Best secure and private call and messaging apps for Android and iPhone (2015 edition)


Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of government surveillance on both its own citizens and people across the globe has been a shock on a global scale. A major story in the past year, and likely in many years to come, knowing that your private messages and calls might not actually be that private is unnerving.

There is, however, one simple thing that you and your friends can do in order to make it practically impossible for big brother to keep an eye on your conversations: use secure, encrypted messaging and calling apps.

#1 TextSecure (Android) | Signal (iOS) : secure and private calling and messaging

Download on Android, iOS

TextSecure is a messaging app that allows you to have private conversations via both text messaging and voice calls. It is free, supports group calls and texts, and allows you to share media. Best of all, it's open source, so you can rest assured that all encryption is done in a proper manner and the ever-longer hands of the government won't reach your private life. The server also never has access to any of your communication and never stores any data.

#2 Telegram

Download on Android, iOS

Look, Mom, no NSA! Ever since the NSA snooping on our every line of communication became known, a new breed of apps has emerged, focused on security and encryption. The Telegram instant messaging application is one cross-platform newcomer to this space, offering snoop-free communication with self-destructing messages, but also focusing on the speed of delivery. The developers claim that Telegram is the fastest IM network out there on account of the decentralized infrastructure, that has data centers all over the globe, routing you through the closest possible server. We suspect this will also make it harder for the authorities to subpoena any particular provider, but the security features don't end here. The app boasts end-to-end encryption, leaving no trace on the servers, but you can also set messages to self-destruct after a given period from the mobile devices themselves, so you can rest assured all footprints of your communication will be gone after the chat session is over.


#3 Wickr

Download on Android, iOS

A messenger/social network with privacy in mind, Wickr has apps for Android and iOS and offers encryption and self-destruction for different sorts of messages including voice. You attach self-destruction time to messages, allowing you to specify whether it'd be minutes or days that a message will stay on a recipient's phone after they've read it. Every message is encrypted using a different key, and those keys are stored on users' devices rather than on Wickr's servers resulting in a system that - even if compromised - cannot reveal user data.


#4 Gliph

Download on Android, iOS

Gliph is a free secure messenger that also doubles in functionality as a Bitcoin payments app for Android and iOS (it's also got a desktop web client).


#5 CryptTalk

Download on iOS (Pro version link)

CryptTalk offers end-to-end encryption with no central server involved in the encryption process. It's built on the the most secure and widely used and audited algorithms, and features man-in-the-middle attack protection.

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10 Comments

1. Chuck007

Posts: 1411; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Sad thing is... big brother is watching us and there's nothing the average consumer can do about it. You think these solutions are safe from government hacks? That'll be grossly underestimating them.

2. janno

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 19, 2014

If you're the target, say if you're the creator of Silk Road 7, then yes none of these apps can guarantee what you say is safe, not because THEY aren't safe, but because your phone or PC probably isn't, and once that's hacked they can also see what other stuff is in there. BUT these apps are actually HIGHLY EFFECTIVE against mass surveillance, otherwise you wouldn't see governments appear so desperate in the press about encryption backdoors and how the web is "going dark" and whatnot. These apps make it extremely difficult for them to spy on all the other 99.999% percent of people that AREN'T targets per se. Without them and without HTTPS and other secure communications protocols, it's very easy to analyze every single word anyone ever says online and detect "interesting" people this way, and then automatically add them to "lists". Think about it, they are tapping the cables and they get all the "raw non-encrypted data" and analyzing it in real-time. Apps such as TextSecure/Signal make sure such passive dragnet surveillance isn't effective. And that MATTERS!

3. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

BBM must be the first on thus list!

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Ah yes the infamous BBM.

5. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

BBM is susceptible to MITM, as shown in the Middle East. It isn't even as secure as iMessage, which is end-to-end encrypted.

6. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

isn't WhatsApp using end to end encryption?...... i think they are ....

7. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

text secure is at a whole other level.

8. jdrch

Posts: 107; Member since: Jul 08, 2014

FYI TextSecure dropped their SMS component today. Check their blog.

9. talyamizrahi

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 08, 2015

If you're looking for another secure text messaging alternative, you should check out TeleMessage.

10. Stevefast

Posts: 1; Member since: May 13, 2015

strong encryption with cloud - VIPole Secure Messenger

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