WhatsApp or Telegram? Find out which app is the best and safest

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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WhatsApp or Telegram: which is better? This is the question many people have been asking before deciding which messaging app to use. To resolve the issue, analyzes and compares the main features available in each of them.

WhatsApp belongs to Facebook and has 1,5 billion users worldwide, 120 million of them from our country.

Telegram is owned by Russian company Telegram Messenger LLP and has 200 million daily active users. It became popular around here in 2022, after a blockade of justice to the competitor.



Available platforms

WhatsApp is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone smartphones. It also has a web version, which can be used in any browser, an edition for Windows and another for macOS.

Telegram can be used on Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile devices. For desktop, it offers software for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, in addition to the web version, for browsers.

The main difference between the two is that WhatsApp requires having the app installed on a mobile phone with an active number even when using the messenger on the PC. The smartphone needs to be turned on and connected to the internet even if it is to use the desktop variant.

The versions of Telegram work independently, however, integrated. This is because the chat file is stored in the cloud and is accessible from any device.

Ways to add contacts

To add a person on WhatsApp, you must have their phone number registered with the service. On Telegram, it is possible to find a contact by mobile number or through a username.

This means you don't have to tell your phone to someone you don't want to. The person just needs to search for their username, created in the app's settings, in the program's search bar.



communication tools

In addition to traditional text message conversations between two people, applications offer features with other modes of communication. These include multi-user groups and voice and video calling.

Groups

Both messengers allow you to create chat groups, in which messages and files are shared. On WhatsApp, each “room” can have up to 256 people, while on Telegram, this limit is 200 users.

The WhatsApp team is likely to consider this limit for security reasons. Very popular, the program has been used as a fake news distribution tool and scam applications. The larger the groups, the more people can be affected by these bad practices.

To avoid the replication of this type of content, the messenger also limited the number of conversations (contacts or groups) for the simultaneous sharing of any item to five. Previously there were no restrictions. On Telegram, you can only forward something to one conversation at a time.

Channels

Channels are only present on Telegram and work as a kind of one-way group. Only administrators are authorized to publish content and the others act as mere spectators.

These channels can have an infinite number of members. The feature is very popular for fans of specific topics, such as sports teams, series or manga, who find information on the subject in one place.

My Account

In terms of calls, WhatsApp stands out from its rival. The app not only allows you to make voice and video calls, but also to speak with up to 8 members of the same group at once.


Telegram, on the other hand, only offers the option of voice calling with only one person.


Bots

Bots are robots that automatically respond to users on various topics. In general, they are accounts created by companies or interested in Telegram Bot API technology,

O @calcuBot, for example, allows you to perform mathematical calculations within the messenger itself. There is also the @gmailBot, the official Gmail service, which allows you to view and respond to new emails without leaving Telegram.

Other interesting bot tips are the @gif, to search for animated gifs and the @newfileconverterbot, which converts different types of files. There is also the @transcriber_bot, which transcribes audio into text, and the @icon8, which edits your photos.

As there is no official Telegram bot store, users can find new ones through the app's search bar. The messenger also suggests that users get tips through friends and internet searches.

File Sharing

Both WhatsApp and Telegram guarantee the sharing of photos, videos or voice messages, documents, contacts and location files with other users and groups.

The main difference is in the maximum size allowed by each application. On WhatsApp, you can only send media files up to 16MB and documents up to 100MB. On Telegram, the limit is 1.5GB per file.

Personalization

As far as customization is concerned, Telegram offers more options. You can configure the text size of messages, change the color theme and choose to view the chat in two or three lines.


User is also able to create their own themes with custom color palette or use the search bar to find theme channels with different wallpapers.


WhatsApp, on the other hand, offers some wallpaper options. Among them are the use of a solid color, of some image from the cell phone gallery and pattern. It is also possible to choose none or select one from the wallpaper gallery (but for this you need to download a separate app).

Both apps offer dark mode, designed for better use in low-light environments.

Security

Security is often a concern for messenger users. After all, it is common to exchange messages and files of private content that, many times, must be kept confidential.

Cryptography

Encryption is a recurrent term with regard to the security of content exchanged over the internet. WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, that is, only the interlocutors in the conversation are able to decrypt the message.

This means that when it leaves a device, the message becomes a kind of code, passes through the app's server and is only deciphered when it reaches the receiver's device.

However, if you choose to backup WhatsApp chats to Google Drive, Google's service does not offer that degree of protection.

End-to-end encryption on WhatsApp

Check out how to use WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop on PC or Mac.

On Telegram, encryption is only performed in user-server mode. That is, on the server, which is in the cloud, the code can be deciphered. But, according to the service, only the participants of the conversations have access to the content.

Anyone who wants to add an extra layer of protection to chats in the Russian program can activate the option Secret Chat, through the settings. According to the company, in this mode, encryption is done end-to-end and the content leaves no traces on the servers.

In addition, the user can set a timer to self-destruct the conversation. It is also not allowed to take screenshots of the chat or forward content exchanged through it. The only drawback is the need to activate the function whenever you want more discreet communication.

Two-factor authentication

Both apps offer the extra layer of security of two-factor authentication. This means that the user will need to enter a code sent to him by SMS and a password.

In Telegram, an additional password must be created, which will be requested whenever you enter a new device, along with a security code sent by SMS. Access is via the path Settings → Privacy & Security → Two-Step Verification.

In WhatsApp, an additional password, created by the user, will be requested every time your phone number is verified. And, as usual, a security code will also be sent via SMS. To activate the feature, go to Settings → Account → XNUMX-Step Verification → Activate.

password lock

The best apps for group video conferencing

Telegram natively offers password protection for the app. In the privacy and security settings, the user can enable the option Lock password. Then just set the 4-digit security code. WhatsApp launched similar feature in 2022.

Other Similarities and Differences Between Telegram and WhatsApp

  • commercial version: WhatsApp has a version called WhatsApp Business, aimed at companies. Among the differentials is the possibility of creating a kind of business profile and selecting quick responses from a menu of predefined phrases. There is also the sending of automatic texts as well as the organization of users through labels.
  • Text formatting and message editing: While on WhatsApp it is possible to format sent texts (bold, underline, italic or strikethrough), Telegram allows you to edit content that has already been sent. That is, correcting a typo or changing something you regret writing.
  • Night Mode: Night mode is one of the sensations of the moment when it comes to mobile applications and computer programs. Both apps offer the feature.
  • Privacy: there are those who don't like to answer about when they last used the app. That's why both messengers let you disable the Last seen option. Telegram, however, has the differential of removing the item for specific users. That is, everyone else sees the information except those chosen by you.

Now that you've seen the main similarities and differences between the two messengers, can you choose your favorite?

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