12 messengers for secure communication
Messengers are one of the most used applications. We share the most private and classified information. In this article, I have collected 12 messengers that care about protecting your identity, information and communication security.
Briar was created for the safe communication of activists, journalists and everyone else. Unlike analogues (for example, Telegram), Briar does not have a central server. All correspondence is synchronized directly between users' devices.
If there is no internet connection, Briar can use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. And if there is a network, synchronization works based on Tor. The sources are open.
Telegram (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, web)
Telegram from comrade Durov is one of the most popular messengers at the moment. And for many, it is synonymous with privacy and anonymity. Keep in mind, however, that the options for protecting your data differ slightly between platforms. And we are not talking about anonymity at all, although many people think that it is in Telegram.
In Telegram, you can share any familiar content, create chats (up to 200,000 people) and channels. Don't forget about bots. There is support for voice and video calls.
By default, correspondence is not encrypted, which allows synchronizing communication between clients. To activate end-to-end encryption, you need to use special secret chats.
Encryption keys and all information are stored on the company's servers by default. Secret chats are an exception.
The clients are open source and the server side is closed source. It is possible to use the API for your own development.
Signal (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
Snowden helped a lot in promoting private messengers, and Signal in particular. If he uses it and has not been caught yet, then we can use it too.
Signal is built on top of TextSecure and RedPhone. Here you can chat face to face and create group chats. No data is ever transmitted to the company's servers. End-to-end encryption between devices is enabled by default. You can make voice and video calls.
All source code is open source.
Wire (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, web)
The most unexpected thing for users in Wire is that the messenger is paid. The Wire Pro plan will cost $ 5.83, and the Wire Enterprise plan - $ 9.5. You can read about the difference between tariffs here.
The messenger offers group chats, video and audio calls, conferences, and all this with end-to-end encryption. Among the additional features, it is worth highlighting: the ability to share a screen, create guest rooms (for communicating with people from the outside), control command parameters, synchronization between devices.
The sources of the clients and the server side are open.
Threema (Android, iOS, web)
Threema was developed with user data security in mind. End-to-end encryption is enabled by default, and your information never reaches the company's servers.
In the app, you can share your location and use contact sync. There are voice and video calls.
All source codes are open source.
Ricochet (Windows, macOS)
Ricochet is considered an experimental project. Its essence lies in the fact that you can not give anyone any information about yourself. That is, the goal is not only the security of your data, but also anonymity.
You can start chatting with anyone without revealing your identity and IP address. No one will ever be able to find out with whom and when you corresponded. The server part is missing, and the connection is made using P2P based on the Tor network.
Your login is the secret address of the server. The source code of the messenger is open.
Compared to the rest of the messengers in this article, aTalk isn't all that secure. The application is based on Jabber / XMPP, if you still remember what it is. And the connection is protected by end-to-end encryption using OMEMO or OTR protocols.
Session (Windows, macOS, Anroid, iOS)
Session is a secure and anonymous messenger. To register, you do not need to provide your mail or phone number. Instead, you are assigned a Session ID.
The company has no servers. All work happens thanks to custom servers around the world. All information is transmitted in an impersonal form, and no one can access it or find out who it belongs to.
End-to-end encryption, IP hiding, group chats, open source.
Adamant Messenger (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, web)
Adamant Messenger uses blockchain to operate. To be precise, the messenger is based on Ethereum. The kit includes a crypto wallet for buying and selling currency.
Communication is end-to-end encrypted with algorithms such as Diffie-Hellman Curve25519, Salsa20, Poly1305, and signed by SHA-256 + Ed25519 EdDSA. Data is never transmitted to the server.
Safe Text (Android, iOS, web)
Safe Text has been developed to protect the data and anonymity of its users. No one can find out who corresponded with whom and when.
It is possible to delete messages after sending on the recipient's devices with auto-delete support. And taking screenshots is prohibited by the application.
Status (Android, iOS)
Status is powered by Ethereum. The application has a crypto wallet and a browser with decentralization support. Data transfer is carried out on the basis of a P2P connection between users.
The sources are open.
Olvid (Android, iOS)
No Olvid user data is sent to the server, and no personal data is required to use the application.
Data is transferred through "secure channels". Unfortunately, little is clear from their description on the site.
Comments powered by Talkyard.