The 5 best WhatsApp alternatives

Over a billion people around the globe use WhatsApp to keep in touch, and while people have been looking for alternatives after some controversy recently, it can be difficult to stop when your circle of friends is already entrenched.

The 5 best WhatsApp alternatives
As with most messaging apps of this type, you can only communicate with others who are also using WhatsApp (c)

WhatsApp is a great messenger, but so are these five great alternatives

As with most Messaging Apps of this type, you can only communicate with others who are also using WhatsApp - messaging apps aren't universal like text messaging. There is no way to send someone an SMS from WhatsApp and receive it on Facebook Messenger or vice versa. This is what makes it so difficult to leave services like WhatsApp. They only work if you take your friends with you.

You may still want to leave WhatsApp because you'd prefer to avoid a service owned by Facebook. Or maybe the recent Terms of Service changes are still bothering you. Or maybe you just want to try something new, because every chat service has its advantages. Here are five messaging alternatives for you and your friends.


The easiest switch if you come from WhatsApp would be Signal. WhatsApp's encryption scheme is based on Signal, and many of the features you need can be found here too. Signal offers end-to-end encryption and you can have group chats, video chats, and voice calls. You can also share photos and videos, GIFs, emojis, and more. Signal takes pride in its strong data protection promise, but still works like a modern, full-fledged Messaging app.

One thing Signal lacks is a WhatsApp Web equivalent to see your chats in a web browser on any device. However, the service offers a desktop app that offers similar functionality. However, unlike WhatsApp, Signal's desktop app only shows new messages from the time you started using it (thanks to the strict way the service handles encryption and privacy). You can't see older messages like you can on WhatsApp.

Signal also supports disappearing messages when using this feature on WhatsApp. In contrast to WhatsApp, however, you can determine the length of time after which messages disappear yourself.


The wire is a premium end-to-end encryption (like Signal) messenger that was developed by a few of the same people who developed Skype. Similar to Signal and WhatsApp, you can log in with your phone number. Alternatively, you can also register with your e-mail. Once that's done, Wire will assign you a username preceded by an “@”, similar to Twitter.

The wire is a little unfamiliar to use, but it does the job with video calls, voice calls, one-on-one, and group chats. Wire's end-to-end encryption also uses a ratchet system like Signal and others.

Much like WhatsApp, Wire has a web app that you can use. However, you will need to set an email and password to use it, and it will not display any chat history that took place before enabling the web app.

>Related: Share link in WhatsApp status

>Related: Messenger Signal is more popularthan WhatsApp

>Related: WhatsApp New Policy


Telegram is another incredibly popular Messaging app. It also supports end-to-end encryption, but as an optional function called “Secret Chats”, which must be activated for each conversation. That means we can't know how good (or bad) Telegram's approach to privacy is because outside experts can't verify the encryption on their terms.

Telegram has all of the basic functionality you need, including one-to-one Messaging, group chats, video calling, and voice calling. A feature called “Self-Destruct Timer” allows messages to disappear, but you can only use it when “Secret Chats” is enabled. Telegram also has a desktop app.

Just like WhatsApp, you sign up with a phone number and all of your contacts who are already on Telegram will be put on a list, with a one-click option to invite those who aren't there.

Telegram was founded in Russia but is now based in Dubai.


The last WhatsApp alternative to using your phone number when signing up, Viber has been around for almost 10 years. It supports video and voice calls, one-to-one text messaging, and group messaging. Additionally, there is a feature called Communities that offers group chats with fewer membership limits and greater control for administrators.

Viber also has a note-to-self feature which is a nice addition.

Like Telegram, Viber's end-to-end encryption is proprietary; however, the company says it uses the same basic ratchet system idea as Signal.

As with some other WhatsApp alternatives, Viber offers a desktop app in addition to the mobile one.


Keybase started primarily as a method of identifying yourself online. Now, however, Keybase has a variety of functions such as Messaging, the ability to encrypt documents and synchronize them between devices and share documents and folders with other users.

When Keybase came out, it was primarily intended for power users. You needed a GPG key to use it, and almost everything was activated from the command line. But now Keybase makes it much easier to get started. After you log in, Keybase will still ask you to prove your identity by connecting to another of your online accounts, e.g. B. with Facebook, Twitter, GitHub, or your website. Still, it's a lot easier than it used to be.

Keybase's Messaging is more limited than Signal or Telegram. It doesn't support video or voice calls, and whether or not it gets these features may depend on Keybase's new parent company, Zoom. However, Keybase offers disappearing messages and group chats (called Teams) that Keybase positions as a Slack alternative.

Keybase is available for Android and iOS, and there are also desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux. We should also note that in announcing the Zoom takeover, Keybase did not guarantee that the Keybase apps would continue to exist.

And there you have it! Five good - great - alternatives to WhatsApp. Each Messaging app has its own unique character, and with five options there is enough choice here to meet everyone's needs.