Signal VS WhatsApp: Which You Should Choose in 2021?

Signal has positioned itself as one of the top alternatives to WhatsApp and is in the spotlight as WhatsApp’s replacement because Signal is all about privacy. Following WhatsApp‘s announcement of its new privacy policy causing quite a stir, many people have contemplated leaving the world’s most popular chat platform – WhatsApp and migrating to Signal. In fact, with a sudden surge in Signal app installations from the app stores, people have even switched off from WhatsApp and started their communication in the privacy-first messaging app – Signal.

Signal vs WhatsApp

Signal VS WhatsApp: Which You Should Choose in 2021?

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The two apps – Signal and WhatsApp vary greatly in terms of user data collection, ownership, security, features, and usability.

Here’s a little “tale of the tape” to help you dig more and draw an analogy between Signal and WhatsApp.

Signal VS WhatsApp: Which You Should Choose in 2021?

Here’s a takeaway for you to help you decide which messaging platform suits you the best by showcasing the major differences between Signal and WhatsApp.


WhatsApp supports an end to end encryption. However, the company does not encrypt backups – be it cloud or local. Now that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, certain user data can be accessed by WhatsApp’s parent company – Facebook such as account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others, mobile device information and a lot more.

Signal leverages an advanced end to end encryption protocol that provides privacy for every message every time and anytime. The signal is the best when it comes to security – on all the ends – be it the front end (user interfacing side) or the back end. Signal uses the open-source Signal Protocol to implement end-to-end encryption to cover all forms of communication.

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Little too technical, WhatsApp does not encrypt the metadata that is being used to carry out communication between two endpoints. This is something disliked by users and received a lot of flak. Since metadata is not encrypted, it doesn’t allow anyone to read your messages but it can capture certain information such as the time of the message, the recipient of the message, and duration of the conversation.

To take privacy to a whole new level, Signal even encrypts the metadata too. In addition, Signal has adopted the Sealed Sender feature – what it does is that it completely seals the sender and recipient details so that no one knows – who is messaging whom – not even Signal.

Hence, Signal is a top-notch messaging service when it comes to security and privacy protection making it absolutely impossible for anyone to spy or to be a watchdog on your conversations.

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User Data Collected

Signal collects only a solitary thing from its users: the phone number.

Well, WhatsApp has a laundry list of data collected from its users or in other words, what price does the user pay to WhatsApp for using its service in terms of data.

Voila! There you go

1. Device information
2. Advertising data
3. Purchase history
4. Coarse location
5. Phone number
6. Email address
7. Contacts
8. Performance and diagnostic data
9. Various other user-related content


Signal has the option of local backups only but does not have an option to backup content on the cloud.

WhatsApp allows backups on smartphones and online backups by way of iCloud or Google Drive for free.


A group in Signal can include up to 1,000 participants while WhatsApp supports up to 256 people in a group for addressing people in one go.

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Voice & Video Calling Limitation

With Signal, you can engage up to five people in a voice or video call while WhatsApp renders support for up to 8 people.

File Size Capping

There is a file size limit when it comes to Signal, for images the file size is capped at 6 MB and for video, audio and document, there is a 100 MB capping.

In case you are using WhatsApp, sending images, voice recordings and video up to 16 MB is permissible and the ceiling is 100 MB to transfer documents and files.

Disappearing Messages

There is an amazing feature that Signal boasts – “disappearing chat” feature that allows messages to self-destroy any time in the ballpark of five seconds to seven days plus you can send an image that can be viewed only one time by the recipient – once the recipient views it disappears immediately.

WhatsApp has a similar “disappearing messages” feature that allows messages that are being sent to disappear after some time has elapsed, making it super useful for sending confidential information.

Desktop support

As of now, Signal doesn’t support usage on a browser and lacks dedicated clients for desktop.

WhatsApp supports desktop usage – be it via a web browser or desktop client.

WhatsApp Web won’t work if the mobile number with which it is connected and synced is turned off. For WhatsApp Web to function, your phone should latch onto an active internet connection.

iPad App Support

There is no support for the WhatsApp app on iPad devices. Having said that, iPad users can install Signal on their devices.

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Last Seen Time & Online Status

WhatsApp users can leverage from the last seen time and showcase their online presence. The signal is yet to come up with these features. As of now, Signal doesn’t have the features of last seen time and online status.

Note to Self

Note to Self is an awesome feature that Signal possesses allowing users to send messages to themselves and use it as a reminder or a personal diary. It should serve well, isn’t it?

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Animated Stickers

Animated Stickers are not supported in Signal as of now whereas WhatsApp users can laugh all the way with the plethora of animated stickers.

Users can send in their own stickers, though!

Why should you switch over to Signal?

Signal’s priority is to serve you with a messaging platform where you can communicate without having to fret about your conversation being intercepted or accessed by anyone – including Signal.

If security and privacy is your concern, look no further – Signal is your companion.

With WhatsApp’s new privacy policy raising a storm and its parent company Facebook on the prowl to access your data to increase revenue from advertisement and a high chance of making your chat conversations viewed by the public by way of Google search.

The signal is a more secure and private replacement of WhatsApp and the best part is that there is zero conflict of interest between Signal and its users.

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The Verdict: Signal vs WhatsApp

So, in summation – it’s clear and obvious that in terms of security and privacy – Signal is second to none. The entire ball game depends on the end-user – if an individual is seeking privacy as the most sought-after attribute and top priority then Signal is the best destination.

Many people have become accustomed to WhatsApp as a mainstream messaging client with truckloads of features – that being said, who would like to compromise with security and privacy that is in the offing.

It boils down to what you want hereon – a feature-rich messaging client with compromised security and privacy or an app that serves you well with the world-class security with messaging and calling features that are not so top-of-the-line but good to go! You can also check out the list of the secure messaging app here.

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