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Free Telegram Alternatives

The best free alternative to Telegram is Signal, which is also Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 100 alternatives to Telegram and loads of them is free so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting free alternatives to Telegram are Element, Tox, Wire and Matrix.org.

Telegram alternatives are mainly Group Chat Apps but may also be Encrypted Chat Apps or Instant Messengers. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Telegram.
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Telegram is a messaging app created by former VK creators with a focus on speed and security. It’s...

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  1. Signal is a messaging app with an unexpected focus on privacy, combined with all the features expected from a modern IM app. Signal has received a lot of praise from all around the world for its security and privacy-respecting technologies.

    Screenshot
    Signal vs Telegram opinions
    Most users think Signal is a great alternative to Telegram.
     all • positive • negative      relevance • date
    revxo5852

    Signal has end-to-end encryption by default, Telegram does not. Signal does not store your conversations and files in the cloud, Telegram does.

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    9
    JohnFastman

    Signal uses open source, end-to-end encryption to keep your messages to another Signal user secure and private. It installs on your Android and replaces your default messaging app. (On iPhone it's a separate app.) It's super easy to use. You can still send messages to people who don't have it, but I'd encourage everyone to use it. Plain SMS messages are routinely recorded and stored forever without your persmission. Signal combats that in a very user friendly way.

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    16
    LeSnake

    requires a phone number, uses it own protocols,

    server is open source, but seemed to be closed source for a short time

    If you are already making the effort to switch, use element instead, since it uses the open protocol instead of an own

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    1
    mpodana2

    im not so sure, but it helpfull i guess

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    randomperson

    Unlike Telegram, Signal is fully end-to-end encrypted, even for non-disappearing messages.

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    Planetjunkie

    Telegram is amazing, the downside is that the server is closed source and E2EE is not by default on groups, it would be nice if they added a option to keep all chats E2EE by default when signing up or in the options of the app, but overall a great app

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    0

    Is a Open Source project App and also Server

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  2. Element icon

    Element

    • FreemiumOpen Source
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    • Self-Hosted
    • Matrix.org
    • Cloudron

    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 easy connections and interoperability. It is end-to-end encrypted by default.

    Video calls for desktop and mobile
    Element vs Telegram opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Element is a great alternative to Telegram.
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    Element is structured more honestly out in the open, compared to Telegram.

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    Great group functionality

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    1
    calkesh

    Element is severely lacking in uptake. It could be the best messenger in the world (and may well be) but ultimately, if I can't talk to my friends on there, there's no incentive for me to use it.

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    0
    FiTekno

    I like this because of fact its purpose is to be decentralized. however time shows as knowledge is needed to bridges be made from other platforms.

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    0
    LeSnake

    Great encryption, uses matrix protocol, so it's decentralized, while offering similar and even more functions.

    But the UI isn't as intuitive as the telegram one, and the encryption sometimes can't decrypt a message.

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    rrhyast

    Better than telegram and discord but need a lot of work to be popular

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    0

    The group features match up to telegrams with a more discordesqe UI.

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  3. 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.

    The Universal Tox Client. A Tox client that runs on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, FreeBSD & the web. Written in JS using React & React Native / electron.
    Tox vs Telegram opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Tox is a great alternative to Telegram.
    rrhyast

    Ugly UI and less user friendly

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    0
    Centaro

    P2P encrypted communication

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    0
  4. Wire icon

    Wire

    • Free PersonalOpen Source
    • Mac
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    • Online
    • Android
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    • Self-Hosted
    • F-Droid
    • Software as a Service (SaaS)

    Wire is the most secure collaboration platform featuring messenger, voice, video, conference calls, file-sharing, and external collaboration –all protected by the most secure end-to-end-encryption.

    Screenshot
    Wire vs Telegram opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Wire is a great alternative to Telegram.
    cityroler

    always End-to-End encrypted; servers in the EU; high quality audio and video calls;

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    10

    Multiplatform, chat, audio and video calling with great quality and: Clientside is already open source and they are currently working on completely opensourcing the serverside too. Great application.

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    7
    gnudesign

    Privacy and security focused, lot of features but way behind Telegram's user experience design.

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    0

    It is fully open source instead Telegram (server and client).

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    0

    Always end-to-end encrypted. Fully open source.

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    6
  5. Matrix.org icon

    Matrix.org

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Self-Hosted
    • WebRTC
    • Python
    • JavaScript
    • Go (Programming Language)
    • Cloudron
    • Java
    • Perl

    Matrix defines a set of open APIs for decentralised communication, suitable for securely publishing, persisting and subscribing to data over a global open federation of servers with no single point of control.

    Main Page
    Matrix.org vs Telegram opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Matrix.org is a great alternative to Telegram.
    LeSnake

    Matrix is a protocol used by i.e. Element, not a messenger iself

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  6. Jami icon

    Jami

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad

    Jami (formerly GNU Ring, SFLphone) positions itself as a potential free Skype replacement

    Jami video conference OS X
    Jami vs Telegram opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Jami is a great alternative to Telegram.
    UsernameUn

    Decentralized and encrypted. Available on all major devices. There is video conferencing and the ability to show a desktop.

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  7. Pidgin is an easy to use, multi-protocol chat client client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, XMPP, and more chat networks all at once. It has built-in support for NSS, offering client-to-server message encryption for protocols that support it.

    Pidgin chat window
    Almost everyone thinks Pidgin is a great alternative to Telegram.
  8. Hangouts is a messaging app that lets you send and receive messages, photos and more, and even start free video and voice calls – one to one or with a group!

    Screenshot
    Hangouts vs Telegram opinions
    This alternative is disputed. Hangouts is still a legitimate alternative to Telegram, but it might have issues that some users think are important.
    JohnFastman

    Hangouts is not end-to-end encrypted. Google, who own it, make money by spying on users (every bit of info they can get) and selling it to advertisers. That's appalling. Telegram is not perfect but it is end-to-end encrypted, which means that only the intended recipient can read your messages - not the case with Hangouts. Google can see everything, and others can force them to give that info up (e.g. by subpoena).

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    11

    Hangouts lacks most of the administrative-type functionality that Telegram has.

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    8
    sadlyfatobguh

    Hangouts does not care about your privacy at all. Telegram is primarily marketed as a private communication service

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    2
    mozdevcontrib

    Not encrypted. Owned by Google.

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    19
  9. Keybase is a new and free security app for mobile phones and computers. For the geeks among us: it's open source and powered by public-key cryptography.

    Screenshot
    Keybase vs Telegram opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments

    everything is encrypted and gives cloud drive, git, a stellar wallet other than a chat

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    0
  10. WhatsApp is an iPhone and Android messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.

    Android (1)
    WhatsApp vs Telegram opinions
    This alternative is disputed. WhatsApp is still a legitimate alternative to Telegram, but it might have issues that some users think are important.

    it is not hosted virtually... you cannot access data once it got downloaded on other devices later... plus very limited on sizes and what can be uploaded... tons of limits on so much...

    for true user of telegram, whatsapp fail to compete.... imagine having group, in telegram, the new members can see the old messages...

    man way not same level even if same category

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    30
    Planetjunkie

    absolutely unsecure, E2EE is questionable, and Facebook are planning on implementing a feature to decrypt messages for advertisers (as if that was not a thing since they acquired whatsapp...)

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    0
    Centaro

    Too many limitations and is owned by Facebook.

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    15

    WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted and relies on the Signal protocol to protect the user's privacy while Telegram uses its own custom encryption algorithm, which is a big flaw in cryptography. Telegram only fully encrypts communications when starting a "secret chat", but the default conversations are not secured.

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    -7

    Whatsapp is the 386 of instant messaging. Telegram receives fresh new features every month, so their streets are increasingly far away

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Showing 10 of 241 alternatives