The 10 Best Encrypted Messaging Apps in 2024 (Private and Team Messengers)

Encrypted messaging apps are in high demand. As smartphones and cloud technology become more pervasive and the amount of transmitted data soars, so does the necessity for secure communication.

Since instant messaging technology is so widely used, both personally and professionally, it’s critical to take measures to protect your data, especially as governments, cybercriminals, and even big tech themselves are all vying to get their hands on it.

Encrypted messaging is one of the best ways to safeguard yourself.

The app(s) you ultimately choose will depend largely on why you’re chatting—for work and collaboration purposes, or for fun.

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should use an encrypted chat app and the best messaging apps for encrypted private and team chat.

What Is Encrypted Messaging?

Encrypted messaging is a method of sending and receiving secure messages by converting information into an unreadable format that is decoded only with an authorized key. Encrypted messages provide a high level of security to protect sensitive and confidential data.

Why Use an Encrypted Messaging App in 2024?

Encrypted messengers offer a more secure way to communicate. As real-time messaging grows in popularity, standard SMS messages aren’t completely secure all the time.

When choosing an encrypted messaging app, you may find it useful to look beyond just encryption. Let’s see the main reasons for choosing an encrypted messaging app.

  • Security: The best offense is a good defense. Private chatting apps with end-to-end encryption and P2P messaging channels eliminate the threat of data interception, hacks, or other vulnerabilities on the client’s side.
  • Privacy: Privacy and security are interconnected. Encrypted chat apps keep information and data on-premises, ensuring it stays out of the wrong hands. An encrypted chat app on its own network guarantees that information flows only between authorized participants.
  • Granular control: Messenger apps often lack suitability within the workplace. Many business instant messaging apps provide robust administrative control to address this issue. For example, Brosix allows management of user access, shared chat spaces, feature access on a user basis, and individual data security levels. This granular control and contact management improve team focus, reduce communication distractions, and enhance collaboration.
Discover everything you need to know about data collection!
Data Collection – Types, Methods and Errors

The Top 10 Best Secure Messaging Apps for Android, iOS, and Desktop

Here are the top 10 encrypted messaging apps that ensure safety and privacy without compromising the efficacy of your communication.

1. Brosix

Brosix

Brosix is all-in-one instant messaging software featuring a Private Team Network that affords businesses complete control over the communication process.

Each Brosix Network is fully encrypted and packed with robust administrative features, making it one of the most secure and customizable options available to protect team communication.

Brosix takes a multi-tiered approach to security. The AES 256-bit encryption algorithm encrypts communication end-to-end on established peer-to-peer channels, ensuring data and information flow directly between the sender and recipient. For added peace of mind, you can even integrate your anti-virus and malware software.

Define your Team Network as you see fit from the Web Control Panel. Manage, on a user level, everything from access to the platform and features to contact lists, shared chat spaces, API integrations, and data security levels. You can even delegate admin duties for greater efficiency.

This puts you in charge of Brosix’s rich communication and collaboration spaces. You can text-chat directly or in team chat rooms, broadcast messages to handpicked audiences, and make crystal-clear audio and video calls. Share your screen and grant remote desktop access; safely transfer files of any size; and carry out dynamic virtual whiteboard presentations.
This all makes Brosix not only one of the best chat apps for business but also one of the most secure encrypted chat apps around.

“We use Brosix for its robust data privacy and security features. Brosix offers end-to-end encryption, which ensures our internal communications and client discussions remain confidential. This is crucial for maintaining the trust and integrity we promise our clients.
A notable example is when we managed a complex digital marketing project involving multiple team members across different locations. Brosix’s secure messaging and file-sharing capabilities allowed us to collaborate seamlessly without worrying about data breaches.“ — Vaibhav Kakkar, CEO, Digital Web Solutions

Brosix pricing: Free Startup plan for up to 3 users; $4 per user/month for the Business plan; $6 per user/month for the Premium plan.

Pros and cons

Brosix ProsBrosix Cons
Strong secure encryption methods, such as end-to-end encryption, private team networks, and extensive control over user permissionsThe free version has limited features compared to the premium versions
A wide range of collaboration tools such as file transfer, screen sharing, whiteboards, and group chatThe mobile app is less reliable than the desktop version, according to some iOS and Android users
Relatively easy to set up and integrates well with existing IT infrastructure, minimizing disruptionThe user interface may feel outdated and less intuitive compared to modern messaging platforms

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 4.3 (Stars) from 14 people
  • Capterra 4.6 (Stars) from 71 people
  • G2 4.7 (Stars) from 44 people

2. Signal

Signal

Signal Messenger combines two separate apps originally dedicated to encrypted voice communication and encrypted text messages. Created by Whisper Systems and later acquired by Twitter to enhance its own encryption and security protocol, Signal features (ironically) both Edward Snowden and members of the US Senate among its clientele.

Signal not only encrypts chats end-to-end by default but also makes its encryption and source code available to all for examination. Being open source, this encrypted messaging app also hides virtually all metadata, including the message sender. This means neither Signal nor anyone who intercepts a message in transit can tell who’s sending you Signal messages or who has read any messages.

Signal has been criticized for requiring you to register with a phone number. Despite this, the non-profit Signal Foundation received a $50 million investment from WhatsApp founder Brian Action, boosting Signal’s commitment to remain a totally free encrypted chat app—free of charge, free of advertisements, and web-tracking-free. It’s one of the best apps for private conversations.
For more, check out our recent in-depth Signal review.

“Signal is my top pick for privacy. Everything on Signal, from messages to calls, is end-to-end encrypted right from the start. It doesn’t collect any user data, which is a big plus. The app is open-source, so security experts can check the code and make sure it’s safe.” — Kacper Rafalski, Demand Generation Team Leader, Netguru

Signal pricing: Free

Pros and cons

Signal ProsSignal Cons
Ensures messages are encrypted from sender to recipient, making interceptions difficultLimited options for connecting with friends and family who haven’t adopted the app.
Users can set a timer for how long messages remain visible, enhancing privacyRegistration requires a phone number, which may concern those seeking higher anonymity
Clean and intuitive design, easy for users of all technical backgrounds.

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 2.7 (Stars) from 41 people
  • G2 4.4 (Stars) from 442 people

3. Viber

Viber

Keeping up with the demand for encrypted messaging apps, Viber has hit a billion users, 820 million of whom are active each month.

Developed by a former Israeli intelligence officer, with Viber you get similar features to WhatsApp: encrypted texting, group chats, voice and video calls, and the ability to send stickers, emojis, photos, files, and short voice and video messages.

For the security-conscious, Viber offers a few nifty features. The free encrypted chat app color-codes chats to denote their level of protection: gray for encrypted communication with a trusted contact and red to signify an issue with the encryption key. For hiding messages on a shared device, Viber provides hidden chats with PIN access and self-destructing capabilities.

“I chose Viber because it balances security and usability quite well. The app offers features like group chats and multimedia sharing without compromising user privacy, making it a solid choice compared to others.” — Cesar Cobo, COO, Webris

Viber pricing: Free; Reduced rates for calls to non-Viber users

Pros and cons

Viber ProsViber Cons
Offers end-to-end encryptionNeeds a phone number to sign up
Unlimited free voice and video calls to other Viber users over Wi-FiOccasional poor sound quality due to unstable connections
The interface is easy for users of all technical backgrounds200 MB limit for file sharing

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Linux

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 1.4 (Stars) from 159 people
  • Capterra 4.4 (Stars) from 4,009 people

4. Telegram

Telegram

Telegram offers plenty for those in search of a secure private messaging app.

For starters, there’s a secret chat mode, and you can set messages to self-destruct. You can share unlimited photos, videos, and files. Cloud-based infrastructure lets you sync messages between multiple devices, meaning that Telegram features are available wherever you log in.

That said, while there is end-to-end encryption, it isn’t the default. You have to turn it on manually, and that could lure you into a false sense of security. What’s more, while the client-side code is open-source, Telegram’s encryption protocol is homegrown and unverified by experts.

If Telegram isn’t secure enough for you, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this list of Telegram alternatives.

“Telegram is fantastic for its user-friendly interface and numerous features. It offers standard encryption for regular chats and end-to-end encryption for ‘Secret Chats.’ Telegram is fast and great for big group chats and sharing media. The development team of just 30 people is always adding new features, making it fun and engaging to use.” — François-Louis Mommens, CEO, Linkody

Telegram pricing: Free

Pros and cons

Telegram ProsTelegram Cons
Offers voice and video calls, group chats, secret chats, and channelsThe feature-rich interface can be overwhelming for new users
Robust end-to-end encryption for voice and secret chatsUnencrypted messages by default
Ensures users can store and access files, messages, and media from any device without storage limitationsData collection practices have raised concerns about user privacy and potential government access to user information

Available on: Windows, Windows Phone, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Web

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 1.8 (Stars) from 421 people
  • Capterra 4.7 (Stars) from 6,283 people

Telegram pricing: Free

5. WhatsApp

WhatsApp

WhatsApp hasn’t always been among the most secure messaging apps. However, the popular messenger added end-to-end encryption in 2016.

WhatsApp offers encrypted chats, group messaging, free voice and video calls, and the ability to leave short voice and video messages. You also get encrypted photo and file sharing. For extra security, WhatsApp gives you the ability to verify each chat’s security verification code.

Despite using the Signal protocol, WhatsApp has exhibited frequent security flaws and vulnerabilities. What’s more, links to WhatsApp group chats have been found on Google.

Regardless, WhatsApp’s ubiquity—more than 2.7 billion worldwide users—makes it one of the most popular messaging apps that use end-to-end encryption.

“I frequently use WhatsApp for both personal and professional communication due to its wide adoption and end-to-end encryption. The encryption ensures that only the sender and recipient can read the messages, enhancing data privacy and security.
Additionally, WhatsApp’s two-step verification adds an extra layer of security to my account. However, being owned by Facebook, there are concerns about metadata usage and privacy policies. Despite these concerns, WhatsApp remains a secure and convenient messaging app for my needs.” — Tony Mariotti, CEO, RubyHom
e

WhatsApp pricing: Free

Pros and cons

WhatsApp ProsWhatsApp Cons
Known for its simple and intuitive interfaceWhatsApp’s data-sharing practices and association with Facebook raise privacy concerns
Keep conversations private and secure with end-to-end encryptionMay be prone to misinformation and fake news due to the encrypted nature of messages
Supports text, voice, and video calls, image and video sharing, document sharing, etc.Requires a stable internet connection for optimal performance

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Web

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 1.6 (Stars) from 957 people
  • Capterra 4.7 (Stars) from 15,766 people
  • G2 4.7 (Stars) from 72 people

6. Chatox

Chatox

Chatox is accessible on multiple platforms and devices. It is a private, ad-free message solution with text, voice, and video call options. The communication on all peer-to-peer channels is encrypted, so your data is not cached or abused in any way. A high level of security is the app’s top priority.

Chatox allows you to share an unlimited number of files, regardless of their size. You can create chat rooms and add participants of your choice there. The instant messenger app is also user-friendly and intuitive and synchronizes chat history on all devices.

Although Chatox is a private communication app, it offers valuable business features, such as whiteboards for brainstorming ideas, co-browsing for better collaboration, screen sharing, and in-app screenshots.

“Chatox has proven to be incredibly effective when it comes to data privacy and security. I chose this app because it offers end-to-end encryption, ensuring all communications are secure and private. Despite its strong security measures, it doesn’t compromise usability or features.
The interface is user-friendly, and it includes a range of useful tools like file sharing and video calls, perfect for both personal and professional use. It strikes a great balance, making it a top choice for anyone serious about keeping their data safe while enjoying a seamless communication experience.” — Connor Butterworth, CEO and Owner, Southwestern Rugs Depot

Chatox pricing: Free

Pros and cons

Chatox ProsChatox Cons
Unlimited P2P file transfer, allowing users to send files directly between devicesThe interface is intuitive but may need improvement
Operates without displaying ads or compromising user dataAudio and video quality may sometimes suffer
Users can enjoy Chatox’s features without encountering hidden fees or commitments

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web

7. Threema

Threema

Threema is another paid encrypted chat app, but it doesn’t require an email address or phone number to get started. Instead, Threema provides a unique Threema ID, meaning you can use the app completely anonymously. Scannable QR codes let you verify other users and add contacts more securely and conveniently.

Threema fully encrypts texting, group chats, voice calls, and file transfers. Furthermore, upon delivery, Threema immediately wipes this data from the servers. There’s even a polling system for feedback from contacts.

Threema also offers encrypted chats for work on a separate network. There’s a video call option as well, which is a must for remote working. Check out these video calling apps in case Threema doesn’t meet your needs.

“Using Threema has significantly enhanced our communication security. It has strengthened client trust, streamlined decision-making, and reduced the risk of data breaches. Threema’s robust encryption and unique features provide unparalleled protection for our communications, reflecting our commitment to data privacy and security.” — Michael Hess, Senior Product Manager, Code Signing Store

Threema pricing: $2.00 per user/month for Essential; $2.50 per user/month for Advanced; $3.50 per user/month for Professional

Pros and cons

Threema ProsThreema Cons
Ensures strong end-to-end encryption for all messagesThreema’s user base is relatively small compared to giants like WhatsApp and Signal
Offers users the ability to make anonymous payments with cash or bitcoinsLimitation to sharing files of up to 100 MB only
With servers based in Switzerland, it complies with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 3.2 (Stars) from 36 people
  • Capterra 5.0 (Stars) from 9 people
  • G2 4.4 (Stars) from 7 people

8. Wire

Wire

Unlike many secure messaging apps available, such as Telegram, Wire’s encryption is always on, so your data is always protected.

An open-source platform, Wire’s source code is available on GitHub for users to critique and improve. In fact, as a publicly audited app, you can even download audit reports from Wire’s website.

Wire lets you have encrypted private or group conversations, share files, set messages to self-destruct, and make voice and video calls. For what it’s worth, Wire doesn’t require a phone number to get started.

Wire pricing: Free

Pros and cons

Wire ProsWire Cons
End-to-end encryption and an overall strong focus on privacy and securityPrimarily designed for business use, it may not be the best choice for personal messaging
User-friendly interface, suitable for various types of usersDoes not offer phone support, which can be a drawback for users who prefer to resolve issues over the phone
Advanced features such as video conferencing, file sharing, and secure guest rooms

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 3.8 (Stars) from 5 people
  • Capterra 4.5 (Stars) from 69 people
  • G2 4.2 (Stars) from 54 people

9. Mattermost

Mattermost

Mattermost is an open-source, secure messaging app for businesses. When you download it, you can add encryption—in transit and at rest—on both communication and server levels. That means even stored messages and files are better protected from malicious hackers and data thieves.

You can customize languages in the user interface, tailor the mobile app, custom-build emojis, and personalize the branding and login page.

Communication happens via direct messages or in groups through public and private channels. You also get voice and video capabilities, screen sharing, and a host of open-source integrations.

“Mattermost’s on-premises hosting offers unparalleled security. This gives us complete control over our data, which is crucial when handling sensitive financial information. For example, during a recent merger negotiation, we used Mattermost to securely communicate internally, ensuring that no data was leaked or compromised.” — Shawn Plummer, CEO, The Annuity Expert

Mattermost pricing: Free; $10 for Professional; Custom pricing for Enterprise

Pros and cons

Mattermost ProsMatermost Cons
Known for its simplicity and ease of useLacks native video conferencing capabilities
Highly scalable, making it suitable for large teams and projectsCustomization can be challenging, especially for those without extensive technical expertise
High-level security measures, including end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and secure data storage. Some Android and iOS users have reported issues with the mobile app

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 2.9 (Stars) from 8 people
  • Capterra 4.4 (Stars) from 156 people
  • G2 4.3 (Stars) from 330 people

10. Voxer

Voxer

Voxer approaches chat similarly to Discord, the popular always-on voice chat app. With Voxer, users send encrypted voice messages similar to those on other push-to-talk devices.

This walkie-talkie app uses the same encryption protocols as Signal and WhatsApp. But, like Telegram, it’s only available in private chats, and you’ll need to opt in.

There’s a voice-to-text transcription, and you can play back messages at your convenience, just like voicemail. In addition to one-on-one messaging, Voxer supports group chats for up to 500 people. You can also send and receive photos, videos, and location messages.

Voxer pricing: Free; Pro at $3.99 per user/month; Business at $6 per user/month; Enterprise at a custom price; Voxer SDK Beta Program is free for up to 20 monthly users.

Pros and cons

Voxer ProsVoxer Cons
Flexible communication by sending voice messages back and forthWith voice messages, it is easier to express an emotion that can be misinterpreted by the other party
Оffers the option to play voice messages at up to 4x speed, enabling users to get through messages quicklySharing contacts and enabling the device’s microphone may feel intrusive to users.
There’s a version aimed at businesses named Voxer Business

Available on: iOS, Android, Web

User ratings:

  • Capterra 4.3 (Stars) from 57 people
  • G2 4.3 (Stars) from 60 people

How to Choose an Encrypted Messaging App for Secure Chat

The number of encrypted messaging apps on the market today doesn’t make your choice easy. There’s a lot to keep in mind. To recap, consider the following:

  • The nature of your chats: The basis of your communication will determine whether you should go for encrypted messaging software for business or a free, personal-grade app. For the latter, keep in mind where your contacts chat. An app is useless if your contacts aren’t there.
  • The nature of the encryption: Encryption can’t protect you if you don’t know you have to turn it on, not to mention if your data at rest isn’t encrypted. So consider whether you need to opt in, turn on the encryption manually, or if the encryption is end-to-end.
  • Advanced features: Unlimited secure file transfers, screen sharing with a remote desktop, and advanced control options enable processes such as team collaboration and remote tech support. Many free apps don’t have these features.
  • Price: While consumer-grade apps are free, encrypted messengers for business will cost you. However, prices for self-hosting, advanced collaboration, and control features vary. So weigh the features you need against the cost you’re able to pay.

If you’re looking for an end-to-end encrypted messaging app for your business, try Brosix. A highly secure and customizable messaging service, Brosix not only guarantees absolute data privacy and security but also grants you total control over the communication process.

Conclusion

Whether for personal or business use, choosing a secure app is certainly not an easy task. There is a great variety of encrypted messaging apps. However, it’s most important to understand what each tool offers—from end to end. Learn all about its weaknesses and strengths, vulnerabilities, and so on. This way, you can make an informed decision that will benefit both you and your team.

FAQ

What does end-to-end encryption mean?

End-to-end encryption is a security procedure that protects messages’ privacy by encrypting them on the sender’s end and decoding them on the recipient’s end. Thus, the messages cannot be intercepted during transmission.

Which are the best encrypted messaging apps?

There are numerous secure encrypted messaging apps available on the market, such as Telegram, Brosix, Signal, WhatsApp, and Threema. These offer top-level security features and end-to-end encryption protocols.

How does Brosix compare to other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger?

Unlike WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, Brosix is specifically designed to prioritize security and privacy, offering users a completely private and secure messaging experience.

What are some of the features that Brosix offers that make it a highly secure messaging service?

Brosix offers a variety of security and privacy features, like the ability to lock down chats with a password, set up a private team network, and add custom security settings to individual conversations.

Nikola Baldikov

Nikola Baldikov is a Head of Marketing at Brosix, specializing in SaaS marketing, SEO, and outreach strategies. Besides his passion for digital marketing, he is an avid football fan and loves to dance. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter at @baldikovn.

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