'Review of the best private alternatives to WhatsApp: Signal, Threema, Telegram, Element, Wire, SimpleX.' 2024-02-08

  • Here are the six best WhatsApp alternatives:
  • Best WhatsApp for privacy: Signal
  • Best WhatsApp for anonymity: Threema
  • Best Open Source WhatsApp alternative: Element
  • Best Alternative to WhatsApp for companies: Wire
  • Best Group Chat Alternative: Telegram
  • Best Decentralized Chat App: SimpleX
  • Decentralized and Anonymous Chat: Session

... Signal is our top choice for maximum privacy.
When it comes to popular chat apps WhatsApp reigns supreme. Yet its reputation has been declining rapidly, not in the least because of privacy concerns and its acquisition by Meta (formerly Facebook). What messaging apps are better suited as privacy-friendly alternatives? We've looked at six popular WhatsApp alternatives that focus on protecting your privacy and security.

Best alternatives to WhatsApp
Ever since WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014, its reputation has gone down, and with every new Facebook-related scandal WhatsApp suffers. This is made worse by the fact that in America and Europe, Facebook Messenger is the number 2 most popular chat app. And while WhatsApp is still the most popular chat app with more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, more and more people are asking themselves what is the best alternative to WhatsApp?

The reason for people looking for the best WhatsApp replacements is simply that the chat app does not have a great privacy reputation. The most prominent scandal about WhatsApp has made it to the collective memory: In 2021 WhatsApp changed its privacy policy, ultimately privacy-first alternatives like Signal boomed.

Why should you drop Meta's chat ecosystem of WhatsApp, FaceBook Messenger, and the recent arrival Threads? The answer is simple, Meta's business model operates by providing you the user with a 'free' service, thereby turning your behavior and data into a marketable product which they can in turn sell to advertisers and build their own ad service. This is made worse by the fact that WhatsApp biggest competitor is Meta's own Facebook Messenger. If this isn't leaning towards the creation of a chat monopoly, I'm not sure what is. This shouldn't be surprising because this practice is common among Big Tech companies. The ability to communicate with secure end-to-end encryption shouldn't be dependent upon selling our digital souls and there are many great WhatsApp alternatives. The data mined by Big Tech platforms can create a detailed picture of nearly every intimate detail of your life. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, summed it up well when he stated "We Know Where You Are. We Know Where You've Been. We Can More Or Less Know What You're Thinking About."

This should not be the status quo for our digital existence. Thankfully, there are a number of great private messaging apps available for your smartphone or desktop computer which offer the same ease of use and features, without Meta's painful price tag and abuse of privacy. Not only are they more private, but many offer better encryption making them a safer app than WhatsApp.

Before deciding on an alternative chat app to WhatsApp, it's most important to look at what the international competition does better than the Silicon Valley tech giant, namely their attention to privacy and security.