Top 12 Open source Messengers with End-to-end Encryption
What is end-to-end encryption
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a secure communication model that is designed to prevent a third-party from accessing plain raw messages, as the sender sends an encrypted message only the intended recipient's device will be able to decrypt and read it, Which will ensure more users privacy and better security for the users data and the messages.
If you are in the U.S. and looking for HIPAA-compliant messengers or LiveChat we have compiled this list for you: Top 10+ HIPAA-Compliant Messaging LiveChat & Telemedicine Services.
End-to-end Encryption for Healthcare
End-to-end encryption is the perfect communication method for healthcare communication and exchanging of sensitive patient-related communication like medical records, patient details, contact information, and medical tests.
We collected and evaluated several open source end-to-end encryption application for the user and for the enterprise, As we believe the user has to get multiple options to choose from. However, If you are looking for open source video conferencing and team communication solutions for personal use or the enterprise we have compiled a list for that you may review it here.
One collection here is for Linux, Windows, MacOSX, Android, & iOS (iPhone):
1- Signal Messenger
- https://signal.org/ ( Mobile)
Signal is a messaging app that supports end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all of its releases on Android/ iPhone (iOS) and Desktop for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint)
Signal App is a fully open source messenger that supports voice/ video calls, sending voice and video messages, documents, and history control time similar to Telegram.
Signal messenger is available for free to download, use without any ads or trackers, It works in many countries which blocks Whatsapp and Skype as it uses Google cloud for messaging that transfer the encrypted messages smoothly. Signal supports end-to-end encryption as it uses several security/ encryption algorithms (Sesame algorithm, & Double Ratchet) to ensure privacy and encryption of the user's messages.
- Platforms: Android, iOS (iPhone/ iPad), Desktop
2- Linphone: open source Skype alternative with end-to-end encryption
Linphone is an open source VoIP and Video conferencing application. It supports HD video calls, group chat with powerful end-to-end encryption. Consider it an open source Skype alternative.
Linphone is available for Windows, Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian based distros), Mac OSX. It's also available with one-click-install through the Google Play application store for Android devices, and Apple's iTunes store for iOS (iPhone/ iPad).
- Platforms: Windows, Linux, MacOSX, Android, iOS
3 - Wire Messenger
Wire messenger is an open source instant messaging that supports video calling, video conferencing for teams with HD video quality for calls. It has end-to-end encryption, It's the 2nd messenger in this list that declared GDPR-compliance.
Wire supports files sharing which makes it useful for teams, Though it offers a commercial service as a paid subscription, Wire code has been released as an open source project under GPLv3.0
Wire app works on Mac OSX starting from macOS 10.9 and later, Windows starting from Windows 7 till the current release Windows 10, Linux (Ubuntu, Debian) with Linux AppImage available, Android and iOS (iPhone/ iPad).
- Platforms: Mac OSX, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS
4- Delta Chat: GDPR-compliant Telegram/ Whatsapp Open-source Alternative
Delta Chat is an open source Whatsapp alternative, but without tracking system or central control, It uses a different approach than other instant messaging apps on this list as it uses the existing mail servers for communication/ chat.
Delta Chat is also GDPR-complaint messenger, It provides end-to-end encryption out of the box with no configuration required, The user owns his data, as the data will not be saved in a central server, and the user does not need to share his address book with any service.
Delta Chat is available for Android through Google Play, F-Droid app store, Linux with Flatpak package that works for almost every Linux distro, Mac OSX, Windows (with limited support for PC/ Windows).
- Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Android, iOS
5- Q-municate: GDPR & HIPAA- compliant messenger
Q-municate is a GDPR-ready & HIPAA-complaint open source instant messenger that supports HD video calling. It's a complete Whatsapp alternative that is more developer friendly and provides out-of-the-box encryption (end-to-end encryption) and a peer-to-peer architecture to reduce latency. It supports file/ image sharing, location sharing, and group chat.
Q-municate has HD video call/ conferencing and supports video call recording. It Integrates with enterprise solutions like Microsoft Lync, SharePoint, and AirWatch.
Q-municate is available for iOS (iPhone/ iPad), Android phones and tablets, and it's also available for the web through its web version.
- Platforms: iOS, Android, Web
Surespost is a secure and encrypted instant messaging app for mobile (Android/ iOS), It uses peer-to-peer encryption with 256-bit AES-GCM encryption. It is released as open-source code as well as ready for users in Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play.
Surespot supports voice messaging, multiple identities/ profiles on the same device, image and file sharing,
- Platforms: Android, iOS
ChatSecure is an open-source native messaging app for iOS that supports end-to-end encryption. It's released as an open source under GPLv3.0 licenses. Though ChatSecure uses powerful technologies that ensure secrecy of the conversation it does not support file/ image sharing, voice calls, voice messaging or video calls.
- Platforms: iOS (iPhone/ iPad)
Briaproject is Peer-to-peer encrypted messaging and forums, Messages are stored securely on your device, not in the cloud. Briaproject is available only for Android at Google Play Store and F-Droid store. It supports direct messaging to nearby contacts without internet.
- Platforms: Android
9 - Silence
Silence.im (formally SMSSecure) is an open source android app for secure private messaging that aims to provide more secure SMS by utilizing end-to-end encryption, It aims to replace the default SMS messaging with more secure messaging.
Silence.im is available for download on F-Droid/ Android Google Play store, Its code also available for download as it's released under GPLv3
- Platform: Android
9- FireChat: Messenger for Activists
FireChat is a free peer-to-peer real-time messenger application that works for Android and iOS devices. It supports file/ image sharing, and work with/without internet access or 3G/4G cellular data as it can send the messenger directly between mobile devices using peer-to-peer Bluetooth and WiFi connections, It supports storing the messages while there is no connection and sending it when the connection is resumed.
FireChat has peer-to-peer encryption, that comes with more usable features including hashtags option to easy search/ classify the messages, group chat for 50 users, and user block options.
- Platforms: iOS (iPhone) & Android
10- Tox.chat: Distributed messaging for all known platforms
Tox.chat is an open source chat platform, that supports many platforms through many clients including Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux, with clients for iPhone/ Android as well.
Tox.chat does not use a central server to store the data, though it requires a certain level of technical skills to add users, and tunneling Tox's connection to be able to add more security options.
- Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, FreeBSD
11- Adamant: Blockchain-Based Messenger
Adamant is a blockchain-based open source instant messaging and sharing platform, It utilizes blockchain to allow users to send secure anonymous messaging with a high level of encryption that maintains their privacy and anonymity.
As Adamant is built on blockchain tech, Its has its own ADM token that uses its infrastructure to provide ADM crypto exchange within the messenger with ease, The user can buy and sell ADM anonymously review their balance and exchange ADM as they exchange messages.
The Adamant messenger supports image and file sharing, and peer-to-peer encryption, It does not require access to the user's address book or location, It also does not store any messages or logs on servers, Though It cost to send messages on Adamant (0.001 ADM (0.00024 USD) per message), Due to its blockchain infrastructure there is message delay 2-7 seconds.
Adamant messenger is available for Android devices (Tablets/ Phones), iOS (iPhone/ iPad), and it comes with web version as well that works smoothly within Google Chrome browser.
- Platforms: Web, iOS, Android
12- Riot: Decentralized team secure team communication
Riot is an Open source encrypted team communication platform built on top of Matrix an open-source standard for decentralized communication to provide more privacy and security.
13- Utopia Decentralized Messenger
The Utopia messenger is a part of a huge decentralized P2P ecosystem with great features set.
Utopia is not quite an open-source ecosystem, but its encryption techniques applied to have brought it to the top: AES (256-bit) and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (curve25519.)
Utopia private messenger allows users to send any type of encrypted messages, create group chats and channels, attach various files and documents, add stickers, and so on.
Platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS. iOS and Android will be out soon.