To my knowledge, Signal is the best alternative available. We will discuss the difference between Signal vs WhatsApp so that we can help you to make an educated choice of which app to be used.
What differentiates Signal from WhatsApp is explained below with the help of proper distinction.
Signal vs WhatsApp
|You can have 150 members or participants in a single group.
|You can have 256 members or participants in a single group.
|Unlike WhatsApp, people send an invitation to join the group
|In WhatsApp, you can directly add a person into the group just by having the contact number.
|Signal collects less amount of user’s data when compared to WhatsApp. Signal collects phone numbers only.
|The collection of user data is more when compared with Signal. WhatsApp collects device ID, user ID, email address, contacts, payment information, etc.
|Messages sent over on Signal are encrypted. It means you do not have access to private messages, media, or store information on the server.
|WhatsApp too provides end-to-end encryption for messages but it has access to IP address, group details, status.
|The Signal isn’t owned by any big technology firm
|WhatsApp is owned by a big technology firm.
|With the help of the Sealed Sender feature the app hides the details of the sender and the receiver
|WhatsApp does not have any such feature
|Enable Incognito mode and block screenshots within the app
|Whereas, WhatsApp has a WhatsApp status feature known as WhatsApp stories
|Signal currently has 20 million monthly active users.
|In the case of WhatsApp, the number is over 2 billion monthly active users.
|You cannot broadcast messages to multiple contacts at once in signal
|In WhatsApp you can broadcast messages to multiple people at a go.
|Signal has a feature where you can blur some part of the image in order to maintain privacy.
|There is no such feature of blurring out some images.
|The Signal does not sync your message with any third party.
|WhatsApp uses third-party cloud sync. It synchronizes via Google Drive or iCloud.
|Sharing of media is restricted at 300KB
|Photos, video, and audio files size limit is 16 MB
|The Signal is ranked second in terms of best team chat software
|WhatsApp is ranked thirty-fifth in terms of best team chat software
From the above distinction it is clear that Signal is better than WhatsApp in terms of privacy. However, if you care more about features than WhatsApp is ahead of it.
Signal vs WhatsApp – A Detailed Comparison
People nowadays are more cautious about how their data is being used unless earlier. Earlier when apps were compared it was purely on the basis of the feature. But now it’s not just about the features they provide. Every app differentiates itself from others. Signal vs WhatsApp will help you to make an informed decision.
If you are stuck with the choice of which encrypted messaging application to be used between Signal vs WhatsApp. Well, I would clearly suggest Signal without wasting much of your time and efforts. If your main aim is privacy and not the features then no other application can beat Signal.
- Signal does not collect any other information other than the phone number
- Whereas WhatsApp not only just collects phone numbers but collects information like device ID, location, email ID, payment information, etc.
The Signal does not store any of the user’s data. Other than the encryption privacy it gives you additional options like blank notification pop up, face blurring tools, disappearing messages, specific app lock.
Here is the list of other data that it collects that may be linked to you. WhatsApp collects unique device ID, financial information, physical location, phone number, contact information, how often you use WhatsApp, etc. So I am sticking with Signal when it comes to Privacy.
- Signal is available to download free of cost. The Signal is funded by the Non-Profit Signal Foundation
- WhatsApp too is available for download free of cost. Even the business version is available free of cost. WhatsApp is funded by Facebook
The Signal is an open-source development that is provided free of cost by the nonprofit Signal Foundation. Signal has been used by high-profile icons like Edward Snowden. WhatsApp is not an open-source development, but it is provided free of charge and it is funded by a third party that is Facebook.
3. Cloud Synchronization
- Signal does not sync your message with any third party.
- WhatsApp uses the third-party cloud sync. It synchronizes via Google Drive or iCloud.
WhatsApp chats backup are stored on cloud devices. And cloud devices like Google Drive, iCloud, etc are not encrypted. This means anyone having access to your cloud account can read your messages. The backup is completely free, there is no need to pay any charge so this is considered to be the best thing who wants to back up for each and everything. However, chats on Signal are stored only on the device and not on any cloud.
4. Number of monthly Active Users
- Signal stands at 20 million active users.
- WhatsApp is the largest messaging service with more than 2 billion monthly active users.
The numbers are very clear why WhatsApp is so widely popular. Signal has just started to join the million download club. But you cannot differentiate between the two on the basis of the active users.
- Signal provides end-to-end encryption for calls, messages, gifs, etc. Along with this it also provides service that is sealed sender service.
- WhatsApp also provides end-to-end encryption for messages and calls for a personal and business account but it can access other information.
Sealed sender service by Signal is the feature that helps to hide details of the sender and the recipients. However Signal will only store certain messages on its serves until it is delivered to the recipient. The Signal does not support maintaining personal and business accounts different so there is so much irregularity as seen in WhatsApp.
6. Messaging Group
- Signal has a limit to add 150 members in a single group.
- In WhatsApp, you can create a single group with 256 members. As well you can broadcast messages to multiple contacts at once.
Single has just 150 members in a single group which is far less when compared with WhatsApp. A single group of 256 members is one of the best features of WhatsApp.
7. Group Video Calls
- Signal has added a group calling feature recently.
- In WhatsApp, you can add 8 users at a single point in time.
WhatsApp supports group video calls as well as voice calling features. The number of people for a group video call is just 8 people. It is very less when compared with no of people in a group message.
8. Status and Self-destructing Feature
- Signal does not support any status or story features. But it supports self-destructing message features.
- WhatsApp has a WhatsApp status sharing feature where you can post stories like Instagram and Facebook.
With WhatsApp stories, you can express your thoughts and feelings to your close ones. The WhatsApp status feature makes it a social media platform along with messaging service. Whereas Signal is strictly focused on messaging service only.
9. Size Limit
- Signal has a size limit of 300KB for sending video files.
- WhatsApp allows you to share all sorts of files and documents up to 100 MB and photos, video, and audio files up to 16 MB.
In WhatsApp, you can share all sorts of files but within the limits. For photos, videos, and audio files the size limit is 16 MB. For any documents or files, the size limit is 100MB
10. Share live location or Share Notes to Self
- With Signal you can share notes to self-using the “Note to Self” feature.
- In WhatsApp you can share your live location with your contacts.
Live location features have their own pros and cons. Sharing your live location with your contacts can help you when you are lost somewhere or want to know how far you are from that person. Live location can help to track you down when you are in any need. But sometimes this feature can be annoying as you might not want anyone to know where exactly you are.
11. Broadcast Message Feature
- Signal doesn’t have a feature where you can send a particular message to different people at once.
- WhatsApp has a broadcast message feature where you can send messages to multiple contacts at once.
If WhatsApp has a feature of broadcasting a message then Signal has a feature of Disappearing message. Both the features cannot be compared with each other.