Should you switch to Signal messenger app?

Should you switch to Signal messenger app

Most probably “Signal messenger” were the two words that you have heard most in recent times. Especially, the crazy and sudden rise of the security concerns due to a privacy-policy update in one of the Signal’s rival app Whatsapp owned by the tech-giant Facebook. Let’s break down all the facts one by one that has been rendered in news and social media and make a detailed comparison between Signal messenger and Whatsapp.

What is Signal messenger?

The Signal messenger is a cross-platform messaging software that was launched back in 2014. It is the successor of the RedPhone encrypted voice calling app and the TextSecure encrypted texting program developed in 2010.

signal app

The messages in signal messenger are encrypted so that no one can see the chats between the two parties over Signal, not even the company. 

Why is it in the news?

Since the launch of Signal, it was not so popular till 2019. After 2019 people started to explore this app and it got a rapid inclination of popularity after the privacy-policy update of WhatsApp in early January 2021. Signal was also promoted by many influencers and tech company CEOs like SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

What has happened in recent times?

In early 2021, Whatsapp announced that it will update its privacy policy and imposed this update from 8th January 2021. The update comprises a couple of changes to its data-sharing policies with its parent company Facebook Inc.

Whatsapp privacy-policy

Whatsapp is an end to end encrypted messaging app meaning no third party can access your chats. The voice calls and video calls through WhatsApp are also encrypted. On the latest update, WhatsApp said that your details except your chats and chat backups will share with Facebook. This raises a critical security concern over its massive user base. Later, Whatsapp clarifies that no data will share for normal users. But this clarification was not enough. People criticized Whatsapp and were looking for an alternative. 

At this point, Signal app came as a saviour. Still, WhatsApp users are switching to Signal. So, here is the million-dollar question, should you leave WhatsApp or not? Let’s compare these two apps.

Comparison between Whatsapp and Signal messenger

1. Both the apps use standard end to end encryption for messaging and calling. Whatsapp uses cloud storages like google drive to save your messages and your chat media. This message can be vulnerable if your cloud storage security compromises. You have the option to turn off your chat back up feature.

On the other hand, Signal app stores your chat backup locally. This makes it less dangerous from online threats.

2. Whatsapp’s parent company Facebook Inc has seen a drastic bumpy times in the past for data breaches. Almost every year, Facebook faces data breaches in massive numbers as its user base is huge. This is not good news for WhatsApp. Also, in the past, there was a rumour that all servers of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram(also owned by Facebook) will be merged. This again raises a security concern as if one of these platforms has some bug, that will affect all other platform’s user data.

Signal app has no such records of these kinds of massive data breaches till now.

3. Whatsapp’s source code is not publically available. This means if there is a bug in the app, that must be fixed only by Whatsapp.

On the other hand, Signal is an open-source software like Mozilla Firefox, so its source code is publically available and you can see and edit the codes. As a result, any bug found in this app takes less time to remove.

4. Whatsapp is an ads-free app still now. But it plans to show you ads soon. And if you use WhatsApp business app for your local shop or business then that data is also collected for advertisement purposes.

Signal is not showing any ads in the app nor plans to implement it in near future. It manages its expenses based on crowd donations.

Should you switch to Signal?

To answer this question is tough. If you are concerned about your chat privacy and share sensitive information then you can try Signal.

What’s new will you get and what’s not after switching to  Signal app?

  1. Signal app is almost similar to WhatsApp in terms of interface. It has a simple interface like WhatsApp. 
  2. Both the apps have a feature to verify the security codes for any encryption-related issues.
  3. Both apps have disappearing messages features. If this feature is turned on then your messages will automatically vanish after a set time.
  4. Both apps have three theme settings- System defaults, Light and Dark.

After using both the apps I found some dissimilarities also.

  1. A Whatsapp group can have 256 members but a Signal group can have 1000 members. So definitely this is helpful to those who are in big groups.
  2. One feature that I miss in the Signal messenger app is the Last Seen feature. This feature enables you to see when the person was last online. In  Signal you can only see the time of message you sent or received. So if you are switching to Signal from Whatsapp you will miss this feature.


So, should you switch to Signal app? Well, that’s up to you. Let me explain.

Whatsapp is still safe to use. And the company claims that your chats, contact and other information is not shared with anyone not even with Facebook.

whatsapp security

So if you are on WhatsApp it is still ok. But if you are over concern with your security or you just want to try a new messenger app then you can switch.

In the end, I can say that if you are online then your data is no more a private entity. You believe or not Somehow it will be used in marketing purpose. Nothing is free, if the service is not a product then you are a product. You have to keep your information safe as much as possible while using any online services or apps. Try to minimise the app permissions and don’t give any unimportant permission to any app. A little concern about these small security steps in our daily life can prevent cyber fraud. 

That’s it for this post. If you have any query please feel free to comment below. Thank you.

What is signal?

The Signal messenger is a cross-platform messaging software that was launched back in 2014.

Is Whatsapp safe?

Whatsapp is still safe to use. And the company claims that your chats, contact and other information is not shared with anyone not even with Facebook.

Which app is better signal or Whatsapp?

Both app is safe to use.