The best instant messaging apps to chat with your friends (even abroad)

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Martí Micolau
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The most used private messengers //

SMS, although still in use, are being replaced more and more by instant messaging services passing through the data network, thus making it possible to communicate for free as soon as one has access to the Internet. Available on the iPhone and iPad App Store or on the Android Google Play Store, these chat applications, often more user-friendly and complete, allow you to share much more than text messages (HD images, GIFs, videos, maps, etc.).

They are now quite numerous and it is sometimes difficult to know which messaging to choose. That's why we help you find the ones that best meet your expectations.

Messaging to protect your privacy

No one wants someone to come and poke their nose into their private discussions. This is why we recommend as a priority to turn to one of the applications guaranteeing greater respect for private data, in particular thanks to end-to-end encryption of conversations. This means that even if they wanted to, the publisher of the application would not have access to your messages.

To learn more
Why you shouldn't use the word "encrypt"

Our main recommendation is therefore Signal, which has received the approval of the ACLU, the EFF, but also influential figures such as Edward Snowden or Elon Musk. These good reviews come from the fact that the messaging application is fully open source, allowing security experts to audit the source code and thus check for the presence of possible vulnerabilities or data retention. In addition, it very strongly encrypts all the data that passes through the service.

Telegram is also an interesting alternative, although it is more criticized due to the opacity of the server part and the fact that it is not end-to-end encrypted by default, requiring additional manipulation on the part of the user to secure its exchanges. It remains nevertheless very secure and above all very functional and pleasant on a daily basis. A fair balance therefore between safety and ease of use on a daily basis.

To learn more
Telegram vs Signal: which app to choose to replace WhatsApp?

In another genre, Snapchat allows you to send messages which will disappear after a few seconds from your interlocutor's smartphone. This is in no way a guarantee of security, especially since nothing is encrypted, but it gives you better control over the messages and photos that you leave circulating in nature. Please note that the messages remain stored on the firm's servers for 30 days.

Download Signal, Telegram or Snapchat


Download Signal Free APK


Download Telegram Free APK


Download Snapchat Free APK

The most popular couriers

Unfortunately, Signal or Telegram are not the most widely used messaging systems in the world and talking to yourself quickly gets boring. To find your friends, you may therefore have to turn to the most popular applications like Messenger or WhatsApp, both belonging to the Facebook group (and sharing certain information with the rest of the company's ecosystem).

In the case of Facebook, we recommend the application Lite Messenger, which as its name suggests is lighter and easier to use. Regarding WhatsApp, the most interesting is that it uses the mobile phone number as an identifier. This means that you don't need to request an ID (or “add as a friend”) to contacts if you know their phone numbers.

If you don't want to go through Facebook, you can turn to Viber, which is a great alternative to WhatsApp and offers both a lot of features, but also default message encryption.

Download Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Viber


Download WhatsApp Free APK

Lite Messenger

Download Messenger Lite Free APK


Download Messenger Free APK

Viber Messenger

Download Viber Messenger Free APK

Couriers for trips abroad

Chat applications are particularly useful when traveling abroad, since they allow free communication with abroad as soon as the smartphone is connected to a WiFi network. If you are traveling to Asia, we advise you WeChat et Line, two very popular services that often offer additional features such as payment in stores, and which can be used in China.

We can also mention Skype, which allows you to make calls, by paying, to landline or mobile numbers. The price is often much lower than that offered by your Spanish mobile operator when roaming.

Download Line, WeChat or Skype


Download Skype Free APK


Download WeChat Free APK

LINE: FREE call & message

Download LINE: FREE Call & Message APK

Chat messengers for gamers

Whether it's to keep IRL in touch with your guild, or your best friends when you're in a game, some services specialize in chat for gamers. Yes Steam of course offers its chat service, it is Discord which is doing well. This service incorporates many options, including the ability to chat easily and for free either directly with its contacts or on servers, which then brings it closer to a competitor of Slack.

Download Discord or Steam


Download Discord Free APK


Download Steam Free APK

We summarize

What's the best app for secret chatting?

The most secure application, recommended in particular by Edward Snowden is Signal. Not only does it encrypt messages efficiently, but it's also completely open source, which allows you to keep an eye on your activity. You can know exactly where and how your data flows.

How to communicate without a phone number?

There are several messaging apps that don't require a phone number in order to communicate, but an account. We can cite among others Facebook Messenger ou Skype, two messaging services that are linked to an email address and therefore allow you to chat from a computer or smartphone without having a phone number.

How to call for free without internet?

Apart from traditional instant messaging applications that go through the internet, there are also a few applications that allow you to converse without having to go through the network. These will then generally use Bluetooth or WiFi Direct to communicate and directly exchange data from one device to another.

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