Discussion: Signal

This is an official discussion thread linked from the www.privacytools.io website. This thread can be used for troubleshooting, questions, discussions and if you look for alternatives.

Some comparsion between Signal and Wire may be happening in the Wire thread.


So, Wire will hold some of my personal information in plaintext or encrypted, right? If so, what are these info? In comparison, Signal just gets my mobile number. Can I circumvent this by registeing with a virtual number paid by crypto?

Wire stores metadata such as list of your connections/conversations in plaintext (= not encrypted).

is what PTIO says on https://www.privacytools.io/software/im/ and the more information link goes to:

You can find their terms from https://wire.com/en/legal/#terms.

Yes. I guess with your own responsibility and you would possibly have to explain your contacts why you have a different number at Signal than everywhere else.

There is also a thread on anonymous Signal IDs that could be given to contacts instead of phone numbers in Signal Community Discourse.


Did you know that you can start Signal in tray icon, while giving it the --start-in-tray flag? I have had it in my i3 config and Windows shell:startup for a long time and now I also commented the later on their issue tracker when asked. I hope it will become more accessible by coming to the settings.

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Signal App is based in USA, so can we really trust Signal app ?

Snowden recommends it, and its open source. My guess is yes, US based servers don’t mean anything if Signal doesn’t log anything that matters. Link that proves Signals no log policy

Signal.org Government Requests, and their version of the previous link is Grand jury subpoena for Signal user data, Eastern District of Virginia.

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How do I use Signal as an instant messaging app? AFAIK the only thing I can do is send SMS and my cellphone company charges me for it. Is there a way to use it without spending money? Could this be related to my phone being old and not having some feature?

When you long press “send” button, there is option to choose between SMS and IM. The best advise would be to use some other SMS app instead od Signal (decline using it for SMS when it offers you)

Signal is primarily an instant messaging app that offers encrypted communication only. However, you have the possibility to also use it as an replacement for your phone’s SMS app. If you use Signal this way, you send SMS in cleartext to contacts that don’t have Signal.

Signal should automatically recognize if your contact also uses Signal and turn on encrypted messages.

Your contact likely doesn’t have the Signal app installed. Check this. If this is still the case, turn off SMS support in Signal’s settings. Then, you should get notified that your contact doesn’t have Signal prior to sending anything.


Yeah, it looks that when I tried to use I have configured it to work as my SMS app too, so that was impeding me from sending encrypted messages. Thanks!