Safe and secure alternatives to WhatsApp

Safe and secure alternatives to WhatsApp

The news last night that instant messenger apps with a focus on security.

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There's plenty of reasons to get excited about WhatsApp alternatives. / © Whatsapp + / AndroidPIT


We reviewed Telegram recently and called it a safer alternative to WhatsApp because of its end to end encryption, self-destructing messages and Secure Chats. Telegram looks and feels a lot like WhatsApp and it features all the same stuff you’d know and love from WhatsApp like emojis and file sharing but with some excellent additions. Telegram is super-fast, allows encryption of messages, unlimited cloud storage, transferring files (including videos) of up to a gigabyte in size and huge group chats of up to 200 participants. Plus you can use it on multiple devices at once including a computer. Oh, and it’s ad-free and doesn’t cost anything, just like WhatsApp. If you’re looking for an alternative to WhatsApp and you actually care about the security of your communications, you could do much worse than Telegram. The only missing feature right now is voice messages.

AndroidPIT Telegram
Telegram is safe, secure, and offers plenty more options than WhatsApp. / © NextPit/Telegram LLC


Surespot is another great secure instant messenger that also features voice messaging and secure end to end encryption. The best part is that even your voice messages are sent encrypted, just like instant messages sent with Surespot. Surespot even lets you delete content from your friends’ phones. Say you send a photo but don’t want your friend to be able to download it, you simply lock it. Then if you unlock it, they can download or share it. You can also delete messages or media from your friends’ devices. Surespot also offers multiple profiles so you can use the one service for different purposes. Unlike Telegram, which also uses your phone number as an account identifier, Surespot does not need your phone number or even your email address. If WhatsApp scams involving scraping user’s phone numbers from the service worry you, then Surespot could just be your next instant messenger. It’s also free and ad-free.

AndroidPIT Surespot
Surespot doesn't look exactly like WhatsApp, but it has lots of great features added on. / © NextPit/2fours


Kontalk is another WhatsApp lookalike that offers encryption. Unlike Telegram and Surespot, it doesn’t add multiple features to the core WhatsApp service. Kontalk, like WhatsApp, is slow to introduce new features though, so there’s limited support for media attachments and no group chat function (but there is emojis). If you just need a slim, secure instant messenger for sending pictures and chats one-to-one, then Kontalk is a good option. If you want more functionality though, keep an eye on it because Kontalk will surely be adding more features over time.

AndroidPIT Kontalk
Kontalk is a fantastic pared-down WhatsApp replacement. / © NextPit/Kontalk

Once you try out these secure messaging apps you’ll probably wonder why you stuck with WhatsApp for so long. The only trick is getting 450 million of your friends to use these apps. Still, if everyone is looking for an alternative and you have a good suggestion up your sleeve, you might just be able to convince all of your friends to get on board with your preferred alternative instant messenger. If you want some more mainstream options, check out my list of the ten best instant messenger apps on Android.

Are you looking for an alternative messenger to WhatsApp? What’s your favorite?

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  • Great article.
    I was looking lately for secure messenger that uses end-to-end encryption and is available for iOS.
    Right now, I'm using Top Secret Post from Apple Store

  • You forgot U&Me Messenger for the above list.

  • You can export past Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp chat messages so that you can read the entire history off line. Can any of the apps using end to end encryption do this?

    •   2
      Deactivated Account Sep 25, 2014 Link to comment

      I believe in Surespot, if you back up your identity, it wil back up your entire profile, including past conversations. If you have the backup file (which obviously you should keep on your home computer or whereever for safekeeping) and your password, then you can restore all of this info on a new phone in case of theft or damage. However, an export to email or the like is not possible as far as I know.

      • Thank you Mark, unfortunately I discovered that Surespot will store a maximum of 1,000 messages, after which it discards the oldest. This makes it unsuitable for me, so I haven't gone any further with it.

  •   2
    Deactivated Account Mar 5, 2014 Link to comment

    Hi Arjen, my thinking is that open-source projects generally attract little commercial interest, though there are exceptions. In this case, however, it is evident from the news that more playful messengers such as Line or Kakaotalk are attracting a lot more business interest than rather geeky tools like Surespot or Kontalk. I'd say its similar to the difference between an operating system such as Windows or Apple OSX vs Linux or BSD.

  • Hi Mark, no PR :) Just wanted to share my good experiences with Tango.
    But, to be true, I really don't know wether it is secure or anything.
    BTW, who says Kontalk or Surespot will never be eaten by Facebook?

  •   2
    Deactivated Account Mar 4, 2014 Link to comment

    Honestly, this smells of PR. Is Tango even secure, as in end-to-end encrypted? Don't think so. Tango is a commercial project, unlike Surespot, Kontalk and Telegram. So it's much more likely that it would one day be swallowed by a web giant.

  •   2
    Deactivated Account Mar 1, 2014 Link to comment

    This is by far the best presentation of secure Whatsapp alternatives I have found on the web: Kontalk, Surespot and Telegram are indeed the most trustworthy alternatives. I currently use Telegram because it's the easiest to convince others to switch to. However, Kontalk and Surespot basically deserve more attention, because they are fully open source and encrypted by default. Those two are really the best. I have both installed, but unfortunately, most people have barely heard of them

  • cezar Feb 26, 2014 Link to comment


  • The article described alternatives to a Facebook infested app so Google or Skype are out (whether they pretend to have encryption or not).

  • i prefer HIKE

  •   20
    Deactivated Account Feb 20, 2014 Link to comment

    I go with Kontalk.

  • what about Google Hangout? And Skype? And BBM?

    • Hey @Thomas - they're all listed in my top ten article linked at the bottom. I wanted to talk about some new apps this time around with a focus on security.

  • I go for telegram.

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