Telegram: An alternative to Whatsapp

Ah well .. forget the rest of the article..


Apart from Jesus, one of the other things I get enthusiastic about is “Telegram”.  “Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed.” (  Think of it as an alternative toWhatsapp with better security and a number of cool extra features.

The main thing which drew me to Telegram is it’s focus on being secure.  Since it is not owned by a large social networking company, I am not worried about my account or chat data leaking or being mined for some nefarious usage.  It uses strong encryption, which these days is really important.  Telegram claims to be more secure than Whatsapp and Line, to the extent of offering a $300,000 reward for proof of cracking the encryption.

Tin-hat paranoia aside, it is really a nice application.  Telegram is easy to use and has everything you would expect from a chat client.  Chats get background images and you can create groups to keep your team on track.  Channels are broadcast lists which people can subscribe to and can have an unlimited number of members.  You can send pictures, videos, voicemail/sound clips and even documents up to 1.5GB in size.  Since the chat can be accessed from any device, anywhere, this makes it really easy to share files and keep your team on track.

From the horse’s mouth …

I grabbed these next few paragraphs from the FAQ section of the website.

Who are the people behind Telegram?

Telegram is supported by Pavel and Nikolai Durov. Pavel supports Telegram financially and ideologically, while Nikolai’s input is technological.  To make Telegram possible, Nikolai developed a unique custom data protocol, which is open, secure and optimized for work with multiple data-centers.  As a result, Telegram combines security, reliability and speed on any network.

While the Durov brothers were born in Russia, as were some of the key developers, Telegram is not connected to Russia – legally or physically. Telegram’s HQ is in Berlin.

How are you going to make money out of this?

We believe in fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free.

Pavel Durov, who shares our vision, supplied Telegram with a generous donation through his Digital Fortress fund, so we have quite enough money for the time being.  If Telegram runs out, we’ll invite our users to donate and add non-essential paid options to break even.  But making profits will never be a goal for Telegram.

What are your thoughts on internet privacy?

At Telegram we think that the two most important components of internet privacy should be [instead]:

  1. Protecting your private conversations from snooping third parties, such as officials, employers, etc.

  2. Protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc.

Cool stuff

Works anywhere.

You can get Telegram for Windows Phone, Android and iPhone.  There are clients for your Windows PC, Mac and Linux desktop.  There is even a web version which uses a code sent to your phone to sign in.  All your chats from any device.  It’s all very neat and seamless.


Using a username or handle means you and others users can start a chat right away, without needing to have each other’s phone number.  This is something I appreciate, although never had to use.


telegram-stickers-2When you use emoticons, there are bunch of cartoons you can also send.  I’ve not looked into it yet, but you can even use your own pictures to make your own sticker packs.

Account security features

wp_ss_20151113_0001[1]Your account can be set to self-destruct if you don’t sign-in for a certain amount of time.  Further, if for example your phone is stolen, once you have logged into your account on another device you can turn on two-factor authentication and terminate any other logged in sessions.

Secret Chats

The Telegraph had this to say:

Telegram gives you the ability to send messages and photos with a self-destruct timer, much like another popular app. Like Snapchat, it’s still possible to screenshot these images or texts before they disappear within the ‘secret chat’. Within a secret chat, documents, videos, locations and searched images can all be shared, last from two seconds from up to a week. The app prides itself on its enhanced security, which it attributes to time-tested algorithms which combine security with high-speed delivery and reliability.


The only thing that it doesn’t have is the ability to make voice calls, but for that I have .. a phone .. or Skype.  Providing voice calling though, would be the cherry on the cake.

In a nut-shell …

Telegram does exactly what it says on the tin.  In use it is quick and stable.  I see Telegram as a more secure, and possibly more ethical [citation needed ;-)] alternative to Whatsapp.  Whilst I have concerns that it is owned by Facebook, there is nothing really wrong with Whatsapp and I admire the stance that Telegram’s founders have taken around the customer’s privacy and security.

Give it a go.  I’d love to get a Telegram message from you!

Get it yourself: (or from your phones app store).

Send me a message:

What thoughts came to you after reading this?

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