Which Messaging Apps Are Fully Encrypted? [2021]

You wouldn’t drive without a seatbelt, why would you use insecure messengers?

Let me ask you this: Can you afford the risks?

Exhibit 1: A Chinese woman had her identity and effectively her entire life stolen by a party official, just because she was an easy target.*

Exhibit 2: The NYPD secretly spent $159 million on surveillance tech*. 

Exhibit 3: John McAfee, a high profile target of political interest bearing a tattoo saying “$Wacked [I would never kill myself, I was murdered]” suddenly being reported to have commited suicide in prison under extremly suspicious circumstances**.

There are countless more examples. Encryption is more critical than ever. A little hint: VPNs reportedly do not make you anonymous.* The vast majority of all of your communication happens over the same 4-5 apps. Of those, nearly all of them are either social, email or messengers. Or social with messengers.

It’s no secret that Facebook owns WhatsApp, and they are notorious for misusing your data. 

The same goes for the government. While they may or may not have the best intentions and their access can be argued and justified, they can still go through your phone messages through the court system.

Can you imagine being on an intimate date with a stranger sitting across the table, recording everything you and your date say and sending it god knows where for profit? Not to mention, you might suddenly find yourself locked out of your accounts or even framed for a crime!

As the proverb goes: “Trust, but verify”. So without further ado, here are the best, fully encrypted messengers of 2021.

(Ranked in no particular order to remain neutrality)

1. UniMe

The highly secure messaging App “Unime” is the most innovative app in our list. Contrary to most other Apps and end-to-end encryption is at no point an optional feature but obligatory and constantly enforced. Once a user logs out, messages are deleted and cannot be retrieved even through synchronisation with a different device. 

The app is developed almost completely by just a few guys from Samurai Lab, a tech company in Singapore soon to move to Japan and led by Daika Ginza. Unime was built from scratch in 2019, without any funding, and has been in closed beta ever since. Its most notable features are the customizable AI bots and a crypto currency wallet able to store a multitude of different coins and tokens.

Now, UniMe is in its third iteration, the app has entered the public market with promising upgrades to its functionality, such as the AI features on the roadmap for the near future. 

From the beginning, no Data whatsoever is stored on Third Party Servers, but only in the local App Data Folder, where they are encrypted, and once read, completely deleted again leaving no traces.

It’s a complex security system with military-grade capabilities that builds on an instant-delete-policy to immediately get rid of any possible weak points. Users can exchange Instant Messages as well as a tweaked “securitized” version of most other messengers’ most popular features. The App is available for iOS, Android and soon also for PC.

Download UniMe: Android, iOS

2. Telegram

Telegram, the free encrypted-messaging app, encourages users to frequently change their digital fingerprint to avoid surveillance by intelligence agencies. The messaging service has told reporters that anyone — spies included — can impersonate another Telegram user with little chance of being noticed by the app’s administrators.

It said its service is also popular among people who want to spread sensitive information but also misinformation, such as trolls, whilst trying to evade surveillance.

Download Telegram: Android, iOS

3. Signal

Signal is an encrypted messaging app that prevents your messages from being read by anyone but the recipient. It is now based on Textsecure. They claim to go beyond privacy and include privacy with ‘privacy for everyone’ as a mission statement.

In terms of user experience, Signal has a lot of flaws. Many users have expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of variety, numerous problems, and sluggish progress.

Yet it is offering a further layer of security compared to SMS. Encryption is one of many strategies for securing their online communications.

Download Signal: Android, iOS

4. Threema

Founded in 2012 in Switzerland, home to some of the most robust privacy laws in the world. Instead of chintzy features or viral catch-phrases, the Swiss opted for military-grade encryption (AES-256, Perfect Forward Secrecy) and FIPS 140-2 encryption up to level 3 for data-in-transit. 

There’s no internet backbone to tap, no cloud service to subpoena and no weak spot to exploit. Without a Google or App Store, Threema was free from all of the regulatory headaches involved with monetizing your private information. It was also able to instantly share data with other users, creating a network effect: the more people you knew that used Threema, the more useful it became.

Download Threema: Android, iOS

5. Silent Phone

It was distributed for free, but purchasers were encouraged to make donations starting at $10 for a basic app up to hundreds or even thousands to each of the individuals involved in the project (depending on their role and time invested). Users get the basic features, plus cutting edge, military grade encryption. In addition, Silent Circle made users’ privacy its utmost priority. 

History tells us that businesses aren’t always reliable in protecting personal data; Silent Circle understood it would have to earn users trust if they were to keep their data private. Security enhancements like peer-to-peer connections for voice, encrypted video chat, and 

Their goal is to make private communication simple, but make no mistake: it requires Internet users to properly protect their accounts. Maximum security via encryption is only meaningful if there are other steps in place, like using a strong password along with multi-factor authentication.

Download Silent Phone: Android, iOS