In their own words, “Unexpected focus on privacy combined with all the features you expect” is what the signal private messenger app people have to say. On top of that they have been kind of validated by Edward Snowden and now Tesla boss Elon Musk. So surely, surely it’s got something different to offer in the sea of messaging apps.
Quick look : Signal private messenger
- Signal is an encrypted messaging system. It uses state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption (powered by the open source Signal Protocol) and NO ONE else can read others message.
- It is open source
- Signal is peer reviewed
- Signal is funded by grants and donations
- No ads and no trackers
- It is free, independent and a non-profit.
- It is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux
- Even voice and video calls are encrypted
- Even the American Military have used it in deployment
- Already downloaded over 10 million times (said to be more than 30 mill)
Origin of Signal and some more tricks
The app was created by Moxie Marlinspike, American cryptographer and currently CEO of Signal Messenger. The Signal Technology Foundation also known as Open Whisper Systems was created by WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton and Marlinspike. Acton, who left WhatsApp back in 2017, has put in around $50 million to help with funding Signal.
The major difference between Signal and other apps is that it chooses to collect minimal user information to provide all the similar features.
End-to-end encryption, enabled in Signal by default, is powered by the open-source Signal Protocol that secures both conversations and encrypts metadata as well so that no communication is kept hush hush. It lets you choose custom alerts for each contact or disable sound completely. Built-in image-editing features let you sketch, crop, blur, and flip photos. You can read receipts, use stickers, and approve or block messages from specific signal users.
And thanks to Whatapp’s recent update about pushing announcements to users and sharing data with Facebook, Signal has seen a sharp spike in downloads.
Cool features of Signal private messenger app
- It has ‘Relay Calls’ where your call will be routed through a secure Signal server to hide your IP.
- You can turn off your Received confirmations
- You can turn off ‘typing..’ indicator
- No ‘Online’ status like other apps
- You can turn off link previews from websites
- Security pin for the app and if you lose it, you lose all
- You can make group calls
- People can send links, photos and videos
- You cannot backup your data to cloud
Signal surely has a lot of features that’s similar to WhatsApp. But the Facebook-owned messaging app has over a billion users and even uses the Signal’s encryption to keep chats private. But the thing is WhatsApp raises a few concerns that Signal doesn’t.
Firstly, the very fact that it is owned by Facebook means the primary interest is in collecting information about you to sell you ads. That alone may deter those who feel Facebook already knows too much about us. Even though the content of your WhatsApp messages are encrypted, Facebook can still extract metadata from your habits, like who you’re talking to and how often.
That will be the biggest selling point of Signal and pulling more users in the future. It is not going to be easy and billions are already using apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, Snapchat etc and quite a few don’t worry too much about privacy in casual chats but they should. Newer messaging apps like Telegram which is also encrypted are shifting the masses towards this but it is going to take some time.
In today’s world of cryptocurrency and digital assets, privacy is highly desired. So unless someone breaks into your phone and also knows your pin there is no other way to get hold of what you have been talking about in Signal private messenger. It is the way forward.