegram. With customization equipment past what Signal and WhatsApp supply, it is the clean winner for this class.

Chat options

WhatsApp logo

Supply: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

There are a lot of various options that move into making a powerful messaging app, and looking in any respect 3 of the products and services we are speaking about, each and every one packs a horny heavy punch. Here is a breakdown of all of the greatest options and the way each and every app stacks up.

Class Telegram Signal WhatsApp
Finish-to-end encryption ✔️ (Secret Chats) ✔️ ✔️
Picture/video sharing ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Record dimension restrict 2GB 100MB 100MB
Voice messages ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Location sharing ✔️ ✔️
Customizable stickers ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Bot enhance ✔️
Crew chats ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Crew chat dimension 200,000 1,000 256
Username mentions ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Message replies ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Voice calls ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Video calls ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Tales ✔️
Internet get admission to ✔️ ✔️

Best chat options: Telegram

As you’ll see, Telegram gives essentially the most intensive feature-set in comparison to Signal and WhatsApp. In fact, that comes at the price of the added safety you get with its competition, however we nonetheless have to present Telegram credit score for cramming such a lot into its app whilst nonetheless offering a clear and easy-to-understand interface.

Crew messaging

Telegram menu

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central


Telegram is probably the most go-to apps for crew messaging. Having a look at the entirety the app gives, it is smooth to look why. Now not simplest does it permit for the biggest crew chats (as much as 200,000 folks), the options incorporated throughout the chats also are essentially the most expansive. Here is what you get:

  • Username mentions
  • Replies to express messages
  • Pinned messages
  • Invite hyperlinks
  • Public teams
  • Bot enhance
  • Quite a lot of admin equipment

You do not essentially want all of those options for those who simply wish to have a easy crew chat with your pals, however if you are having a look to take crew messaging to the following point, Telegram has you lined.


Signal is an ideal platform for crew chats, and similar to your personal conversations, crew chats are sponsored through the similar point of end-to-end encryption. So far as dimension limits move, you’ll have as much as 1,000 folks in one chat.

You additionally get a couple of helpful options for your crew chatting, together with:

  • Invite by the use of hyperlink or QR code
  • Username mentions
  • Admin controls (take away individuals, edit crew data, and many others.)


Crew chats also are supported in WhatsApp, however it is the much less expansive of the 3 products and services in this listing. As an example, you’ll simplest have as much as 256 folks in one crew chat, and whilst that can be greater than sufficient for some customers, it might be a subject matter if you want to house a gaggle chat with as many of us as conceivable.

So far as crew chat options move, the core facets are there. You’ll set limits on who can/cannot sign up for your crew, admins can set explicit messages to ship to different admins simplest, and username mentions are supported.

Best for crew messaging: Telegram & Signal

Telegram and Signal each stand out on this class. If you need essentially the most conceivable options and enhance for as many of us as conceivable, Telegram is a very easy advice. In case you are OK with a reasonably much less expansive feature-set in trade for end-to-end encryption, Signal is methods to move.

Voice/video calls

Voice and video chat for Signal

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central


Voice and video calls are each supported in Telegram, permitting you to communicate past text-based chat. Voice calls are end-to-end encrypted the use of the similar era at the back of Secret Chats and the use of peer-to-peer connections, and Telegram says you get “crystal-clear high quality” with the best audio formats.

Amazingly, you’ll have as much as 1,000 folks on a unmarried Telegram crew video name, making it a device for social gatherings or talks in addition to for non-public conversations.

Telegram additionally makes use of AI to support your video calls over the years. In keeping with the Telegram web site:

Every time you are making a Voice Name on Telegram, a neural community learns out of your and your tool’s comments (naturally, it does not have get admission to to the contents of the dialog, it has simplest technical knowledge similar to community velocity, ping occasions, packet loss share, and many others.). The system optimizes dozens of parameters in line with this enter, bettering the standard of long term calls at the given tool and community.

Every other perk is that Telegram helps crew voice chats. In case you are in a gaggle chat and wish to pay attention your pals’ voice, you’ll right away get started a voice chat room throughout the crew chat and communicate to any person that wishes to enroll in. Even higher, there is not any restrict to what number of people can sign up for those crew chats.


Voice and video calling is additionally supported in Signal, and in comparison to Telegram, you can in finding a large number of the similar nice options. This is the rundown:

  • Finish-to-end encryption for one-on-one voice and video calls
  • Crew calling inside crew chats
  • Customizable settings to modify the structure and your speaker/microphone choices

On the other hand, one thing to notice is that crew calls are restricted to a most of 8 folks. That are supposed to be lots for those who simply have a couple of pals you need to speak with, however if you are having a look for better crew conversations the place many of us can sign up for in, Telegram is the simpler are compatible.


The voice/video calling enjoy for WhatsApp is lovely very similar to Signal, which is to mention there is a lot to love. Voice and video calls are to be had, and prefer the opposite two apps, they are sponsored through end-to-end encryption. Crew calling is additionally supported, despite the fact that the implementation is a little other.

Identical to Signal, WhatsApp crew calls are restricted to 8 folks at a time.

Best for voice & video calls: Telegram

Signal and WhatsApp have forged foundations for voice and video calling, however once more, Telegram does a little bit bit extra to return out forward. All 3 platforms are mainly equivalent for one-to-one calls, however whilst you consider crew calls, the expanded nature of Telegram’s gadget is the clean winner.


Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp on an Android phone

Supply: Joe Maring / Android Central

With all of that stated, the place does that depart us? If all we are doing is choosing a winner in line with which app received essentially the most classes, it is Telegram. On the other hand, the longer resolution is extra sophisticated.

Telegram is an implausible app in additional techniques than one — it is the messaging carrier I basically use for a lot of my conversations. The loss of any tool restrict and large app availability makes it some of the obtainable messaging apps available in the market. It is crammed to the brim with customization choices and contours, and I truly like Telegram’s interface. For my priorities, it is the best of the bunch.

Relying on the place your wishes lie, any of those apps can be a just right are compatible for you.

However that is coming from somebody who does not truly care about having end-to-end encryption for all of my conversations. Signal can be a more sensible choice if you are extra enthusiastic about your virtual privateness and desire a messaging app the place you should not have to think carefully about issues being encrypted.

WhatsApp will have to be offering any other selection, however after months of privateness snafus and its expanding ties to Fb, customers would possibly wish to glance somewhere else. WhatsApp is nonetheless thought to be the number one maximum used messaging app in all the international, however given the truth that 70 million folks created Telegram accounts all over the Fb outage, that might really well trade. Anyplace your family and friends finally end up, that may most probably come to a decision whether or not you keep or move.

All 3 of those apps do positive issues higher than the remaining — it is as much as you to determine the place your priorities lie and whether or not Telegram, Signal, or WhatsApp incorporates them the best way you need. So with that during thoughts and after studying via this information, optimistically, you might have a greater concept of the place you will have to move.

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