Difference Between WhatsApp and Signal

Communication has made our life easier because we can communicate with one another even when we are separated by great distances. Communication technology has improved to the point that we can accomplish most of our job while sitting in one place, whether it’s talking to friends or family members in different countries, ordering pizza, doing office work, or any other task that requires internet access.

Everything is done in a minute with the click of a button.

WhatsApp vs Signal

The main difference between Whatapp and Signal is that Whatapp is considered less secure in terms of privacy as compared to Signal. WhatsApp is one of India’s most popular and frequently used messaging apps, but it has recently been under criticism for its revised privacy policy. Several users migrated to Signal due to privacy worries, despite WhatsApp’s assurance that all chats are encrypted and cannot be viewed by it or Facebook.

WhatsApp and Signal

WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware, cross-platform consolidated instant messaging (IM) and voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by Meta Platforms that is available worldwide. Users can exchange text and voice messages, make audio and video chats, and share photographs, documents, user locations, and other stuff through the app.

To sign up for WhatsApp, you’ll need a cell phone number and internet connection.

The non-profit Signal Technology Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC developed Signal, a cross-platform centralized encrypted instant messaging service. Users can send messages to individuals or groups, which can include files, voice messages, photos, and videos.

It can also be used to make group voice calls and video calls, and the Android version can also be used as an SMS application.

Comparison Table Between WhatsApp and Signal

Parameters of ComparisonWhatsAppSignal
Information CollectedCollects a lot of information of the user like contact, identifiers, location financial info, etc.Collets only the contact information of the user
SecurityLess secure More Secure
Type Instant messaging, VoIPEncrypted voice calling, video calling, and instant messaging
Developer(s)Meta Platforms, Will Cathcart (Head of WhatsApp)Signal Technology Foundation,
Signal Messenger LLC and contributors
Initial releaseJanuary 2009July 2014

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a communication app that is installed in our smartphones, we can use it to send and receive text messages, pictures, videos and make calls, and more. WhatsApp is free to download, signup for, and use, it is also safe as long as you don’t talk to strangers, and it is easy to use as well.

WhatsApp uses the internet connection to send messages to our friends and family. If we connect our device to a WiFi network WhatsApp won’t use our data plan.

We can import contacts from our device’s address book automatically without having to add everyone individually; it will automatically detect which people are already using WhatsApp and add them as contacts. It offers a lot of options for ways to communicate, we can send text messages, pictures, record audio or video messages, and make phone calls.

We can use the WhatsApp group chats feature to share comments, ideas, and updates with up to 100 people all in one group message, this is a great way to send messages between a group of friends or for business teams that need to share information and collaborate.

Although WhatsApp is one of the best messaging apps, but there are some flaws related to it, according to the recent findings:

– WhatsApp has been found to have a worrying vulnerability, according to researchers.

– Due to a major weakness involving only a phone number, users may be locked out of their accounts.

– It is recommended that WhatsApp users implement two-factor authentication on their accounts.

What is a Signal?

The Signal is considered to be the most secure messaging app, it does not collect any user data and the communication is completely encrypted. In 2010 IT security expert Moxie Marlinspike founded the company Whispersystems, he was one of the most mysterious people in the tech world not much is known about his childhood and early life.

He was a great programmer and a hacker. Whispersystem was bought by Twitter in 2011 the reason being as Marlinspike being the head of cyber security, could work on improving the security of the microblogging platforms this way.

In 2013 Marlinspike left Twitter and returned to working on encrypted communication with Open Whisper Systems and this is how the Signal app came into life in 2015. Today Signal has approx 40 million users.

On the outside of the app has an even bigger impact on end-to-end encryption Facebook, Skype and Google use Signal encryption protocol and even WhatsApp encrypts its data with it.

Brian Acton the founder of WhatsApp sold WhatsApp to Facebook, he is also a privacy fan he with Marlinspike founded the Signal foundation in 2018. The non-profit organization advocates for open source private technology like the Signal app, act and contributed capital of 50 million Euros to the foundation.

The Israeli software company Cellebrite had to experience how far Marlinspike is willing to go to defend his privacy messenger. Cellebrite offers digital and forensic tools for security agencies the FBI uses this tool so does the military in Myanmar and Cellebrite falsely claimed to be able to hack Signal.

Moxie Marlinspike was not going to give up so easily he then hacked Cellebrite and found security gaps that made it possible to manipulate the data Cellebrite provided to security agencies, hence all the data in Cellebrite was potentially compromised and useless for a legal proceeding. And the charges that were put on Signal by Cellebrite can now be disputed in court.

Signal provides all the services that a demanding messenger should provide and it security feature is outstanding, but it has been criticized for that the criminals and terrorists could also use the app for encrypted communication.

Main Differences Between WhatsApp and Signal

  1. WhatsApp does not include mobile text messages, whereas Signal includes mobile text messages.
  2. WhatsApp interface is very easy to use whereas, the Signal interface is a bit difficult.
  3. WhatsApp collects more data as compared to Signal.
  4. WhatsApp has closed source code, whereas Signal has open-source code.
  5. When it comes to secure messaging and user data WhatsApp is considered less secure as compared to Signal.

Conclusion

Instant messaging is one of the most widely used methods of communication since it is more convenient than emails and phone calls, especially when only a few words are required. WhatsApp and Signal are the two most popular apps for sending instant messages, and it is used by millions of people around the world.

There are several features that these two apps provide to their users, but it has its flaws as well WhatsApp is less secure and Signal can be used by criminals for their benefit. However, these two apps are working towards the betterment of their users and sooner or later they will fix things up.

For now, these two apps are the best apps for communication that connects us with our near and dear one.

References

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