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Telegram vs. Signal - A comparison

Telegram vs. Signal - A comparison

WhatsApp has been the top dog among messenger services for years. But the competition is growing. Signal and Telegram are some of the most attractive alternatives. You can find out the differences between the two alternatives in this practical tip.
Telegram vs. Signal
Telegram vs. Signal

Telegram: the messenger at a glance

telegram feature


Telegram is a free messenger
service that is also suitable for tech companies and start-ups due to its wide range of functions. In the cloud-based messenger, users can send data packets of up to 1.5 GB in size. You can find Telegram for Android and Telegram for iOS in our download area.
  • Functional scope: Telegram scores with a wide range of functions. In addition to the obligatory messenger chat function, users can record audio and video messages and send them to their contacts. Voice calls can also be made.
  • You can also send large amounts of data in the form of documents, images, graphics or videos. The only drawback: Telegram does not support video calls.
  • What is extraordinary is that as a Telegram user you can chat with up to 1,000 contacts in a group.
  • Data storage: Telegram stores all uploaded files in a cloud. This enables you to use the data on any device on which you have installed Telegram. Disadvantage: The messenger service saves all content on the Telegram servers. After a certain period of time, however, the data is automatically deleted.
  • Encryption: Telegram's messages are encrypted . The "normal" cloud chats have client-server / server-client encryption.
  • The so-calledsecret chats”, on the other hand, are end-to-end encrypted. Contacts stored on the smartphone are not read by Telegram. You have to activate this secret mode first.
  • Prerequisite: You cannot register with Telegram without a telephone number . It does not matter whether the number is your current mobile phone number or a landline number.
  • Availability: Telegram can be used both as an app and as a desktop version on a laptop or PC (Windows, MacOS, Linux). The free app is available for Android and iOS.

Signal: Secure messenger with end-to-end encryption

signal messanger feature
signal messanger


The free messenger Signal is open source
. This means: The code used is public and can be changed if necessary. The messenger has prominent supporters: According to his own statements, data protection activist Edward Snowden uses Signal every day.
  • Functional range: Signal offers all common messenger functions - from sending text messages to voice messages to audio and video calls.
  • You can also send files such as documents, photos or videos via Signal. In a group, you can also chat with several people at the same time. There is no cloud storage like Telegram.
  • Data storage: Signal is considered a very secure messenger that complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Messages and files are automatically deleted after a certain period of time.
  • One disadvantage: Signal reads the contacts saved on your smartphone. But the contacts are only used in the app and not stored on the signal servers.
  • Encryption: All communication via Signal is end-to-end encrypted . This means that only the parties involved in a chat can decrypt the sent messages, i.e. read them. Telephone calls should be tap-proof via the signal. 
  • This works with a unique security number assigned to every conversation, whether it's a chat or a call. Signal is therefore suitable for sensitive communication.
  • Requirements: In order to use Signal, you have to enter a phone number from a device through which you can receive SMS - the verification during registration takes place via SMS. Android 4.4 or higher must be installed on Android smartphones.
  • Availability: Signal can be used as an app for Android and Apple smartphones and as a desktop version on laptops and PCs.

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