WhatsApp is the world’s leading secure messaging platform, but now it needs to catch up with Signal. In fact, despite its popularity, the Facebook application faces obstacles due to its calls which are only available on the phone unlike its competitors.
Facebook solved this problem with its messaging rooms on multiple platforms: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. However, these messaging options do not offer end-to-end encryption, unlike WhatsApp which guarantees its users maximum privacy.
This is because WhatsApp offers voice and video call security on iPhone and Android, and recently increased this capacity to allow eight users to share the same call. All calls are secure with end-to-end encryption. The big news is that WhatsApp now has a full desktop app in the works that will allow users to make calls from their computers.
Nonetheless, this brilliant WhatsApp alternative has been overshadowed by the news of Signal launching by Uber-secure. The platform has indeed started beta testing the new individual video and voice calls from its desktop application. While this app is not yet available for group calling, Signal’s announcement suggests it has this in mind.
Much like WhatsApp, Signal keeps Zoom in mind as the market leader has made group video calling easy for millions of users, both in the workplace and in their personal lives. Signal said, “This release is just a first step towards our goal of having secure voice and video calls available on all your devices.” Signal subsequently returned to Zoom’s past encryption and security mistakes as well as their premium service. Regarding this, Signal added, “In addition to being end-to-end encrypted, our features will be free to everyone.”
Signal is by far the best secure messaging app available today. Additionally, for all those users who don’t trust Facebook for their messaging, Signal is the best option. The latter only has two drawbacks compared to WhatsApp. The first is that there are not enough users yet, the second is that there are no backups, as such. If you lose your device, you lose all of your messages.
Signal is growing rapidly thanks to users’ enthusiasm for security and privacy as well as its adoption during recent protests in the United States and Hong Kong, where Signal was considered the best secure messaging platform for anyone who is worried about the interception of their information, metadata or tracking. In addition, WhatsApp’s encryption is based on the same open source protocol as Signal, although Signal keeps its development transparent so that it can be reviewed by third parties for vulnerabilities, which is not the case with WhatsApp.
Now on to the second point, backups: Signal allows users to transfer message history to a new device, although only once a new device is paired, nothing is transferred automatically. So if you lose your primary device then you will have to start over.
Although WhatsApp supports the backup of conversations and media, these are currently stored in the Apple or Google cloud without end-to-end encryption. This means that users lose the protection that has become WhatsApp’s main asset when making a backup. This is another issue that WhatsApp is reportedly working on for a future release.
In addition, Signal is also introducing message requests, which will allow users to control who can send them messages on the platform apart from their contacts. The need for this measure was in part motivated by the rise of Signal, as with the increase in the number of users, the risk of unwanted messages increases.
For months, WhatsApp has been releasing interesting code updates in new releases, but Signal is always one step ahead. That’s why we need urgent WhatsApp updates on our devices, in particular, end-to-end encrypted backups as well as linked devices, because the competition is not lagging behind, and Signal is becoming the Messaging app of choice for millions of users.
Finally, if you haven’t used Signal yet, I highly recommend that you install it on your phone and give it a try.