Millions of people exchange messages every day throughout the world, but how many of them really know what truly happens to their messages once they send them? Will these be intercepted by third-parties? The unfortunate truth is that we do live in a world and age in which data logging and Internet surveillance are happening.
End-to-end encryption is the solution because it involves the fact that the service provider does not keep copies of the messages that you send from their server and only people with whom you are communicating can access them.
Thankfully, there has been a rise in the area of secure messaging apps, and we gathered five of the best open source privacy software that will make sure to keep your messaging a safe and intimate process. Check out their sets of features and choose the best program for your needs.
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Signal is a mobile application created by Open Whisper Systems. This is one of the few apps in the world to claim an endorsement from Edward Snowden. Signal has made itself a secure place among the safest messaging applications for mobile users, as well as desktop users.
The software is based on the end-to-end encryption in order to secure the messages you share with other users. This app is free and extremely easy to use, and the best thing about it is that it’s open source. This means that the experts can easily inspect the application’s code for potential security flaws.
Take a look at the best features that are included in this app:
- While using Signal, you will be able to send high-quality group, text, video, voice, document and picture messages all over the world without the hassle of MMS or SMS fees.
- You will get the chance to make crystal clear voice and video calls to the people who live across your street but also across the ocean.
- The messages and calls you’ll make via Signal are end-to-end encrypted and engineered in such a way to keep your communication safe.
- The platform itself cannot read your messages, and it cannot see your calls either.
- You will also be able to keep your chat clean with messages that you can set to disappear.
- To use Signal, you will not require any PIN codes or other login credentials.
One of the greatest things about this app is that the messaged can self-destruct after you set the desired amount of time, as we described above.
This app is excellent, and it’s definitely worth trying, head over to the Signal’s official website and get it now to give it a go.
Wire is another app for secure messaging, and it was developed by Wire Swiss GmbH. Using this app, you will be able to exchange end-to-end encrypted instant messages and also make voice and video calls. This is another fantastic free and open-source app, enabling all users to check out the security by auditing its code.
Take a look at more exciting features that you will be able to enjoy while using Wire:
- Wire combines strong encryption with a robust feature set.
- You will be able to add and remove people as a team administrator and access and remove the history.
- You will get to use unlimited group chats with 128 people, and you can also delete messages for everyone.
- The app allows you to make crystal clear voice calls and group call with up to ten people.
- The video calls are encrypted as well, making sure you stay safe at all times.
- Wire allows you to share your files securely and all the file types are supported.
- You can share your screen with up to ten people, and this makes the app ideal for collaboration.
- Your files and chats can also be synced between your devices, and the app is available on all essential platforms.
- Wire lets you enjoy rich conversations by using emojis, GIFs, embedded videos and more.
- The messages will self-destruct when the timer runs out, and this means that the app is just perfect for sharing sensitive data.
You can check out even more great features and functionalities on Wire’s official website.
- Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in other messaging software, check out our wide collection of guides.
Ricochet can also become your sidekick regarding safe messaging because it makes safety and intimacy its priorities. The app uses the Tor network in order to reach your contacts without relying on messaging servers. The app will create a hidden service that will keep your IP secure.
Check out more of its amazing functionalities that will protect your safety:
- The app comes with a different approach to instant messaging that doesn’t trust anyone to protect the users’ privacy.
- While using Ricochet, no one will ever know who you are, who you talk to and what you are saying.
- You’ll be able to share anything you want without disclosing your location and identity to third parties.
- There will be no servers in the middle to monitor your activity, censor or hack.
- You can see when your contacts are online and send them messages safely.
- The list of contacts will only be known by your computer, and it’s never exposed to network traffic monitoring.
On the app’s official website, we are noticed of the fact that Ricochet is still an experiment and as we all know security and anonymity and slippery topics so we should carefully evaluate the risks and exposure that come with any software.
You can support Ricochet because it’s an open-source app as well.
CryptoCat is yet another free open-source software that has the most straightforward mission ever: allowing its users to securely chat with their buddies in privacy. This is what everyone wants these days, and CryptoCat is able to deliver this.
Check out the key features and functionalities that are packed in this messaging application:
- The app is open-source, and all CryptoCat software is published transparently so that anyone can support and monitor its safety and data.
- The software is encrypted by default, and every one of your messages will be secure.
- The chats will remain safe even if your keys get stolen, so you don’t have to worry.
- You can use the program on multiple devices, and these will get the messages even when they’re offline.
- Using this app, you will be able to securely chat with your friends without having to worry about your identity being disclosed to third parties.
CryptoCat will always be a free app, and this means that there won’t ever be any commercial offshoot of the program because it will only exist for its own sake. It does not have any reasons to grow and to acquire more users or to compete with other similar programs.
Check out more advantages that come when using CryptoCat on the software’s official website.
This is another innovative way of messaging that comes for free, and it’s also open-source. The software makes sure to maintain your privacy and intimacy.
Take a look at some of the best features and functionalities that you will be able to enjoy if you choose to use this tool for safe messaging:
- Kontalk assures users that both client-to-server and server-to-server channels are fully encrypted, so the risks for your data to leak is almost zero.
- You will definitely be safe with end-to-end encryption and servers will never be able to decrypt your data.
- The app is run by the community for the community as you can see on its official website.
- Kontalk is run by a community of volunteers who are splitting the costs among them and offering their servers.
- All the software that is used in the app’s network, both the client and the server is entirely open-source, and Github hosts it.
- The app uses your phone number to identify yourself among the contacts without the hassle of remembering the user IDs and usernames.
You can find out more about Kontalk and its advantages on the official website of the app.
All of these free open-source applications are guaranteed to allow you to maintain your intimacy and safety while chatting online. They all come with extended and unique sets of features, so the best thing that you can do is head over to their official websites and check out their in-depth functionalities and advantages in order to be able to make an informed decision and the best one for your safety and messaging needs.
Messaging-related concerns are now over, and you can tackle such issues with any of these apps that we have mentioned above.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.