Which Chat App Is Better, Threema or Signal?
Threema and Signal are, without a doubt, the two best chat apps that focus on user privacy. Keeping in mind that users are paying more and more attention to online privacy, we decided to compare these two apps and find out which one is better.
How Do Threema and Signal Work?
Threema and Signal are apps available for Android and iOS, as well as for Windows, Linux, and macOS. In this post, we will focus on the mobile versions of these applications, although almost everything we say will apply to PC versions as well. As we have said, these are security-focused chat applications.
Both applications have a nice and practical user interface, which is not overloaded with unnecessary options and which is extremely easy to navigate. Both Threema and Signal provide a great user experience and there is honestly no major difference here.
As far as options are concerned, both applications contain all the features we expect from quality chat applications. The main advantage of Signal is that it contains the option to send an SMS message if the person to whom you are sending the message does not have a Signal application. Options offered by Threema, which we do not have in Signal, are creating polls in group chat, adjusting image dimensions, the possibility of backing up to any server, and a couple of other options.
Threema definitely contains more options, but none of them is something we missed too much in Signal. The ability to send SMS messages that Signal offers is a great feature that we have often used, but it is not so necessary. Honestly, we have differences here, but they are small and for the most part less important.
Both applications focus on security and here they both absolutely shine. Both feature impressive end-to-end encryption, as well as incognito keyboards, screen protectors, encryption of files you send, and more.
As we can see, as far as the applications themselves are concerned, the differences are minimal. Both applications are of high quality, work flawlessly and whichever one you choose, you won’t go wrong.
The Signal Is Free, While Threema Is Paid
Now, we come to the first major difference between these two apps. Namely, Signal is completely free, and there are no ads or any artificial restrictions, while Threema is an application that you have to buy in order to use it.
The price of the Threema app is $ 3.99 and once you buy it you will get all its features forever. There is no monthly subscription or additional purchase within the app. This is without a doubt the best business model that does not try to deceive the user or try to squeeze as much money as possible from the user.
However, Signal contains the best free model, that is, the application is completely free, with no hidden costs and restrictions that are there just to make you pay. In this category, Signal is definitely a better option.
User Registration Info
You do not have to use your phone number when creating an account in the Threema app. You create an account using a username, and when you create one, you will receive your unique ID number. You can connect with other users using the ID number or username. Signal, on the other hand, requires users to enter their phone number and share that number with other users in order to connect with them.
Given that the phone number is one of the most important private information, we really liked the fact that Threema does not require this information. The fact is, connecting with friends via phone numbers is convenient, however, since these applications focus on privacy, we would prefer this to be optional in Signal.
Centralized and Decentralized Servers
Signal uses a centralized server, which means that all data that users send through the application must pass through one central server. This leads to the fact that if for any reason, the server stops working, the application will stop working. Also, this makes censorship much easier than when using a decentralized server.
Threema uses a decentralized server, which means that the application uses multiple connected servers. Contrary to what we said about Signal, here if one server stops working, the other server will take over, and for the user, it will not look like there is any problem. The same goes for censorship. Censorship is much more difficult when it comes to decentralized servers. Here a decentralized server that Threema uses is definitely a better option.
Which Is Better, Threema or Signal?
Both applications are great, and the differences between them are not so great. The main differences are that Threema is paid and that Signal requires you to enter your phone number, contains slightly fewer options, and uses a central server.
The problem with the Threema app is that most users are used to chat apps being free, so if your friends don’t use it, not only will you have to get them to start using it, but you’ll have to get them to pay for it. Signal definitely looks like a worse option considering the disadvantages compared to Threema. However, most people will not even notice these, and the missing options are something you will not need often.
For this reason, we will declare Signal a better application, but only because it is free. If your friends use Threema, and you are wondering if you should start using it as well, the answer is that you absolutely should, as it is a great application.
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