Comparison between WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal and the difference between them


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Published 2 Years Ago On Thursday, May 5, 2022

There has always been a debate on the comparison between Whatsapp, Telegram and Signal. questions such as Is Telegram better than WhatsApp? is WhatsApp secured than Telegram? Is WhatsApp worse than Signal? Which app is better  between Signal, whatsapp or Telegram has been raised over the past few years.  
In this article i will help in determining which one of these popular messaging apps is the best for you? i am here to help you decide, with my WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal Comparison. 

Messaging Apps Availability and Popularity


  1. WhatsApp, an online messaging app, supports Androids running on OS 4.0.3 and later, iPhones working on iOS 9 and later; furthermore, it supports phones running on iOS 2.5.1 and newer.
  2. You can install WhatsApp’s desktop app for Mac or Windows PC or access from a WhatsApp web browser (for these to work, your smartphone must be connected to the internet).
  3. There is no WhatsApp app for iPad, iPod or Apple Watch.
  4. WhatsApp can only operate with one phone number on one device at a time.
  5. You can’t transfer your chat history between platforms. As an alternative, WhatsApp provides the option to export your chat history as an email attachment.
  6. WhatsApp is available in 60 languages on Androids and 40 on iPhones.
  7. WhatsApp deletes accounts after 120 days of inactivity.
  8. However, when it comes to availability and popularity, WhatsApp’s advantage is its prevalence. Over two billion people around the globe are using WhatsApp, so the chances are that everyone you know and talk to is already on WhatsApp, maybe even including yourself reading this article.


  1. Just like WhatsApp, the Telegram iPhone app supports iPhones running on iOS 9 and above, while Telegram for Android supports Android 4.1 and later.
  2. There is a native macOS app and a universal Telegram desktop app for Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can also use your browser and access Telegram Web. Telegram apps work independently, so your phone doesn’t have to be connected to the internet unlike in whatsapp.
  3. Telegram app is also available for iPad and Apple Watch.
  4. One of Telegram’s strong points is that you can log in to Telegram from as many devices as you want and all simultaneously. If you use the same phone number to log in on every device, your cloud chats will sync right away.
  5. For now (When this article was published), Telegram is available in 13 languages.
  6. Telegram deletes accounts after six months of inactivity and the interesting part being that You can change this period in your settings.

One of the difference between Telegram and WhatsApp is that once Telegram deletes your account, it deletes all of your messages, pictures, contacts, all your data; meanwhile, if you register to WhatsApp on the same device, your locally stored content will reappear (There is also ways to move your chats and files to your new phone).


  1. Signal application supports Androids running on version 4.4 or newer and iPhones operating on iOS 11.1 or later.
  2. There is the Signal desktop app for Windows, Mac and Linux distributions supporting APT. These desktop apps work as standalone applications, so they work whether your mobile device is present or connected to the internet.
  3. Signal also supports iPod and iPads.
  4. What Signal doesn’t offer, and its competitors do, is Signal web.
  5. You can use the Signal on one mobile device and up to five linked Signal desktop apps.
  6. Signal is available in 12 languages.
  7. Unlike WhatsApp and Telegram, the Signal messaging app doesn’t delete inactive accounts. On the other hand, if you wish to delete your account, you can unregister from Signal.

Core Features and Services


  1. WhatsApp Messanger’s set of features has all basics covered, alongside free text and voice messages, as well as voice and video calls.
  2. You can share photos and videos. 
  3. There is a capability to send over documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, contacts, location details, etc.
  4. The size limit for these files is 100MB.
  5. WhatsApp offers group chats with up to 256 members only, where you can mute or customise notifications, have voice and video calls with up to 8 individuals, etc.
  6. They provide the Status feature, very similar to Instagram Stories – you can post images and videos of up to 30 seconds, and they are visible for 24 hours.
  7. You can enable disappearing messages on WhatsApp, so after seven days, your messages disappear (in individual or group chats).   
  8. You can set up WhatsApp dark mode, dynamic wallpapers and use emojis, GIFs and stickers.


  1. Like WhatsApp, Telegram offers free text and voice messages, voice and video calls, media sharing, and sharing of location details, files and documents. and the size limit for any data is much higher than its competitors, a whopping 2GB.
  2. Telegram’s leverage over its competitors is that it allows multiple accounts on one phone, for both Android and iOS. WhatsApp and Signal can only be registered on one phone number per one device; therefore, you can only choose one number to verify with WhatsApp or Signal if you have a dual SIM phone.
  3. Telegram provides the ability to edit your messages after you’ve sent them, something that WhatsApp and Signal don’t offer, and it is a considerable advantage, especially if you are cautious about “grammar nazis”. On all three messaging apps, you can delete your messages. What differentiates Telegram from the other two apps is that you can delete them without a trace. Meaning that after you delete a message, no one would even know it was there in the first place. All that remains is a blank space, without the “This message was deleted” sign, unlike Signal and WhatsApp.
  4. Telegram has group chats for mind-blowing 200,000 members and provides Telegram Channels, which is their unique feature. Telegram Channels’ capacity is unlimited, making it an excellent tool for sharing messages with a vast audience.
  5. Only admins can send messages, and each message has a view counter that shows when the message is viewed and even more when it’s forwarded. Since February 23, 2022, groups approaching the 200,000 members limit can transform into Broadcast Groups that allow unlimited members. 
  6. Telegram’s invite links for group chats and channels can be with a limited duration, a limited number of users or both, and links can be turned into a scannable QR Code to be put on everything – posters, billboards, brochures, etc. It is an excellent option for businesses as you can verify which users joined using which invite link. This way, you know which format has been the most effective for growth.
  7. On top of all that, Telegram presents numerous features that can be implemented into group chats and channels – polls which can be anonymous or public, quizzes, automated bots and games. These can come in handy and are rather enjoyable, making them massive Telegram leverage over its rivals since none of them offer these features.
  8. When it comes to voice and video calls in group chats, Telegram provides something a bit different. Voice Chats for Telegram group chats, which members can join and leave whenever they want. Voice Chats can be created by admins only and can accommodate a few thousand participants. Telegram messaging app plans to add video and screen sharing in the imminent future, so for now, group video calls are not provided.
  9. Telegram has a Secret Chat option, where they use end-to-end encryption and can only be used on their devices of origin. Messages from secret chats can’t be forwarded, and they state that they will try to alert you about screenshots taken in your secret chat. Still, they encourage you to talk to people you trust because it is possible to bypass such notifications and take screenshots unnoticed. You can set your messages, images, videos and documents to self-destruct after the recipient has read them. Messages disappear from both devices. This option is solely for Telegram Secret Chat. Option for all Telegram chats, somewhat similar to WhatsApp’s disappearing messages, is the auto-delete timer. This way, you can automatically erase messages for all participants 24 hours or seven days after sending, and not after they have been read like in Secret Chats.
  10. You can also make Chat Folders, so if you have many chats, this feature helps you separate and organise your conversations in any way you please.
  11. There are over 20,000 Telegram stickers and animated stickers, emojis, animated emojis, GIFs and other customisation options, and Telegram can be adjusted to run in dark mode.
  12. Instant View on Telegram enables users to view articles in a simple, readable way. When you get a link to an article, all you need to do is click on the Instant View button, and it will open with zero loading time.
  13. Telegram Passport is another useful feature, an authorisation method for services that request your ID. All you need to do is upload your documents one time and promptly share them with services that request your data. You don’t need to worry about your documents’ safety since they are stored in the Telegram cloud using E2E encryption. Only you know the password, and Telegram can not access your data stored in the Telegram passport. Whenever you need to use this feature, your stored data will go directly to the receiver.
  14. As you have seen, Telegram’s set of features is quite impressive, and they have undoubtedly taken advantage of WhatsApp controversy to their advantage. At the end of January 2021, Telegram introduced the “Moving Chat History from Other Apps” feature. So if your main reason for sticking to WhatsApp is your chat history and memories, Telegram made sure that you don’t have to worry about that any longer. If you think you’ve heard it all, you’ve got another thing coming.
  15. Telegram introduced an option for immediate access to your most significant chats, Telegram Widget for your home screen. The Shortcut Widget displays only names and profile pictures, while The Chat Widget also reveals a preview of your recent messages.


  1. Like its competitors, Signal messenger app has all of the essential features covered – free SMS (text) and MMS (group and media), voice and video calls, option to share location, files and documents. The size limit for sending MMS is 300kb, which is a rather small capacity compared to WhatsApp, not to mention Telegram.
  2. What Signal provides against its competitors is an option to make Signal messaging the default SMS/MMS application. This way, users are sending and receiving unencrypted SMS messages in addition to the standard E2E encrypted Signal messages. This is possible only on Androids.
  3. Group chats can have up to 1000 members, while voice and video calls are currently limited to eight participants.
  4. You can set Signal’s disappearing messages to vanish after anywhere between 5 seconds to 7 days. Unlike WhatsApp’s case, anyone in the Signal chat can manage disappearing messages. For a sender, the timer starts after a disappearing message has been sent. However, for a receiver, the timer starts after they’ve read the received message. Similarly, you can send view-once images and videos, which automatically disappear after sending or seeing them.
  5. A feature that Signal provides, and neither WhatsApp nor Telegram do, is Message Reaction. This option allows you to respond to a message with an emoji reaction, which can be quite convenient and add up to a conversation dynamic.
  6. Another Signal’s feature is Note to Self, which enables users to send messages to themselves, even the disappearing messages. It is an excellent concept since it can be used as a virtual personal notepad.
  7. Similar to Telegram’s Instant View, Signal provides an option called Link Previews, which is available for sites that start with HTTPS. Telegram is in the lead when it comes to this option since its Instant View is available for all sites.
  8. Signal also provides emojis, stickers, GIFs, change of your wallpapers, dark mode option, or even use of incognito mode for your android’s keyboard.

Messaging Apps Security

WhatsApp Security

WhatsApp privacy and security arrangement is likely the reason you are here, in the first place. Is it safe to use WhatsApp? When it comes to your messages, they are secure since WhatsApp uses an end-to-end encryption method (E2E) which means that only you and those you are chatting with can see the messages, and not even WhatsApp can intercept or see your messages. What’s interesting is that WhatsApp’s encryption protocol is none other than the Signal protocol, one of the most secure protocols out there. This protocol is open-sourced, which means that it is open for the public. Everyone can review them, enabling individuals to find problems and errors, resulting in their quicker repair. So what’s all the fuss about, you might wonder? Well, while messages are E2E-encrypted, backups and metadata are not. WhatsApp collects your metadata – IP address, your name and mobile phone number, location history, your contacts and their phone numbers, even your device type. WhatsApp’s new Privacy Policy means that your metadata will be shared with Facebook, and there is no way to prevent this. Well, unless you delete the app. However, it is worth mentioning that WhatsApp explained that the changes are related to optional business features on WhatsApp and that it doesn’t influence messages with your family or friends in any way. It seems as though their explanation didn’t change much in peoples’ perception of this new Privacy Policy, however. WhatsApp provides two-factor authentication (2FA) and an option to lock your messages with your fingerprints. WhatsApp’s history includes several hacking attacks, amongst which one of the victims was none other than Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, whose phone was hacked through WhatsApp. In December 2019, WhatsApp confirmed they repaired a security glitch that would enable hackers to access user’s data via a malicious GIF. Users only had to open their gallery within WhatsApp for the hack to be activated and their content exposed. Luckily, no one was affected by this hazard.

Telegram Security

Unlike its competitors, Telegram uses client-server encryption for its personal and group chats (cloud chats), which means that Telegram has access to your messages since it handles the encryption and decryption of them at their servers. For Secret Chat and voice and video calls, they use the E2E Telegram encryption method. Telegram uses its MTProto, a custom encrypting protocol developed by Nikolai Durov and other Telegram developers. It is based on 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange. Telegram’s apps are open source as well as Telegram Database Library, and everyone can evaluate and validate them on GitHub. When it comes to user data, Telegram collects and keeps your phone number since it is mandatory for verification of your account, the username you choose, and contact information. On top of that, they might collect and store for up to 12 months your metadata such as your IP address, devices and Telegram app you’ve used, history of Telegram username changes, etc. They state that they might reveal your IP address and phone number if asked by relevant authorities, so if you want to hide your IP address, consider using a VPN.

Telegram provides 2FA and a feature to lock your messages with a passcode or your fingerprints. Has Telegram been hacked? Same as WhatsApp, Telegram has been hacked several times. One of the times was in 2019, during Hong Kong protests when activists reported security breaches that enabled law enforcement to track them. These security violations inspired Telegram to add a new option for users, allowing them to hide their phone number from everyone. In the mid-2020, Telegram was disclosed to a security breach in which users’ phone numbers and Telegram IDs were exposed on the darknet. The company stated that 60% of leaked data was incorrect, and 84% was outdated, 70% of the leaked accounts were based in Iran, and 30% were from Russia.

Signal App Security

We’ve come to the most secure instant messaging app of all. Signal uses its encrypting protocol- Signal protocol for end-to-end encryption, used for all messages and calls, without exception. Every individual chat has a unique safety number that enables you to check the security of your messages and calls with particular contacts. As we already mentioned, Signal protocol is open-sourced, and it is available for examination on GitHub. WhatsApp and Signal use the same protocol, but, Signal is the more secure app of the two. How can that be, you might wonder.

We talked about the metadata WhatsApp collects, and the list is long. In contrast, Signal collects only one thing: your phone number, which means that information like your messages’ time and location are also encrypted and can’t be accessed by anyone. Signal took a step further when it comes to your privacy, introducing a feature called Sealed Sender. With this feature, even Signal doesn’t know the sender and receiver’s identity or any other correlated information. As stated on Signal- “One immediate thing seems clear: 2020 is a pretty good year to cover your face.” Inspired by the mid-2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, Signal launched a feature that can help preserve the people’s privacy and identities in the photos you share- blur tool. Signal blurred faces– security measure is available for both Android and iOS Signal apps. Same as its competitors, Signal supports two-factor authentication and an option to secure your messages with a PIN code or fingerprints, TouchID, or FaceID.

Knowing the hypothesis that Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps, if not the most secure one, we have to ask: has Signal been hacked? Signal has never been hacked, and the only way to do so is if “the hacker” is someone who physically holds your phone and can simply open the app and look into your messages. With all this in mind, we can conclude that Signal’s security is genuinely inviolable.


After all of this, can we answer the questions from the very beginning? Which app is the best? Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. It greatly depends on what you value the most, what is the right fit for you, and your needs for social messaging applications.

WhatsApp’s updates haven’t brought any new and significant features for a while now, but they do introduce a new policy that is generally seen as a downgrade to the app’s security. As you know, the policy encountered people’s disapproval but is still in the plan for implementation, which only shows WhatsApp’s “take it or leave it” attitude. Is their arrogance ultimately going to cost them their dominance? Let’s just say new policy sends people in Telegram’s and Signal’s direction.

If you want to leave WhatsApp in the past, and your biggest concern is having access to the largest number of users, Telegram is currently your best option. If useful functions are what you desire, Telegram’s extensive amount of features that expand with every new update should be enough to sway you over. However, If you seek privacy and security, no doubt Signal should be your go-to app.

It all comes down to your personal preference. Is it WhatsApp which was people’s choice until recently, Telegram with special features or Signal, the most secure messaging app? We hope that our WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal Comparison has helped you reach that decision.

Please let us know on the comment section your take on our comparison. 

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