Best telegram alternatives
Technology

Best Telegram Alternatives that Actually Work

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Messaging technology since its inception in the 1990s has been on leaps and bounds. Since then, mobile messaging has made communication simple, convenient, and swifter than ever before. Telegram app has over 55 million active daily users. At the same time, the number of new users signing up on the app every day is almost 1.5 million. The app was designed with a focus on speed and security but lacks in some other respects, where telegram alternatives stand out.

Telegram has its own encryption system that is not enabled for messages by default. The encryption system stores everything on the servers, including contacts, messages, media, and decryption keys. Outside experts put their reservations on the encryption system the Telegram app uses.

In terms of data privacy and security, apps are notoriously tough to trust. Protecting your digital data and privacy can be difficult and sometimes even impossible. There are many alternatives for Telegram offering unparalleled and richer experiences for better collaboration and communication. Some of the top telegram alternatives are reviewed in depth below. Let’s dig deeper into the best apps for international calls and communication.


1. Signal

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: Private messaging, voice and video calls, multimedia messaging.

Signal Messenger is a private, free and multi-platform messaging service that places privacy and security first. The digital industry is slicing and dicing personal information for profits. Signal private messenger is a free cross-platform app that claims to protect your text messages, calls, audio, video chats from any prying eyes.

For secure and private messaging Signal app is a better and popular option. The app boasts end-to-end encryption, which means only the recipient will be able to read the messages. The encryption protocol Signal uses open-source and has extensively been evaluated by researchers.

Signal messenger doesn’t require your phone number to register or store or share the contact lists. The features include customizable wallpapers, stickers, chat colours, and themes. The app also supports voice and video calls, from basic text messaging to multimedia sharing, even for groups.

There’s a personal PIN that can be used to recover user profiles, contacts, and settings if you lose or switch the device. Similarly, the PIN can also add another layer of security by prompting you to enter the PIN periodically to access the app.

Pros:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Multi-platform support
  • Audio, video, and group chat

Cons:

  • Comparatively less seamless experience
  • Lack of fun features

2. WhatsApp

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: Send encrypted messages over cellular or Wi-Fi networks and stay connected to a massive userbase.

WhatsApp was launched back in 2009 now has over 2 billion monthly active users worldwide. It’s a free multi-platform instant messaging app that allows anyone to send messages, multimedia, make voice and video calls, share status for 24 hours with your contacts.

The app’s multi-platform support makes it pretty handy, allowing you to continue the conversation anytime, anywhere. You can make group voice and video calls using the phone’s cellular service or Wi-Fi connectivity. WhatsApp is useful for anyone trying to stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues, or spouse in another country without incurring expensive international roaming charges.

With a simple and easy-to-use interface, the app can automatically identify people in your contact list who have the app, allowing you to message them quickly. Create large groups of up to 256 participants. Change background wallpaper, send live location, or block contacts within the app. WhatsApp Business provides businesses with a quick messaging and connectivity solution.

Pros:

  • Voice, video, and multimedia messages
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Group chat and location sharing

Cons:

  • Privacy concerns
  • Vulnerable to scams

3. Google Messages

Supported Platforms: Android

Best suited for: The best messaging app for Android with a lot more fun and features. Share photos, video, and much more with enhanced features with Wi-Fi messaging.

Formerly known as Android Messages, the Google Messages app is a free text messaging app by Google. It’s a light and feature-rich app with search, organization, spam protection, and theme options. The Material Design makes every inch of the screen looks more appealing and easier to use.

The app is only available on Android devices and serves as the primary app for sending text messages (SMS), MMS, and Rich Communication Services (RCS) messages. Google Messages app also supports sending messages using your computer or any other device. Google Messages app also allows you to send group texts, emojis, stickers, GIFs, audio, and video messages.

The scheduling tool in Google Messages allows you to pick the exact time and date when you want the message to be sent. Moreover, the power of Google Assistant is built right into the app.

Pros:

  • Message scheduling tool
  • Multimedia – GIFs, emojis, stickers
  • Group chat
  • Location sharing

Cons:

  • Limited platform support
  • Security concerns

4. Facebook Messenger

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: Free messaging app with a handy Chat Heads feature, make audio, video calls, send photos to friends on Facebook

Even though Facebook is highly scrutinized and always in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Facebook Messenger is a fantastic app, allows anyone with a Facebook account to chat via text, audio, or video. The platform even enables you to become the default SMS client on your mobile phone.

Secret Conversation feature makes it possible to go underground with end-to-end encryption, where a rich gallery of stickers, GIFs, and emojis makes it easy to communicate with friends and family. Almost everyone is already using Facebook, so beginning with Messenger won’t be an issue.

You can send multimedia from one-on-one to group messaging, including images, videos, stickers, GIFs, emojis, location, and many other file types. The live typing feature, delivery receipt, read receipt, and timestamp can make your life easy.

Pros:

  • End-to-end encrypted messaging mode
  • Group chat up to 250 users
  • Chatbot and third-party apps support
  • Amazing design & widespread adoption

Cons:

  • Can’t chat with non-Facebook friends
  • File-type support limited

5. Talk Home

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for Cheap international calls to more than 240 destinations without the need for Internet.

Talk Home App comes loaded with many useful features. Using the innovative Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, the app allows you to connect to remote locations with high reliability and premium quality voice connection. VoIP combined with the extensive local line network makes it possible that your call and text receiver won’t need an internet connection.

Talk Home App provides reliable and robust connectivity due to the combination of both these technologies. You can call or send SMS to any number worldwide without the recipient needing the app or an internet connection.

Thereby, you can call any landline or mobile number in the world cheaply and send a text message to any mobile number. Similarly, you can top-up your account with funds and transfer mobile credit or balance to any Talk Home App user.

Pros:

  • Crisp call quality
  • Cheap international call rates
  • Serving more than 240 destinations worldwide
  • Send messages to anyone without requiring them to have the app

Cons:

  • No support for video calls
  • Can’t share live location

6. Viber

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: Viber offers extensive features in a messaging platform, add locations, emoticons, GIFs, stickers, audio, and video even on a 3G connection.

Viber boasts over a billion users with its excellent messaging and calling platform. With all the VoIP-based features, you can also make calls to mobile and landline numbers in any country without them needing the app. The feature is called Viber Out, which allows you to make international calls to anyone worldwide.

You can send text messages, voice messages, instant videos, photos, and many other file types. Communicate with playful GIFs and expressive stickers; you can even create your own stickers or GIFs on the app. Viber can be used to make app-to-app voice and video calls, create groups or join communities.

Self-destructive messages disappear after the timer expires, adding an extra layer of privacy to your conversation. Public chats allow you to follow topics of interest such as Disney Theme Parks or your favourite celebrities.

Pros:

  • Voice and video calls
  • Unlimited member communities
  • Cheap landline and mobile number calls

Cons:

  • Comparatively slow
  • Doesn’t have secure and private communication

7. Threema

Supported Platforms: iOS | Android | Desktop

Best suited for: Excellent secure messaging app with anonymous chat and features that offer you a comprehensive feel and look.

Threema is another end-to-end encrypted messaging app that doesn’t require you to sign up using your email or phone number. A secure and anonymous messaging platform with a meagre one-time fee of $2.99 to download the app. The app boasts more than 8 million active users with plenty of features.

Like most instant messaging platforms, Threema allows you to send text, voice messages, share media, files, and location. You can make voice and video calls while protecting your chats and hide chats from showing up on the main app screen. So, your confidential chats remain secret; even the notifications of the messages for a private chat have no message preview.

You can mark any chat private by long-pressing the chat and selecting the private chat option. Private chat will require a PIN to enter the vault of private chats. Sending photos from the media gallery while editing them on the go makes it easier to crop the image or add a filter. Not just that, you can even search for images with image recognition by using keywords. Creating polls and agree/disagree features allows you to make team communication easier.

Pros:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • Not free
  • Lacks some of the advanced features

8. Skype

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: An effective communication service, Skype offers free voice and video group conferencing while allowing you to make standard calls to any phone number.

Skype is one of the oldest and solid choices for anyone looking to make efficient communication. Skype is another name for video conferencing, with over 300 million users worldwide relying on the platform every month. You get to enjoy a raft of features along with the new encrypted messaging.

Skype is almost free to use, and either purchases a one-off package or a recurring subscription of Skype Credits. Using Skype Credits, you can call mobile and landline numbers while being able to send SMS messages. The app enables you to record calls and save them for up to 30 days of the teleconference.

Sharing multimedia, including photos, videos, GIFs, stickers, emojis, and any other file type, seems effortless. The app allows you to add live captions to video calls, with end-to-end encrypted chat and live translation supporting ten languages making it stand out. Use Skype’s in-call chat window, polls, add files from OneDrive or directly from the computer, and even share music from Spotify.

Pros:

  • Seamless experience
  • Voice and video group chat
  • Real-time language translation
  • Low rate calls to any number worldwide

Cons:

  • Privacy concerns
  • SMS is outbound only

9. Line

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: Line is a popular messaging app with cute stickers and enticing characters with many features to make communication easier.

The Line app has over 700 million users worldwide with animated stickers and cute characters with a growing user base. The app allows you to play games and share animated stickers of all sorts of series and franchises, making it compelling to use.

Line app provides free VoIP-based calls, instant messaging, and video calls. Like most other apps, you can register using your mobile numbers and allow you to make paid calls to landline and mobile users in addition to the free app-to-app calls and text messages. You get to enjoy several social networking features, like timelines like Twitter and Facebook timelines.

Sharing multimedia files, including voice recordings, pictures, video files on the go is also supported. You can even edit photos before saving or sharing. Purchase emoticons and stickers from the Sticker Shop and Theme Shop. Group messaging can include up to 100 people in a single group. And adding friends can be fascinating by shaking the respective phones close to one another or using the QR codes.

Pros:

  • Plenty of personality-oriented features
  • Voice and video calls
  • A large array of stickers and characters

Cons:

  • Limited audience
  • Calls to landlines numbers are paid

10. Discord

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: Uniting people from across the world, especially gamers on public servers. Strong low-latency voice chats make it an ultimate voice chat lobby that’s always on and available.

Discord is entirely free with numerous excellent features such as unlimited file storage and a gamer’s aesthetic. It’s not a secure and enterprise-class messaging app. The app is designed to be fun and unconventional, with small pop-ups and cartoon-like icons to get you through essential functions.

In the free version, up to eight people can have a video chat. And push-to-talk channels make voice communications more vibrant and steadier. A minor glitch you’ll experience in the app is that it doesn’t support threaded conversations. However, the app is primarily intended as a gamer’s portal meant for entertainment and fun. Discord can be used for business purposes or to discuss school functions, non-profit projects, or any upcoming event.

The success of Discord primarily rests in the fact that it makes voice communication over the Internet seem like the other person is sitting right next to you. The app feels more “real-time” than many other messaging apps out there.

Pros:

  • Live screen-sharing option
  • Stable voice chat
  • Readily available servers

Cons:

  • Primarily for gamers

11. Snapchat

Supported Platforms: iOS and Android

Best suited for: Snapchat is a fun and artful way of sharing photos and videos with friends with a unique timer feature. Teenagers and young adults are addicted to the unique messaging and image sharing app with video chatting, disappearing messages, and numerous masks.

The social network Snapchat got its fame by letting everyone share photos and videos that self-destruct in a few seconds. Though it might seem useless to you, there are lots of people out there who love the idea of sending out private photos and videos. That won’t leave any evidence of existence once viewed.

There is a wide variety of filters and basic editing features in the app to modify your photos and videos. You can host public channels, update stories or watch stories of people who made their stories public by choosing a location on a map. If someone screenshots your stories or messages, the app notifies you, so your chat is almost always secure.

Pros:

  • Unique, fun, and interactive interface
  • Voice and video chatting
  • Fast ephemeral messaging

Cons:

  • Content is restricted inside the app
  • The interface is a bit obtuse

FAQs

Is there an alternative to Telegram?

Yes, there are many good alternatives to Telegram, depending on your needs and preferences. The best alternative to the Telegram app will be Signal; it’s both free and secure. Other great apps like Talk Home App, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger can also be opted for depending on your environment and needs.

What apps are better than Telegram?

When it comes to instant messaging applications, you can find countless options. Though the Telegram app is secure and private, there are some security concerns. Some of the better apps than Telegram is:

  • Signal
  • WhatsApp
  • Viber
  • Talk Home App
  • Threema

Is Telegram safer than WhatsApp and other apps?

From the encryption perspective, Telegram is the worst. Though it offers end-to-end encrypted secret chats, it does not offer the same encryption as WhatsApp or Signal by default. Telegram’s cloud-based security architecture can be a severe risk compared to the end-to-end encryption default in WhatsApp.

What are the disadvantages of Telegram?

Telegram doesn’t show the status of your contacts, whether the person is online or offline. At other times, you must open the app to receive messages ruining the true sense of the “instant messaging app.” The app doesn’t have voice message support, doesn’t support downloading multiple files at once. In ordinary chat, the messages are not encrypted.

Is Telegram safe to use in 2021?

Yes, Telegram is safe to use as it offers end-to-end encryption between all voice and video calls. Telegram provides a certain level of security and protection, but end-to-end encryption is only enabled for secret chats on the app. The secret chat option works only between two people and can’t work with groups.

Conclusion

Humans rely solely on communication with friends, family and businesses thrive with effective communication channels. Instant messaging apps are quickly becoming the go-to solution for anyone trying to stay in touch with almost everyone worldwide. From individuals to small businesses and large enterprises, almost everyone uses chatting apps to make quick and influential connections.

We’ve gone through several Telegram alternatives to see which app suits your needs and can serve you better. One app might be the best for security, another for innovative multimedia communication, and others like Talk Home App for cheap international calling worldwide. Now, it’s your choice to select the app you want and need to stay in touch with your loved ones.

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