10 Best Telegram Alternatives in 2024: Instant Messengers and Chat Apps

Telegram first entered the world of instant messaging in 2013. Since then, and no small thanks to features like bots, secret chats, supergroups, custom themes, and the ability to send files up to 2 GB, the chat app has become a major competitor in an ever-crowded field.

Telegram isn’t without its flaws, though. For starters, the platform doesn’t encrypt chats by default but rather encrypts secret chats only, which have to be manually enabled.

What’s more, Telegram’s famous bots don’t use the same encryption protocol that the Telegram platform uses—MTProto. This potentially undermines the platform’s security altogether when a bot is introduced into a channel.

While those are just a few instances of potential vulnerabilities, they’re enough to make you think twice. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of messaging apps on the market, each targeting the diverse needs of today’s end users.

Below, I will introduce you to 10 Telegram alternatives, each tried and true and capable of meeting your communication needs.

1. Brosix

Brosix

One of the more secure Telegram alternatives out there, Brosix is an all-in-one team communication and collaboration solution.

In addition to encrypting communications across the platform end-to-end, Brosix’s fully private team network, peer-to-peer channels, and anti-virus and malware integration better safeguard team communication.

Aside from ensuring secure communication, though, Brosix focuses on teamwork through an array of robust enterprise tools. Features and chat room controls, chat history archives, as well as the ability to specify data security levels and set multiple administrators to provide comprehensive management over users.

With Brosix, my team and I get everything we need to communicate effectively and work together efficiently. Conversations take place one-on-one via text chats or on a group basis via chat rooms. When the conversation calls for something more personal, there’s in-message access to crystal-clear voice and video.

What’s more, you get a host of IM features like screen sharing, instant screenshots, a native whiteboard solution, and unlimited-size file transfers, which neither restrict data transfers by size nor limit them by volume.

Brosix pricing: Startup (freemium version for up to three users); Business at $4.00 per user per month; Premium at $6.00 per user per month. These prices apply to an annual subscription.

Pros and cons

Brosix ProsBrosix Cons
Granular administrative controls for customization and securityA smaller number of integrations compared to similar competitive products
Advanced communication tools (voice, video, screen sharing, whiteboard)Limited features in the free plan
Unlimited file transfers with no size restrictionsSimpler interface compared to more established competitors
Robust security with encrypted peer-to-peer connections and antivirus integration

Available on: iOS, Android, 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
Improve your team communication today.
Sign up for a Brosix Team Network

2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp

Odds are, you know a thing or two about WhatsApp. Even if you haven’t used the popular chat app, you probably know someone who does. After all, WhatsApp is used by approximately 2 billion people globally.

The free chat app allows you to chat one-on-one and in groups (of up to 1,024 people), as well as make voice and video calls. Users can share media, format text, and also back up chats on Google Drive and iCloud.

Users looking for a Telegram alternative could do worse than WhatsApp, as its popularity alone makes it a strong contender. And unlike Telegram, WhatsApp encrypts everything end-to-end—chats, calls, shared media, you name it.

Interested parties should know, though, that end-to-end encryption isn’t the be-all and end-all of a secure chat app. WhatsApp was hacked in the spring of 2019 and announced a vulnerability to spyware via GIFs sent by third parties.

WhatsApp pricing: Free

Pros and cons

WhatsApp ProsWhatsApp Cons
End-to-end encryption for secure chatsPrivacy concerns for law enforcement
Reliable performance in various network conditionsRequires an internet connection
No ads for a clean messaging experienceChallenges in controlling privacy settings
User-friendly interface for easy navigationBattery and data usage concerns

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

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 1.6 (Stars) from 946 people
  • Capterra 4.7 (Stars) from 15,743 people
  • G2 4.6 (Stars) from 60 people

3. Viber

Viber

While unable to boast the massive user numbers of WhatsApp, Viber is no slouch. Neither in terms of chat nor security. Everything’s encrypted end-to-end and at no cost to the end users.

With Viber, you get the ability to chat one-on-one, in groups, over voice or video, as well as share media and documents. There are also hidden and public chats, stickers, emojis, and even games.

Viber also provides the option to make outbound calls to non-Viber users, albeit for a fee, of course. Recent versions support group video calls for up to 60 users as well as group chats for up to 250 participants.

Despite occasional call quality issues over WiFi and 3G and the prevalence of ads, Viber makes for a worthy Telegram alternative.

Viber pricing: Free; Unlimited worldwide calls in 57 countries for €5.99, plus a one-week free trial

Pros and cons

Viber ProsViber Cons
End-to-end encryptionPrivacy concerns with audio recording
User-friendly interfaceBattery drains from background usage
Cost-effective alternative to traditional SMSPaid subscription for Viber Out international calls

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

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 1.4 (Stars) from 159 people
  • Capterra 4.4 (Stars) from 4,006 people

4. Messenger

Messenger

Messenger is no stranger to the field of chat. In addition to its parent company’s purchase of WhatsApp in 2014, the popular chat app boasts similar user numbers of nearly 1.04 billion.

Like the competition, Messenger facilitates not only chat on a one-on-one and group basis but also high-quality voice and video calls.

Messenger provides in-app access to games, GIFs, and location sharing, as well as Facebook and a slew of other apps like Kayak, Pinterest, Apple Music, and more. Users can also link debit cards, making payments to friends and family a breeze.

Messenger pricing: Free

Pros and cons

Messenger ProsMessenger Cons
Easy and quick communicationPrivacy concerns, including audio recording
Sharing capabilities for files and imagesBattery drains from background usage
Voice calls for individual and group communicationForced usage within the Facebook app
Speed of message deliveryStorage usage on mobile devices
A familiar messaging style similar to textingLack of privacy due to terms and conditions

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

User ratings: Trustpilot 1.6 (Stars) from 242 people

5. Signal

Signal

Developed by Open Whisper Systems, the same company that’s partnered with Facebook to provide end-to-end encryption for both WhatsApp and Messenger, Signal is a free, open-source chat app. That means experts can poke around, making sure the app does what it was designed to do the way it was designed to do it.

Unsurprisingly, Signal features end-to-end encryption on all chats, calls, and shared data. Chat features include one-on-one, group, and voice and video calls.

Signal also supports location sharing, the sharing of multimedia, including GIFs, as well as the ability to set messages to delete themselves.

Signal is more or less a barebones chat app, but that’s for a reason: security. While it doesn’t offer the features of Telegram, it’s a capable, and perhaps more secure, alternative.

Signal pricing: Entirely free

Pros and cons

Signal ProsSignal Cons
End-to-end encryption for secure communicationRequires a telephone number for registration
Open-source software for transparency and securityOccasional issues with sending and receiving messages
Disappearing messages for enhanced privacyNo support for backing up message history on the mobile app
Published transparency reports for accountabilityRelatively small user base compared to other apps
Logs minimal data for user privacyDoes not support simultaneous use across multiple devices
Free to use, accessible to a wide range of usersLimited integration with third-party services

Available on: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 2.5 (Stars) from 40 people
  • G2 4.4 (Stars) from 441 people

6. Threema

Threema

Landing a spot on this list due to its secure nature, Threema is another open-source chat app that uses the Networking and Cryptographic library (NaCl) for encryption.

Encrypting end-to-end all messages, files, and even status messages, Threema offers one-on-one and group chat, as well as voice and video calls. Threema does support the sharing of multimedia and locations.

Unlike much of the competition, Threema offers a transparent privacy policy. Furthermore, the app doesn’t collect metadata, as group memberships and contact lists are managed on-device only.

Threema pricing: Essential at $2.00 per user per month annually; Advanced at $2.50 per user per month annually; Professional at $3.50 per user per month plus a 30-day free trial for 30 users. The mobile app can be downloaded from the Google Store/App Store for $6.99/$5.99 or $4.99 from their official website.

Pros and cons

Threema ProsThreema Cons
End-to-end encryption for all communicationNot a free app, requires a one-time payment
Allows anonymous usage without a phone number or emailLacks some advanced features compared to competitors
Does not log IP addresses or store messages on serversRelatively small user base compared to other messaging apps
Specialized versions for businesses and API integration (Threema Work)The desktop app may have bugs requiring a restart

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows Phone

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 3.0 (Stars) from 33 people
  • Capterra 5.0 (Stars) from 8 people
  • G2 4.4 (Stars) from 6 people

7. Mattermost

Mattermost

Another open-source option, Mattermost, is a self-hosted Telegram alternative.

While you’ll need to deploy it on your server, Mattermost also provides a host of customization options across its web, desktop, and mobile apps. Examples include the ability to add encryption at both the communication and server levels; custom branding and login page design; and the ability to customize the languages available in the user interface (UI).

Aimed primarily at the enterprise sector, communication is organized by direct messages or in public or private channels.

Mattermost pricing: Free version; $10 per user/month; custom offers for large businesses.

Pros and cons

Mattermost prosMattermost cons
Excellent mobile apps with fast messagingRequires deployment on your server and technical knowledge
Strong integration with other systems and appsSome features in paid plans are not in the free self-hosted version.
Offers encryption at both the communication and server levels (encryption-in-transit and encryption-at-rest)Does not offer end-to-end encryption
Simple user interface and useful features like search and groupsLacks a built-in group video chat feature
System console for user management and group formationThe search functionality needs improvement.

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

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 2.9 (Stars) from 8 people
  • Capterra 4.4 (Stars) from 155 people
  • G2 4.3 (Stars) from 330 people

8. Google Chat

Google Chat

Using Google Workspace regularly, I find its team chat platform to be a safe, dedicated space for team communication. Google Chat organizes conversations by direct message with a friend or colleague, team or group collaboration in spaces, and also offers integration with other apps.

Google Chat makes file sharing easy as it integrates with Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This enables users to create and share content without having to worry about granting permissions. What’s more, it supports group collaboration, allowing users to work together on shared chats, files, and tasks.

Chat integrates with Google Meet, making it convenient for me to easily set up meetings. By tagging attendees and mentioning the date, an appointment automatically appears on the calendar. It allows for up to 250 video chat participants.

Offering a host of bots that integrate with third-party apps, Google Chat is a Telegram alternative sure to suit the needs of today’s Google Workspace users.

Google Chat pricing: Google Chat is not a separate service but is included in the Google Workspace pricing plans, which are as follows for a yearly subscription: Business Starter at $6 per user per month; Business Standard at $12 per user per month; Business Plus at $18 per user per month; Enterprise at a custom price.

Pros and cons

Google Chat ProsGoogle Chat Pros
Easy to use with an intuitive interfaceMay have a more limited feature set compared to competitors
Seamless integration with Google Workspace appsFor some users, the interface can feel sluggish or clunky, especially in the web app.
Hosts a variety of bots that integrate with third-party appsDisruptive notifications when receiving many messages
Benefits from Google’s robust security infrastructureLimited integration benefits if the organization primarily uses non-Google tools
Integrates with Google Meet for easy meeting setupMobile apps may experience an occasional lag in notifications or performance.

Available on: iOS, Android, macOS, Web

User ratings: Capterra 4.5 (Stars) from 2,298 people

9. Flock

Flock

I believe that one of Flock’s selling points is that it’s great for making quick decisions without leaving the chat space.

In addition to the standard team communication tools like chat and audio and video calls, Flock connects to Google Drive, so you can share files directly into the chat. Then, through built-in polls, you can quickly vote on the best course of action for your team.

Flock also includes reminders, notes, and to-do lists, so you can then more efficiently assign and keep track of actions.

While Flock offers a free version, it is limited to 10,000 searchable messages, only one-on-one video conferencing, and 5GB of team storage.

Flock pricing: Freemium; Pro at $4.50 per user per month (billed annually), including a free 30-day trial; Enterprise at a custom price

Pros and cons

Flock ProsFlock Cons
Integrates with Google Drive for file sharing in chatPrimarily for internal team communication, not customer interactions
Built-in polls for quick team votingAudio/video quality can be distorted due to poor internet connectivity
Reminders, notes, and to-do lists for action trackingLimited customization options compared to competitors like Slack

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

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 2.7 (Stars) from 6 people
  • Capterra 4.5 (Stars) from 339 people
  • G2 4.4 (Stars) from 268 people

10. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Standard with an Office 365 plan, Teams’ top selling point is its deep integration with Microsoft Office. For example, Office or OneDrive documents can be shared, accessed, and edited all within the Teams platform.

Teams provides all of the expected features, like text, voice, and video. Chats are organized by teams, and each chat includes a reply button, essentially turning conversations into threads.

For longer messages, Teams includes a text editor that enables the composition of an email-style message complete with a subject and level of importance.

Teams works best for large enterprises or businesses already taking advantage of Microsoft’s Business Essentials or Business Premium plans.

Microsoft Teams pricing: Free trial for all plans (one month); Business Essentials at $4 per user per month; Business Basic at $6 per user per month; Business Standard at $12.50 per user per month.

Pros and cons

Microsoft Teams ProsMicrosoft Teams Pros
Deep integration with Microsoft Office and OneDriveDifficult transition from Outlook for some users
Comprehensive communication features (text, voice, and video)Overwhelming for non-tech users
An organized chat structure with threaded conversationsNeeds stable, high-speed internet
Cloud-based and accessible on any devicePaid Microsoft 365 subscription recommended
Facilitates agile collaboration, making it easy for new membersCostly compared to competitors

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

User ratings:

  • Trustpilot 1.4 (Stars) from 166 people
  • Capterra 4.5 (Stars) from 9,454 people
  • G2 4.3 (Stars) from 14,955 people

Conclusion

Before deciding on a chat app, you’ll need to evaluate what you need from the platform. You’ll want to think about the nature of the communication, the kind of data you’ll be sharing, and whether or not the people with whom you’ll be chatting are located there.

If communicating for work, consider using a business instant messenger. If it’s private communication, then a secure consumer-grade chat app may suit you. If you need encryption, make sure chats are encrypted by default.

By doing a bit of research and trying a few platforms, you’ll find that there’s a host of capable Telegram alternatives to meet your communication needs and preferences.

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.

To top