Signal, like WhatsApp, is a chat app that lets you send messages and call friends and family using end-to-end encryption, which means your messages are more protected and can not be easily read by anyone, including Signal self. It supports group messaging and other fun features you might already be using in chat apps, such as GIFs, videos, and photos. It even has encrypted group video calls, but support is limited to five people right now. It’s completely free and you can use it on iPhones, Android phones, Macs, Windows PCs and Linux.
Signal is also not a massive technology company that wants to make money on your information. It is a registered non-profit organization and relies on donations to operate. The free app does not collect your private information and has no ads.
How to use it.
How to use Signal
The Signal Messenger app is displayed on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China.
Roy Liu | Bloomberg | Getty Images
- Download Signal for iPhone or Android.
- Enter your phone number. This is so that Signal can send you a text message and confirm that you are the one using the app.
- Enter the code you received via text message.
- Press “Register without transfer.” If you have used Signal before, you can select “Transfer from iOS device” to download your old calls, but for the sake of this guide, we assume that you have not used Signal yet.
- You are now on the Signal home screen.
- Tap the pencil icon at the top right to create a message.
- You can start sending messages to people who already use Signal. But you may also need to tap “Invite friends to signal” if your contact does not have the app yet. This allows you to create an email or text message to friends and family with a link to download the app.
- Once they join, you can start chatting with the same pencil icon, or create groups, much like you would in WhatsApp. You will even see read receipts, links to send audio messages, stickers, photos and more.
That’s it! You are now on Signal. If you want to use it instead of WhatsApp, you can delete your WhatsApp chats by clicking “edit” at the top left of the chat page. Select your messages and then press “delete”. A copy of your messages may be left for other users in conversations you have participated in until they also delete the conversations.