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8 secure encrypted messaging and video call apps (2021)

Messaging and video call apps are struggling to replace the nefarious Whatsapp. Which one in the best one ?

Secure messaging and video call apps

Messaging apps reviewed

We have reviewed 8 messaging services:

Criteria of choice

We have identified several criteria. Most apps are free (of not very expensive with no recurrent subscription).

Some will prefer anonymous app, which won’t ask for any information, like a phone number or an e-mail address.

Some will focus on open source code, to make sure there is no back-door.

Some will find convenient to receive messages or call on their mobile, but also on their computer.

… We have listed those criteria to help you find the best app for you and your relatives.

Comparison of messaging and video call apps

Signal Telegram Threema Wickr Me Wire Element Keybase twinme
Jurisdiction US UAE Swiss US Swiss n/a US France
Price free free 4 euros free free free free free
Mobile app
Desktop app
Anonymous signup
Minimal metadata logged
End to End encryption
Open Source
Openly audited
Owns own server

Best apps


Signal security features:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Open Source
  • Disappearing messages
  • Minimal data storage
  • Password security


Wickr Me security features:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Screenshot detection
  • Screen overlay protection
  • Third party keyboards
  • Secure Shredder

Apps to avoid

  • Be aware that Keybase is no longer recommended since is it now owned by Zoom with deep ties to China (privacy concerns).
  • Google Hangout
  • Whatsapp

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