THE HIVE- ENCRYPTED MESSAGING
CONTRIBUTED BY ALEX GANNES
Like most, I use over a half dozen messaging apps to chat with friends, socialize with groups, and discuss business matters. I often chat with the same person or group on two to three or more apps at any given time which is additional to the standard text messaging option on my iPhone. For professional reasons, my preference is towards messaging apps most well-known for end-to-end encryption even if I am not sending files, pictures or discussing investments. If you are looking for an all-in-one messaging app or simply looking for a little diversification, here are some of my go-to messaging services.
I’m biased towards Telegram, WhatsApp and iPhone messaging, but still use WeChat, Signal, Wickr and Line. There are a handful of others that I’ve looked at, but they haven’t earned back-page dashboard app status on my iPhone.
Here are some chat choice basics…
Telegram is super easy to use with end-to-end encrypted direct messaging. It offers direct messaging, group messaging, and commercial chats for anyone creating and building a following of up to 100,000 users (on a single chat!?). The app also offers audio and video calls. In addition to the priority of user’s privacy and group sizes, Telegram offers unlimited cloud-storage for message and file history and is an ad-free experience at zero cost. Telegram also boasts their open-sourced MTProto protocol, an algorithm that offers user-to-user encryption that does not leave any trackable data on the server at all. *As a side note, Telegram is in the middle of the largest ever ICO (Initial Coin Offering) to build its own blockchain ecosystem and has already raised over $1.7 Billion in private token pre-sales.
A popular contemporary, WhatsApp, is also focused on encrypted messaging and offers audio and video calls. Group chat size is limited to 265 users, but let’s focus on this messaging app as a de-facto top choice for communication among people across the world, it has over 1.5 Billion monthly active users as of December 2017.
The default option for most of us with an iPhone is Apple’s iMessage app. It’s encrypted and updates its features quite regularly to add personality to your text messaging including emojis, memes, and drawing functions. Also, I can text anyone even if they don’t have an iPhone unlike the other messaging apps.
To provide more data points, here is a comparison chart between a few of the top mainstream applications in the market: