Telegram is a messaging app created by former VK creators with a focus on speed and security. It’s superfast, simple and free. It is like SMS, but more powerful.
You can send messages, photos and videos to people who are in your phone contacts (and have Telegram). You can also create groups for up to 200000 people or channels for unlimited subscribers.
Your chats are not encrypted by default, which enables other people to see what you are writing. You can enable a "Secret Chat" to enable end-to-end encryption.
Telegram offers a Premium plan too: by subscribing to Telegram Premium, users unlock doubled limits, 4 GB file uploads, faster downloads, exclusive stickers and reactions, improved chat management – and a whole lot more. At the same time, all existing features that users have come to expect and rely on for nearly a decade remain free. Moreover, non-premium users will be able to enjoy some of Premium's benefits: for example, download the extra-large documents and view stickers sent by premium users, as well as tap to increase counters on premium reactions that were already added to a message. There are different prices for the Premium subscription based on your country, also if you buy it via the @premiumbot you don't have to pay the app store fees.
Telegram's security model has received notable criticism by cryptography experts. They criticized the general security model of permanently storing all contacts, messages and media together with their decryption keys on its servers by default and by not enabling end-to-end encryption for messages by default.
Telegram's client-side code is open-source software, whereas its server-side code is closed-source and proprietary. The service also provides public APIs with which developers can access the same functionality as Telegram's official apps to build their own messaging applications.
Telegram also provides a bot API for programmers to create different kinds of Telegram bots. Bots are simply Telegram accounts operated by software – not people – and they'll often have AI features. They can do anything – teach, play, search, broadcast, remind, connect, integrate with other services, or even pass commands to the Internet of Things.
Slack is a unified communication platform built with an optimized workflow to keep modern teams focused and productive. A familiar chat interface facilitates discussions while advanced features are easily exposed based on context. Hover over a message to see more options such as emoji reactions, sharing and pinning features and more. A navigation bar provides easy access to key features including a powerful search to find important discussions, files and more.
Conversations are organized across dedicated Channels, neatly arranged in a responsive sidebar with collapsible sections. These Channels are highly configurable and allow for flexibility in working with various teams but can also be shared externally, making it easy to hold discussions with partners and clients.
Pixelfed is an image sharing platform with focus on Privacy, Safety and Security, an ethical alternative to centralized platforms like Instagram. Federated (A network of millions), Ad-Free, No algorithms (Timelines in order), No 3rd party analytics or tracking. Can run on your own server.
With the rise of widespread government monitoring programs, Tox is an easy to use application that allows you to connect with friends and loved ones without anyone else listening in.
Tox is built with the idea that you can keep up with friends and family without having your privacy violated. While other big-name services require you to pay to unlock features, Tox is free in both price, and in liberty. That is, you’re free to do whatever you wish with Tox.
Some Tox binary official frontends:
- Windows: uTox updater, µTox, qTox, Toxy, Konv
- OS X: qTox, Poison, uTox, Toxic, Konv
- Linux: uTox, Toxic, qTox, Ricin, Konv
- Android: Antox, TrRiFA, Konv
- iOS: Antidote, Konv
- FreeBSD: uTox, qTox, Toxic, Konv
Secure email with absolutely no compromises, brought to you by MIT and CERN scientists.
Swiss Based ProtonMail is incorporated in Switzerland and our servers are located in Switzerland. We are outside of US and EU jurisdiction and all user data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws.
Zero Access Because of our end-to-end encryption, your data is already encrypted by the time it reaches our servers. We have no access to your messages, and since we cannot decrypt them, we cannot share them with third parties.
Backwards Compatible ProtonMail works out of any modern web browser, there is nothing to install. We are also backwards compatible with other email providers so you can continue sending and receiving emails from friends who are not using ProtonMail.
Forever Free We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and should be available for everyone. That's why we offer multi-tiered pricing including a free version that anyone can use. Let's bring privacy back to the people!
Fully Anonymous We do not log IP addresses or require any personal information to sign up. We accept bitcoin and cash payments for paid accounts to ensure even paid account users have complete privacy.
Cross Platform ProtonMail works on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It's as simple as visiting our site and logging in. There are no plugins or apps to install - simply use your favorite web browser.
Using Signal, you can communicate instantly with your relatives without making a compromise on privacy or security. Make video calls, send messages, pictures, videos, documents, voice recordings, GIFs, contacts & location, create groups so that you can chat in real time with all your friends at once and react to their messages with emojis -all with complete privacy-. Signal servers never have access to any of your communications and never store any of your data.
- Say Anything - Share text, voice messages, photos, videos, GIFs and files for free. Signal uses your phone's data connection so you can avoid SMS (No longer supports SMS or MMS) and MMS fees.
- Speak Freely - Make crystal-clear voice and video calls to people who live across town, or across the ocean, with no long-distance charges.
- Make Privacy Stick - Add a new layer of expression to your conversations with encrypted stickers. You can also create and share your own sticker packs.
- Get Together with Groups - Group chats make it easy to stay connected to your family, friends, and coworkers.
- No ads. No trackers. No kidding. - There are no ads, no affiliate marketers, and no creepy tracking in Signal. So focus on sharing the moments that matter with the people who matter to you.
- Remain Connected - Push notifications let you know when new messages have arrived, and they'll be waiting for you even if your battery dies or you temporarily lose service.
- View Source - All of our code is free, open, and available on GitHub (https://github.com/signalapp).
- Join Movements - Technology developed by Open Whisper Systems is trusted and used by millions of people around the world every day.
Jitsi Desktop (previously SIP Communicator) is a legacy audio/video and chat communicator with full encryption, precedessor of Jitsi Meet .
It supports protocols such as SIP, XMPP/Jabber, ICQ/AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo!, GTalk/Hangouts extensions, as well as OTR, ZRTP, etc.
Jami (formerly GNU Ring, SFLphone) positions itself as a potential free Skype replacement
Open Source and cross-platform. Jami gives you a full control over your communications and an unmatched level of privacy.
SIP-compatible softphone and SIP-based instant messenger for Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X and Android.
Communicate in multiple ways: • A telephone: a simple tool to connect, communicate and share. • A teleconferencing tool: easily join calls to create conferences with multiple participants. • A media sharing tool: Jami supports a variety of video input options, including mutliple cameras and image and video files, and the selection of audio inputs and outputs; all this is supported by multiple high quality audio and video codecs. • A messenger: send text messeges during calls or out of calls (as long as your peer is connected). • A building block for your IoT project: re-use the universal communications technology of Jami with its portable library on your system of choice.
Developed and maintained by the Canadian company Savoir-faire Linux, and with the help of a global community of users and contributors.
Watch videos of Jami in actions at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIe47cCt_ovwKb2Nfr4nBlw/videos
Element is a Matrix-based end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) secure collaboration and messaging app.
It provides instant messaging, voice and video calls, screen sharing and file sharing; for 1:1s to huge chat rooms. It’s available to use across Web, Android, iOS, macOS, Windows & Linux.
Its decentralised design delivers digital sovereignty, enabling deployment on-premise or through any cloud provider.
Element Matrix Services (EMS) is the most popular SaaS for corporate use of Element. EMS provides fast performance and enterprise-grade add-ons.
Being Matrix-based, Element provides interoperability between traditional siloed apps. It can bridge into proprietary ‘walled garden’ systems such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Discord to enable easy connections between different organisations.
End-to-end encryption is provided by default to keep users’ conversations and files safe. Cross-signed device verification uses QR codes or emoji comparisons to guard against imposters and eavesdropping.
Element is built on the Matrix.org open standard which provides bridges to other systems such as Slack, IRC and a lot more soon.
Mastodon is a Free and Open Source federated social network, made with a focus on more personal interaction.
The biggest difference between Mastodon and many other social networks is that even though a Mastodon website (called an instance) can operate alone, they can interoperate through AcitivityPub, letting their users on different, independent, instances communicate with each other. This is called federation, and it even works with instances running different software like PeerTube and Pixelfed
- No ads or tracking
- No algorithm
- Completely Free and Open Source
- 500 character text limit
- Custom emojis
- Content warnings/spoilers
- Easy post editing
- Many moderation tools like text filtering
- Image thumbnail adjustment
- Fully self-hostable
This is a list of communication tools and social media services which are great alternatives to the big guys that engage in either surveillance or active censorship.