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Privacy Messaging

Privacy Messaging with Secure & Encrypted Messengers in 2022

The most reliable source for privacy tools since 2015. Software, services and privacy guides to fight surveillance with encryption for better internet privacy.

Session: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted
Decentralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

No phone number or email address is required to signup. Similar functionality like Element, but still in an earlier stage of development. Decentralized servers routed through Lokinet.

Status: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted
Decentralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

No phone number or email address is required to signup. Uses the peer-to-peer (p2p) messaging protocol Waku that removes centralized third parties from messages.

Signal: Cross-platform and encrypted messaging
Centralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

Similar look and feel of WhatsApp and other commonly used messaging apps, makes switching easy. Signal requires your phone number as an personal identifier.

Threema: Encrypted messaging for mobile
Centralized Paid Plan Android iOS Bitcoin

No native desktop apps available yet, but there is a web version for your browser. No phone number is required to signup but there is a payment involved to get the app. Fortunately the Threema shop accepts Bitcoin.

Delta Chat: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted via Email
Decentralized Win Android iOS Mac Linux

Delta Chat doesn't have their own servers but uses the most massive and diverse open messaging system ever: the existing e-mail server network. Chat with anyone if you know their e-mail address, no need for them to install DeltaChat. All you need is a standard e-mail account. How does Delta Chat protect my Metadata?

Sounds slow? It's using Push-IMAP to make it fast. List of recommended Email providers.


Anonymous Instant Messaging via Tor

Cwtch: End-to-end encrypted and takes place over Tor
Decentralized Tor Android Win Mac Linux

User friendly, lightweight, for desktop and Android. End-to-end encrypted and takes place over Tor v3 onion services. Privacy-preserving, multi-party messaging protocol. Built to be metadata resistant.

Speek! Easy to use, file transfer and metadata resistant
Decentralized Tor Win Mac Linux

Based on Ricochet with an improved user interface to make onboarding easy and achieve mass adoption.

Forum: Interesting discussion between the Speek! and Ricochet Refresh developer.

Briar: Encrypted messaging for activists and journalists
Decentralized Tor Android Phones Tablets

Briar doesn't rely on a central server - messages are synchronized directly between the users' devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Online sync via the Tor network is possible, too. Protecting users from surveillance.

Ricochet Refresh: Easy to use, file transfer and metadata resistant
Decentralized Tor Win Mac Linux

Based on Ricochet but improved security and compatibility with Tor Onion Services v3 instead of older v2.

Tox: Encrypted messaging, voice, video, screen and file sharing
Decentralized Tor Android Win Mac Linux

Wide range of features but a highly experimental protocol, use with caution.


Private and Secure Team Chats - Open-Source

Element: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted and federated Chat
Encrypted Hosted Self-Hosted Win Android iOS Mac Linux Bitcoin

A modern alternative to IRC or Discord. Good for team chats and groups.

Rocket.Chat: Cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted
Encrypted Hosted Self-Hosted Win Android iOS Mac Linux Bitcoin

Professional approach for real-time conversations with your colleagues, other companies or customers.

Revolt Chat: Open Source Discord Alternative
Unencrypted Hosted Win Android Mac Linux Bitcoin

Ideal for gamers who prefer open source solutions over Discord. Early stage development and experimental.


Encrypted Video & Voice Messengers

Brave Talk: Browser based for unlimited private video calls
Encrypted Freemium Win Android iOS Mac Linux

The person creating the call requires to use Brave Browser, but the participants can join from any browser.

Jami: Instant messaging and video calling
Encrypted Win Android iOS Mac Linux
Linphone: Video and instant messaging
Encrypted Win Android iOS Mac Linux
Jitsi Meet: Video conferencing, no account needed
Encrypted Win Android iOS Mac Linux Bitcoin

Desktop version downloads can be found here.

The popularity of video calling apps like Skype and FaceTime has significantly increased in recent years. However, these apps are not as secure as people might think. Most are free to use and provide minimal security features. If you have any older videos or images on your computer around 5 minutes in length, they can be snooped by someone else and used against you. To protect yourself from this, make sure to get a messenger app with end-to-end encryption, video compression and file transfer encryption services.

Messengers such as Signal, Lifeline, ProtonMail, Pidgin and others make it easy for users to communicate securely over the internet. This means that the user's privacy will not be violated, and there is no possibility of the user being spied on or tracked by anyone. Users should ensure that all of their communications are secure with these instant messaging apps and tools.

Privacy tools listed on this page are all open-source unless marked otherwise: Criteria.

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