Say no to WhatsApp! Alternatives to WhatsApp that respect your privacy

Say no to WhatsApp! Alternatives to WhatsApp that respect your privacy

At Gate Guardian, we’re building tools to protect your privacy. We’re releasing a bunch of guides to help protect your privacy.

When Facebook purchased WhatsApp users were promised their data would be private. That promise is gone leaving many of us seeking alternatives.

In no particular order, we’ve rounded up a bunch of Whatsapp privacy alternatives that respect your privacy. If you think we’ve missed one, drop us a comment and we’ll add it 🙂 

Available for download


Available: Android, iOS, Web

With a focus on rooms, conference calls and other pretty large-scale interactions, it’s easy to overlook that Riot functions as a perfectly good (and privacy-centric) messenger app as well. It’s an open-source app, so is constantly being iterated to have maximum security. It’s based on the Matrix protocol, which has a great reputation as a secure communication platform (the French government even started using Riot for its confidential communications!).


2. Wire

Available: Android, Web

With end-to-end encryption and a no-nonsense interface, Wire is making some waves on the secure messaging scene. Made by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, Wire has some heavyweight design nous behind it.

You need to provide your mobile number or email to use the app, though these aren’t shared with other users, who you can communicate with via a username. Timed messages are also an option, letting you self-destruct them between five seconds and one day after you send them.


3. Wickr Me

Available: Android

Wickr Me uses your phone number to log in and contains all the fun features like stickers and emojis. But that’s where the similarities end. Wickr doesn’t store your contacts on its servers, doesn’t keep metadata, and deletes messages irretrievably from your phone when you ask it to. Pretty good, right?


4. Telegram

Available:  iOS, Android

Telegram is a popular alternative to Whatsapp. It has comparable features like voice and video messages, a phone number-based login system, stickers, emojis, chatbots, groups, channels and so much more.


5. Kontalk

Available: Android

Have you ever wanted to host your own “Whatsapp” service? With Kontalk, this is possible. This app is an open XMPP-based alternative to Whatsapp that you can keep entirely on your own server. This means you and only you will be in charge of the chat between you and your friends and family, making it the ultimate at respecting your privacy.


6. Antox/Antidote

Available: iOS (as Antidote), Android

Antox claim they are a privacy-respecting messenger application. Antox (Antidote on iOS), unlike a lot of the items on this list, isn’t just one single app. That’s because it has other apps for Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS and even FreeBSD.


7. Signal

Available: iOS, Android

Co-founded by Brian Acton who co-founded WhatsApp. Signal is an app for Android, iPhone, macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome that is designed around a similar principle to Telegram. Private communication is based on your phone number, and they promise you’ll avoid SMS and MMS fees, as your number is just used as an ID and not the point of transmission.


8. Threema

Available: iOS, Android

Threema is a mobile chat platform that puts your privacy first. Like some other apps on this list, it supports end-to-end encryption of text, images and your GPS location. 


9. Briar Messenger

Available: Android, F-Droid

Briar is a free and open-source software peer-to-peer encrypted messenger.


10. Ally (Powered by Skrumble Network)

Available: Android, iOS

Powered by Skrumble Network (SKM) Ally Chat is a decentralized messaging and crypto app (Daap) for building and fostering online communities, censorship-free. ALLY Chat will give users complete privacy and data ownership, unrestricted global access and freedom of communication.


11. Cyphr

Available on: iOS, Android

Cyphr is a free encrypted messaging app for Android and iOS. It’s a zero-knowledge messaging app which means your private messages cannot be read, shared or decrypted but third-parties. Sounds pretty good, eh?


12. Confide

Available on:

Confide uses some clever encryption to help you communicate digitally with the same level of privacy and security as the spoken word. Confide provides encrypted, self-destructing, and screenshot-proof messages. 


13. Jami

Available on: iOS, Android & F-Droid 

Jami is a free and universal communication platform. Designed for the general public Jami provides all of its users with a universal communication tool, free, secure and built on a distributed architecture.


In development & testing


1. Status

Available: iOS (Testflight), Android (Early Access)

Status is a messenger, crypto wallet, and Web3 browser built with state of the art technology. Status is completely open source and made by contributors all over the world. Developers, designers, creators, educators, hobbyists, enthusiasts, and more – everyone has free and open access to the repos, assets, and information.


2. Loki

Available for iOS (Testflight), Android (Early Access)

Want to send messages privately? The first Loki service to be developed and deployed on the Loki network will be a decentralised, end-to-end encrypted private messaging application called Loki Messenger. 

Decide what’s right for you

Most of the above apps have pros and cons. It’s for you to decide which is the right fit for you. We hope you found this guide useful. If you have any other alternatives that we haven’t mentioned please comment below. 

Check out our blog for more privacy guides.

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8 Responses to Say no to WhatsApp! Alternatives to WhatsApp that respect your privacy

  1. Mikee

    Now if only I managed to convince a majority of other people to use the alternatives so I wouldn’t have to just talk to myself…

  2. plubius

    Signal was not founded by an ex-Whatsapp employee.

    Also I would not describe Signal as an “open-source Telegram clone.” Telegram fails in a very clear way since it’s not be default encrypted and all messages are in plain text on the server.

  3. Steve

    A better question: why is Signal labelled a “Telegram clone”?? This is just false, Telegram was developed out of Russia while Signal came out of Whisper Systems and was always much more similar to WhatsApp. Their development paths never really crossed.

  4. Daiquiri

    Is there any order on your list?

    1. Riot does NOT (yet) encrypt 1:1 messages by default
    2. Wire is pretty much limited compared to signal
    3. Telegram is less secure than whatsapp. At least Whatsapp is E2EEncrypted, while Telegram is not.
    4. is Threema opensource?

    Also, check this out:

    So, you’re spreading bad information

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