Privacy is our fundamental right and off late with new laws coming into effect, privacy seems to be something of a myth. While many messaging apps on the Play Store and App Store claim to be private, they do end up storing your messages and information which is not ethical.
If you’re looking for the best private texting apps, then I have something special in store for you.
Also Read: How to spy on an Android phone
After reviewing and testing out numerous “private” messaging apps, I was able to round up the following 12 best private texting apps you can download this year.
- Signal Private Messenger
- Viber Messenger – Messages, Group Chats & Calls
- Threema – Secure and Private Messenger
- Wire – Secure Messenger
- Wickr Me – Private Messenger
10 Best Private Texting Apps
Signal Private Messenger
Best App for Private Messaging
Signal is by far the most safest texting app out there that lets you communicate with anyone without incurring an SMS fee. With this private messaging app you can create groups with your family or friends and chat with them in real-time, share media files privately and hide text messages from your existing address book.
The Signal server is designed to be completely private and it does not store or retain any of the information that is shared between two parties which means that if you and your contact delete a particular conversation or individual message, there’s no way of getting that message back again.
Signal does not require any special login, pin code, password or any other information to access your messages and account. All you need is a valid SIM card that works and then download Signal from either the Play Store or the App Store and you’re good to go.
Viber Messenger – Messages, Group Chats & Calls
Viber is amongst the top 3 best private texting apps mainly because it’s rather popular and has over 1 billion users registered worldwide. It is a well-known private messaging app that is not only free but easy to use, fast and secure. If you’re looking for an app to download and use to make private calls for free, then Viber is your best bet.
To use Viber, you would need a stable and fast Wi-Fi connection or an active data plan on your cell phone and you wouldn’t have to do much after. Viber is a great private texting app to use especially if you’re someone who’s going to make a lot of international calls, send messages or create groups with close friends.
You can download Viber to start a Viber community and invite unlimited people to join, it comes with a wide variety of stickers and GIFs to use in your messages and even has a Self-destruct timer that will delete messages within a certain period of time after they’re read.
Threema – Secure and Private Messenger
Threema is one of the best free to use private texting apps you can download today. The reason why it’s better than WhatsApp or Wire is because it promises to keep your data safe and out of the hands of government officials, developers and in the worst case scenario – hackers.
It is an encrypted messaging app that can be used to make voice calls that offer end-to-end encryption so no one can listen in on what’s being said. Threema even provides you with everything you could expect from a private messaging app and more.
The end-to-end encryption provided by Threema is so good that no one apart from the intended recipient can view or gain access to your communication. Data like, videos, audio clips, voice calls, messages and status messages are hidden and can only be viewed by the person you’re communicating with.
A recently developed private texting app, Telegram, has taken the world by storm. It’s considered to be one of the most secure and private messaging apps in the market and uses data centers strategically placed across the world to keep you connected. This app has been able to build its reputation in a very short span of time and currently has over 400 million users worldwide.
With Telegram, you can access your messages on multiple platforms simultaneously and you can send audio or video files to anyone easily, regardless of the file size. Another advantage of using Telegram is that Telegram does not use your phone’s space to store your messages, rather it’s uploaded on a cloud and can be accessed for as long as you want. If messages are deleted, then you can rest assured that there’s no backup of your messages on Telegram.
Ideal for hosting communities and coordinating with others, Telegram messages are encrypted using 256-bit symmetric AES encryption. So you know for a fact that no one apart from the person who the message is intended for will gain access to your messages. Another plus with Telegram is that it allows you to create groups and have up to 200,000 members who you can send media files to or chat with in complete privacy.
Silence is a fast and private messaging app where you’re able to send photos, videos, messages, locations, and even voice notes to another person, free of charge. It’s a reliable private texting app that you can use and would need nothing other than a valid number and a data pack running on your phone.
All the messages and files shared over Silence are secured by an Axolotl encryption protocol. This ensures that even if your phone is lost, your messages and files are safe and only you have access to them.
This open-source app is free to use and anyone can verify the level of security it provides by simply validating the source code. With the help of Silence, you can easily communicate with family and friends in private, even if they’re on the other side of the world.
Wire – Secure Messenger
Wire is one of the best private texting apps for businesses that rely on secure communication. It follows the European privacy laws and makes sure that all your data including media files stay encrypted and protected.
It’s designed to act like a traditional messaging app, but comes with strict privacy and protection against hackers. With Wire, you can rest assured that all your data is protected and no one has access to it, apart from you.
This private texting app works well across platforms and you can expect the same level of privacy whether you’re using it on your phone or laptop. It even works on all major social platforms meaning, your data is always in sync.
Wickr Me – Private Messenger
Wickr Me is a fully encrypted communication app that lets you send messages, voice memos and even call internationally without worrying about privacy and security. It a customizable app that lets you pick what content needs to be hidden and how long each message remains accessible.
Individual messages are encrypted with advanced vetted encryption which means that Wickr Me does not have access to any of your messages or contacts and you wouldn’t need a mobile number or email address to use this app.
What’s great with Wickr Me is that it does not store your contact information or messages on its servers and is considered to be one of the best private texting apps today.
Mattermost is another fine private texting app that encrypts your messages and provides you with all you need to chat privately. Available on both the App Store and Play Store, Mattermost allows you to manually create and maintain friend circles so you can privately keep in touch with many people simultaneously.
You can share media files via Mattermost and the data will remain private and encrypted so no one apart from the receiver and yourself will be able to view what you’re sending or receiving. What’s truly great about Mattermost is that it lets you manage your music and media on a single platform so you can explore and get recognized on a global platform.
Snapchat has been around for a while now and is truly one of the best old-school private messaging apps. It not only lets you message or text privately, but with Snapchat you can even send across photos and short videos known as “Snaps” privately to other people.
Snapchat does not use third-party servers to transfer and store data nor will the company maintain a backup of your messages and snaps on the side. Snapchat follows a simple protocol and deletes messages automatically after 24 hours.
The security settings can be customized and the app comes with free cloud storage making it fast and safe to use for adults and children of all ages. It’s considered to be one of the best and safest messaging apps to use and that’s the main reason why it’s mentioned on this list.
WhatsApp is by far the most used social messaging app in the world with well over 1.5 billion users from different countries. This cross-platform messaging app lets you share texts, photos, videos, voice notes to anyone across the world while maintaining your privacy.
WhatsApp is secured by end-to-end encryption that does not grant anyone access to your messages. Even in the off-chance that some hackers get a hold of your messages, they will not be able to decipher them or read them because of its encryption.
WhatsApp has a business friendly version that lets you communicate with your office buddies on the move and those messages have end-to-end encryption as well so there’s no chance your office data can be read by anyone apart from the participants in that particular message chain.
What makes a messaging app secure?
While picking the best private texting app, there are a few things you should know before downloading one to use. These points will help you determine the best private texting app to download for your requirements.
- End-to-end Encryption – The first thing to keep in mind is, the app you’re interested in downloading should come with end-to-end encryption. This provides your messages with a form of security where hackers and other people will not be able to read or decipher your messages.
- Default encryption settings – Make sure the app comes with the ability to activate or deactivate your encryption. Some companies deliver apps where you have the option to enable encryption and two-factor authentication. Take advantage of these two options in the settings before sending out messages.
- Open source code – While an open source file may be prone to backdoor access to your messages by hackers, it’s good to note that open source files are even more secure than those that are not. This is because experts tend to audit the code and notify the developer about any flaws or weaknesses.
- Data collection – Finally, the way an app collects data determines how secure it is to use. Metadata generally gets stored on their servers and this consists of information such as contact list, time stamps and so on. Pick a software that does not collect or store metadata so you can rest assured that your messages and data are safe because once they are deleted, there’s no way to get them back again.
Save yourself from prying eyes with these top 10 best private texting apps. They’re free to download and safe to use. While they all provide some level of privacy and security, the best app to download on either your iPhone or Android phone will be Signal.
For a better understanding of these private texting apps, I would suggest you read through a couple of user reviews on their download pages and then decide for yourself.
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Daniel Moore is the Founder & Editor-in-chief of Private-Spy, an experienced hacker, lecturer and an all-round fun guy! A writer by day and reader by night, he holds a Master’s degree in Computer applications and believes that privacy is our god given right. Daniel has been known to have published in-depth guides and tutorials that have been used by millions of people across the world.