Signal vs WhatsApp: the comparison and differences

Signal and WhatsApp are two similar messaging apps, but with some differences. Here's what they are and how they work

The dominance of WhatsApp in the messaging app industry is virtually unchallenged: the app purchased by Facebook is used by more than two billion people and new users are increasing every day. In recent years, however, the competition has slowly increased and has become increasingly fierce. Telegram is an app that everyone is familiar with, and there are others that are less used but offer some very interesting features. One of them is definitely Signal.

With over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store, Signal is definitely an instant messaging app that in the last few years has stood out for a very important feature: security. Signal, in fact, was one of the first apps to use end-to-end encryption to protect users' messages (a technology that was later picked up by WhatsApp as well) and that implemented self-destructing messages (a feature that WhatsApp has been working on for a long time, but no one knows when it will be released).

Although they may seem like alternative apps, in reality WhatsApp and Signal are complementary and can both be installed and used on one's devices to stay in touch with friends and family. Here are the main differences between Signal and WhatsApp.

Signal vs WhatsApp: what are the main differences

As it happens with all apps in the same industry, Signal and WhatsApp also have differences and at the same time similar features. If WhatsApp is a generalist application, which has to please a bit everyone, Signal has always focused on a very important aspect: the security and privacy of its users.

The end-to-end encryption system used by WhatsApp is the same present on Signal, which was the app that used it first. Moreover, also on Signal there is a really very useful feature: self-destructing messages. WhatsApp is also working on this tool, but the development is quite complicated and it needs some more time. Moreover, always in the security field, it is not to be underestimated the possibility to use the keyboard in incognito mode so that the words are not saved in the smartphone history.

In comparison to WhatsApp, moreover, Signal's code is open-source: any user can analyze it and discover possible bugs and vulnerabilities. That's why it's easier for Signal's developers to fix any security issues and intervene immediately on the code.

WhatsApp, however, has two billion users and, above all, a continuous work by technicians to improve the application. It's no coincidence that at least once a week new beta versions of the app are released with improvements, new tools and bug fixes. In addition, in recent years the app has been meeting users' demands and implementing the best technologies to protect and make the platform safer.

Signal vs  WhatsApp: which one to choose?

There is no such thing as the best app, only the app that best suits the various situations. Signal and WhatsApp can coexist very well within a person's smartphone and can also be used at the same time. If, for example, you need to send a self-deleting message you can use Signal, but if you want to create a group with all your friends, WhatsApp is the best app.