Signal or WhatsApp? Here's how these apps differ and help you decide which one to use.
Whatsapp vs Signal: A Rundown (2021)
Currently, WhatsApp is the largest messaging service in the world with over 2 billion monthly active users. Following that, Signal stands at a point of 10-20 million monthly active users. Studying these numbers, it’s clear to the world that WhatsApp is widely popular and while Signal appears to have just touched the million downloads race. Having said that, numbers don’t tell you everything and that’s why Vibrand Digital Solutions bring you a detailed difference between WhatsApp and Signal.
Currently, the latest update from the Slant community is while comparing Whatsapp vs Signal, it recommends Signal for most people. In the latest trending question “What is the best team chat software?” The Signal app is rated in the 2nd position while Whatsapp is rated 31st. The most relevant purpose the world chooses Signal is: Signal works on an advanced end to end encryption protocol that gives privacy for every message every time.
Now with all that said, let’s run through the article and find out why Signal is better than WhatsApp.
1. Signal has more further up-to-date security features
New security features appear first in Signal app. Examples include, Signal has disappearing messages – which are automatically deleted after a specific period – since 2016. On the other hand, this feature is still being experimented with a small number of WhatsApp users.
Other important and beta Signal highlights that WhatsApp users don’t have include:
Signal additionally owns a slightly wider array of clients, with a dedicated client for Linux desktop users – suitable to appeal to those in the security and data analysis areas while WhatsApp guides them to its web app.
2. Signal is open-source
All source code of Signal is issued for anyone to check and practice under a GPLv3 license for clients. And an AGPLv3 license for the server. This signifies that you are allowed to observe what’s operating on inside it – or, more usefully, completely depend on the specialist expertise of people who examine the code and know exactly what they’re looking for.
3. Signal has limited potential for hidden vulnerabilities
WhatsApp being a larger platform, it is more appealing to malicious actors to attack. But the reality is that its codebase is a restrictive closed box indicating that it may demand a longer time for discovering any dangerous vulnerabilities. The truth is that any application can and eventually will suffer vulnerabilities – Signal has fixed some of its own.
On the other hand, WhatsApp’s closed-source code (beyond its use of the open Signal protocol) signifies that several potential targets remain unknown until they are employed. A troubling example that happened in 2019 was a vulnerability in WhatsApp’s VoIP stack, practiced by intelligence firms to implant spyware.
4. You can run your own Signal server (but apparently shouldn’t)
Here’s an extra benefit of open-source software that you can operate with if you are that way willing. It is really not necessary or demand a Signal server of your own for personal or for business purposes. It’s created as a bulk communications platform and is not truly meant to scale down, it’s difficult to develop and currently does not have any containerized versions for effortless deployment.
However, if you are technically minded, you will be able to discover much more regarding how a system operates by developing a test case and poking it with a stick. It is non-trivial, though community guides are available to serve users to get a Signal server up for running and few fascinating streams exist, including a decentralised messaging system.
5. How much can you trust Facebook?
The most reasonable purpose to use Signal rather than WhatsApp is Facebook’s long-standing lack of respect for its user’s privacy. Facebook has shocking records of data collection and handling, from the Cambridge Analytica affair to its system of distributing data of users with phone companies.
Under EU law, it’s previously explained that Facebook cannot be trusted with WhatsApp user data that should have survived privately. In 2017, European governors took action on Facebook for distributing the WhatsApp user’s phone numbers with the Facebook social channels for promotion purposes. For the violation of data protection regulations, it was an opt-out rather than an opt-in system. Earlier Facebook had claimed that such a mechanism would never be executed.