Telegram ong the most popular messaging services in the world, yet there are still many who don’t know what it’s all about. The app is often name-dropped in discussions regarding online privacy and security, but aren’t all messaging apps secure? Don’t more popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger (despite their ties to Facebook) also have the fabled end-to-end encryption? What makes Telegram so special?
Keep reading to learn what Telegram does, what its main features are, and why you might consider using it. You can also download the app right away at the link below.
What is Telegram?
Telegram is a multi-platform messaging service founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov. It first rolled out on iOS and Android in late 2013, and now has an estimated 550 million monthly users. Telegram’s user base tends to increase whenever a privacy scandal https://hookupdate.net/de/heatedaffairs-review/ hits one of its larger competitors.
What makes Telegram unique is its focus on privacy, encryption, and an open-source API. There are countless unofficial clients to go along with the official Telegram apps and web interface. It also allows multiple devices to use the same account (verified by SMS), and multiple accounts on the same device.
How does Telegram work?
Telegram’s core functionality is the same as most other messaging apps: You can message other Telegram users, create group conversations, call contacts, make video calls, and send files and stickers. However, there are a few specific features that make it work differently from other chat apps.
First and foremost, Telegram’s headline feature is privacy, and to ensure this it employs end-to-end encryption. This is what stops those outside a two-way conversation – be it a company, the government, hackers, or someone else – from seeing what has been sent.
However, Telegram only uses this encryption in calls and in its secret chats feature, not in regular chats. Those are only encrypted client to server. Meanwhile, WhatsApp, the supposedly less secure service, has used end-to-end encryption in messages, calls, and video calls since 2016.
The reason for this is Telegram’s enhanced use of the cloud. Essentially, it stores all of your messages and photos on a secure server. This means you can access them from any connected device, making Telegram much more multi-platform friendly than other chat apps like WhatsApp.
Another security feature that adds usability is usernames. Instead of giving people your phone number, you can simply give them your username. This gives you better control over what information is out there, and how people can contact you in the future.
Is Telegram safe to use?
In general, Telegram is as safe or safer than most other chat apps. It could be argued that WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption on all messaging is a better approach, but the company’s ties to Facebook may turn off privacy advocates.
Plus, if you’re using the secret chats feature, you’re getting the same level of end-to-end encryption. On top of this, users can’t forward or screenshot messages in secret chats, and messages can be programmed to self-destruct. Deleting a message also deletes it for everyone on the service, and users have the option to delete not just their own messages, but other users’ messages, too. It’s also worth mentioning that all chats are encrypted, even if not end-to-end encrypted.
Another thing to keep in mind is that selling your data isn’t at the core of Telegram’s business model. According to Telegram’s FAQ page, the company is funded by its founder and CEO Pavel Durov, not through advertising or data collection and sharing.
On the same page, Telegram also lists one of its two tenets of internet privacy as protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc. That puts it in stark contrast to a myriad of services from Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others.