WhatsApp is now a facebook application. The acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook raises a mixed reaction all over the internet. Lot of people are planning to switch from WhatsApp to other secure messaging applications. Switch from WhatsApp to an encrypted messaging services will surely increase the privacy of the user.
Here are some secure messaging clients with End-to-End encryption. This will protect the messages stolen by middle man or the server people.
Telegram – Opensource WhatsApp alternative with Secret Chat
Telegram is the most popular Secure messenger alternative to WhatsApp. It uses two layers of secure encryption (server-client and client-client) for the messages sent through it. It is the 4Star rated app with over 400 thousand users.
Telegram client is open-source software. You can watch and download the source code of the client from Github. This repo contains official Telegram App for Android source code. Documentation for Telegram API is available at http://core.telegram.org/api. Documentation for MTproto protocol is available here: http://core.telegram.org/mtproto. This gives the possibility for communities of cryptographers, hackers and public audience to test their actual security. Using two layers of secure encryption with 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, RSA 2048 encryption and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange. It’s impossible to brute force a RSA 2048 encryption key with all the computers available on the universe.
A major feature of Telegram is its Secret Chats. They are self destructible messages which is send from client-to-client and is destructed automatically after a preferred time. This leaves no trace of the conversation. The project has challenged hackers offering $200,000 US dollars in BTC, for intercepting and deciphering a message.
Telegram uses a cloud-based server so you can use different clients simultaneously on GNU/Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Mac. So your messages are always with you safe and secure.
Problems with Telegram : – Telegram, a partly closed-source piece of software (The source code of the server is not available anywhare) written by people from Russia. Telegram stores your contacts without asking. Also, the web site has no mandatory imprint, although it is claimed that Telegram is run by a German foundation. After two days of the contest, a russian cryptography newbie had written a post describing a real vulnerability in Telegram protocol. Paul Miller describes the problems of telegram in depth.
Text Secure v2 – Secure Client with End-to-End Encryption
This is a real SMS Messaging client with all the features of WhatsApp. This app is created by Open Whisper Systems. The source code of the client and the server are available in the Github. So if you want you can setup a server and a client with your own private network.
TextSecure (.apk) is open source and encrypts instant messages as well as messages sent via SMS, which is great and it provides an encrypted fallback mechanism to internet relayed communication. Also, all messages sent or received via TextSecure are stored in an encrypted local database. Messages to other TextSecure users are encrypted over the air, protecting your communication in transit.
This is a real Secure alternative to WhatsApp with top priority to Security. Also with an advanced ratchet, enhanced deniability, and an asynchronous orientation, the TextSecure V2 protocol is much more secure for the asynchronous chat environment.
This is a 4.4 Star rated application with 3000 reviews. It can be the SMS handling application for Android 4.4 Kitkat with a security lock for all SMS and Online Messages.
TextSecure also introduces support for private group chat. Users can create groups with a title and avatar icon, add their friends, join or leave groups, and exchange messages/media, all with the same end-to-end encryption properties pairwise TextSecure chats provide. The Text Secure server does not have access to group metadata such as lists of group members, the group title, or the group avatar icon etc. This make real Private Chat possible.
Problems :- Still you are using the server provided by Open Whisper Systems and the data is with them. The only solution is just study the server source code and run your own. May be this is not practical for all situations.
Threema is not free, but a good alternate for WhatsApp
Threema is a closed-source service from Switzerland with a centralised server system and costs. Its not free and no source code is available for public to see what happens inside. The developers said that it has.
• End-to-end encryption of text messages, images, videos and GPS locations
• Contact synchronization (optional): find other Threema users automatically
• Send images and videos
• Share your location on a map
• Verify your contacts’ public keys by scanning a QR code from their mobile phone, all within the app
You can also sync your contact list automatically and manually. German users have started a shift to Threema after Facebook’s acquisition. German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest issued a recommendation and has been widely spread over the German-speaking interwebz.
Problems :- Closed source means that there is no one who knows how the app works, except their developers. Centralized server system means that all of your encrypted messages are processed by the proprietors of Threema. And costs means not free. The only thing we can do is just trust the developers.
Surespot – exceptional encryption for everyone
Surespot is a secure mobile messaging app that uses exceptional end-to-end encryption for every text, image and voice message returning your right to privacy. This is also another Open Source application with a node.js server, Redis and Cassandra databases. The source code of the server and the android client is available on Github.
It uses 256 bit AES-GCM encryption using keys created with 521 bit ECDH which can only be decrypted by sender and receiver. If you delete a message on surespot then it’s deleted from the recipient’s phone, too. Surespot supports multiple identities on a single device.
Features of Surespot
- surespot is not associated with your phone number or email
- send voice messages when your hands or eyes are too busy to text
- multiple identities on a single device to keep matters separated
- free messenger with no advertising and 100% open source
- your identity is portable, transfer your secure conversations to other devices
- uses 256 bit AES-GCM encryption using keys created with 521 bit ECDH*
In surespot the usernames are case sensitive and the only way you will be identified. Passwords can NEVER be reset or recovered.
RedPhone – Encrypted calls for Android
RedPhone is the encrypted phone call handler for android. It provides end-to-end encryption for your calls, securing your conversations so that nobody can listen in. RedPhone allows you to upgrade a normal call to secure call whenever it sense a redphone user calles you.
- Use the default system dialer and contacts apps to make calls as you normally would.
- RedPhone will give you the opportunity to upgrade to encrypted calls whenever possible.
- RedPhone calls are encrypted end-to-end, but function just like you’re used to.
- RedPhone uses your normal phone number to make and receive calls, so you don’t need yet another identifier.
The source code of RedPhone is available on Github. Redphone supports Secure Calls, Private Calls, Secure VoIP, Private VoIP, Encrypted VoIP, Private Conversations, Free Calls on Android.
Redphone got 4.2 Stars rating in play store with over 1000 users.
These are some of the best End-to-End Secure Instant Messaging Clients in Android and iOS available now. if you are also now planning to switch, get any of above best suitable mobile messaging applications. Switching from one bad service to another bad service is just as bad as staying with a bad service in the first place.
If you got another Secure client on the board then just add the names and we can make a database of best secure clients.
Hope this helps !!!!
WhatsApp, Threema, Telegram, TextSecure v.2
5 Best WhatsApp alternatives with end-to-end Encryption
Open Whisper Systems
The story of Telegram or “Why you shouldn’t listen to Hacker News”