Differences Between "Secure" Messengers?


A lot of people I know seem to swear by one encrypted messaging app over another (Signal, Riot, Briar, etc.). I was wondering if anyone here can make a good side-by-side comparison and say why one is better or worse than another. Or is it really just a matter of personal preference?

For instance, what encryption algorithms does each one use, etc.?


I am very interested, but I am not the expert to write this comparison, so I will wait here too.

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This might be helpful: Practical Application of EFF’s Guide to Choosing a Messenger

“Step-by-step guides and detailed information on secure messaging apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux.”

(blacklight447) #4

I have written a quick blo post about this topic, hopeit helps:


Personally, at the moment I use Signal, and have used Riot in the past.


This page has details like encryption protocols and other features in a comparison matrix. You can filter the columns to focus on features you want.

(blacklight447) #7

Yeah, iIchoose not to really go into features of messengers a ton, as I found it beyond the scope. It was more about teaching users how to make an educated choice according to their threatmodel and usability requirements.


What about https://www.cyph.com/

Looks cool and convenient. Just a browser needed.


It says “Quantum computing resistant”; I’m a bit skeptical and want to see this in action.

(blacklight447) #10

Looks cool, but a bit to buzzwordy. Also I don’t like the fact that they use exprimental cryptoprimitives. Might be a cool product for the future, but i would avoid it until those primitives have hold up against the test of time. (Also it seems closed source, which is a bit sketchy for a product with such high claims regarding cryptography)

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“Military grade encryption” ftw!


I know. Only use it for fun :wink:


Well, I do love to test out things like this!!

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Thanks for this!
see also https://securechatguide.org/rejectedapps.html to compare (and avoid).

Curious Tox/qTox have no mention :confused:


I’ve used tox before, but every client I tried for mobile devices had notification issues (not showing up) so I gave up. It’s nice if you are just talking with people on desktops.


good point and one I often overlook this past couple years of no smart phone.

I was impressed with qTox on my desktop, real good calls to another desktop user, file sharing, etc but did not have phone to run it on before. Worth noting, the qtox project compiles fine and a couple bugs from last release (July 2018) have been well covered in the 400+ commits since release.

But it’s also not bridged to matrix, so deprecated for my use as that is my focus now for securing comms.


I’ve used Tox as well (only on desktop), but didn’t stick with it for whatever reason. I’d love to have all my family switch to Signal or something along those lines!!

(Dan Arel) #18

Though not complete and not as comprehensive as some, I created this to help users decide on a messenger that’s right for them.


(S4 Cure) #19

Tox is a dream come true

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Perhaps I should start using it again, then!! :slight_smile: