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Element

Element is a secure collaboration and messaging app based on the Matrix protocol. It’s decentralised to deliver digital sovereignty, and based on an open standard for ea...

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Avg rating of 4.3 (34)| 32 comments

What is Element?

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 icon Matrix.org open standard which provides bridges to other systems such as Slack, IRC and a lot more soon.

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Element Screenshots

Video calls for desktop and mobile
Collaboration widgets
Collaboration and screen sharing
Connect with other apps
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Element Features

  1.  DecentralizedElement is based on a decentralized infrastructure with no single entity controlling it.
  2.  End-to-End EncryptionElement has E2E Encryption, for entire or parts of the app.
  3.  Privacy focusedElement is considered a privacy friendly alternative.
  4.  VoiP CallsElement allows you to make voice calls over Internet using the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
  5.  Support for MarkDownElement supports MarkDown for document formatting.
  6.  File VersioningElement has a version system that lets you view and go back to older versions of the project/file/document.
  7.  No TrackingElement will not track you or use your personal data.
  8.  Real time collaborationMultiple users can work together in Element simultaneously.
  9.  DRM FreeNo Digital rights management (DRM), i.e. no copy protection.

Element information

  • Developed byElement
  • LicensingOpen Source (Apache-2.0) and Freemium product.
  • PricingSubscription that costs between $3 and $4.
  • Written in
  • RatingAverage rating of 4.3 (34 ratings)
  • Alternatives260 alternatives listed

Supported Languages

  • English
  • Albanian
  • Basque
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan; Valencian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Esperanto
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Norwegian Bokmål
  • Norwegian Nynorsk
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • Sinhala, Sinhalese
  • Slovak
  • Slovene
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese
  • Welsh

Apple AppStore

  •   Updated
  •   3.53 avg rating
View in AppStore

GitHub repository

  •  9,345 Stars
  •  1,631 Forks
  •  4481 Open Issues
  •   Updated
View on GitHub

Popular alternatives

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Our users have written 32 comments and reviews about Element, and it has gotten 583 likes

Element was added to AlternativeTo by AmandineLP on and this page was last updated . Element is sometimes referred to as Vector, Vector.im, Riot, Riot.im, Element.io.

Comments and Reviews  Post a comment/review

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JohnFastman
  
Top positive comment ago
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This excellent project is in beta but it has already the following features:

  • end-to-end encryption
  • markdown support
  • private/public chatrooms
  • room members by link and/or invitation
  • themes
  • various notification levels
  • file sharing
  • voice & video conferening (I haven't tested this personally)

It's exciting to see what this will be in a year from now. There are still a few niggles to sort out:

  • not all files upload correctly (size limit for the beta?)
  • pasted text appears twice when you enter it in a chat room (but correctly once you hit enter)
  • not all webpages are previewed correctly
  • searching chat room text is slow (unencrypted rooms)
  • searching chat room text doesn't work (encrypted rooms)*

*Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't have to be like that. Turtl and other show text in encrypted clients can be searchable. Have an index file, decrypt it locally and search it locally. Don't understand why it's not done more often.


Also, I'm quietly hoping that ghastly green colour won't be the default and put people off. (Don't worry - you can pick different colours for different rooms.)

2 replies
coth

Does it have Team Viewer-like remote control, Teams-like file history and ability to lock contact lists, i.e. contacts controlled by admin only? Looking for something for a little business.

Reply written ago

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igenn

#coth -no, it has no remote control (yet), but Wire has (or only viewer, i am not sure) try it

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16
TerrifiedTyphlosion
  
Top positive comment ago
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Riot recently came out of beta: https://medium.com/@RiotChat/the-big-1-0-68fa7c6050be alt. http://archive.fo/iuZfj Now that we're at a full-fledged release, I can say that New Vector's done a wonderful job. The interface was admittedly quite messy during the beta. The settings were extensive, but were a pain to navigate through and understand. After the update, however, the interface is much more focused and cleaner. Also, it loads a little faster.

As usual, Riot keeps all its previous features, like end to end encryption and voice and video chatting (although I must admit that I haven't used them, because no friends...this is really a recurring theme in my reviews, geez).

As of this writing, I have yet to find the Linux 1.0 version, but I did find it currently on Windows. EDIT: It just entered the software repository for Ubuntu, about an hour after this review. Other distros will probably get it soon.

Anyways, if you're looking for an open source alternative to things like Discord or Slack, give Riot a shot!

[Edited by TerrifiedTyphlosion, February 17]

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6
igenn
  
Top negative comment ago
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Actually i think it is very complicated for skype-like users.

  • E2E encryption requires action from both sides it is not enabled by default (not private at all)
  • File transfer and Video Calls should be P2P and not limited by the server

I hope they change something on it to be more efficient.

4 replies
KillPriusDrivers

Are you ignoring the null key of RC4 cipher used by Skype for years?

Microsoft monitoring doesn't bother you?

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igenn

I don' use Skype or M$. I was talking about their users.

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ralaud

Since (15.07.2020) Riot updated to Element, verification participant and UI are much better now. Its worth a second look!

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igenn

@relaud

Yeah i've seen that, nicely done. I hope they do something about the database 'cleanup' too.

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3
undeniably_lizard
  
Positive comment ago
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Undoubtedly future of messaging. Works really well for a protocol that was newly released.

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0
kastal
  
Negative comment ago
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The desktop app is not native, it's a real resource-hog. I really hate web based apps.

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Kevin777
  
Positive comment ago
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I like Element because it’s ease to use 💙

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boba_fit
  
Positive comment ago
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indipendent, you can selfhost it

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7 of 32 comments

Tags

  • Group Chat
  • Security & Privacy
  • Bridging
  • Live Chat
  • Enterprise
  • Encrypted
  • Decentralised Encrypted Chat
  • Social Network
  • data-sovereignty
  • workplace-messenger
  • on-premise
  • secure-messaging
  • Matrix
  • digital-sovereignty
  • Chat Rooms
  • interoperability
  • Matrix Client
  • decentralised-messaging

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