WhatsApp vs Telegram in Terms of Encryption and Features

Pierluigi Paganini July 04, 2016

Compare and contrast WhatsApp and Telegram, so as to see which of the two messaging apps offers the best option for encrypted chat.

Messaging apps have been increasing rapidly in popularity. WhatsApp has gone over one billion users and Telegram claims to have over 350,000 people a day signing up for its services. So, it seems that there is a great need to cover communication freely and with some sort of encryption. Added security is always a wonderful asset for every app and especially when it comes to communication. But which is the best option of the two? Should you choose WhatsApp or Telegram for your chatting? Let’s have a look.


Telegram is the work of two Russian brothers and billionaires, Nikolai and Pavel Durov. They had previously created Vkontakte – an alternative to Facebook. However, they got in trouble over some Ukrainian personal data issue and fled to Berlin from Russia in 2014. WhatsApp is the work of Brian Acton and Jan Koum. With awesome messaging features, the app captured the attention of Facebook and Zuckerberg bought it in 2014. Now, which one offers the best option for you to consider?

First of all, you need to keep in mind that WhatsApp offers encryption to all the messages. On the other hand, Telegram allows you to choose whether you want a secret chat or not. Even though the encryption used by Telegram is pretty solid, it is not present to all chats and this makes it a bit controversial. There is an extra step that many people do not take. They either do not realize that this is important or they do not want to spend time in an extra thing. With WhatsApp, there is no such problem. Even with a unique key for each message, Telegram has to take this into account.

Signup process on both apps is really easy, but they both require your phone number for authentication. Although this is standard procedure, one cannot help but wonder how this complies with encryption and online privacy. With Telegram, you can also use two-factor authentication. The apps of Telegram are all open source and this means that you can modify them, according to your needs. The main focus of WhatsApp is the mobile phones and therefore its apps are primarily moving in that direction. Telegram has a wide variety of apps.

One important thing to consider is the fact that WhatsApp demands access to your address book. On Telegram, there is no similar demand for such access. Now, as far as special features are concerned, WhatsApp is definitely the winner. You can use group chats for up to 256 users and of course, this communication is always encrypted. Group chats of Telegram do not have encryption. On WhatsApp, you can also encrypt your Android and other phone calls.

In a nutshell, both these messaging apps are popular and offer quality services to their users. In terms of encryption, WhatsApp is the big winner. In terms of features and flexibility, though, Telegram is the number one option.
Ali QamarAuthor bio: Ali Qamar is an Internet security research and tech enthusiast who enjoys “deep” research to dig out modern discoveries in the tech and security industry. To be frank and honest, Ali started working online as a freelancer and still shares the knowledge for a living. He is passionate about sharing the knowledge with people, and always try to give only the best.


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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Telegram , WhatsApp)

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