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    How Signal works (and differences with WhatsApp)

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    Alejandra Rangel

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    After the chaos created with the question of new WhatsApp Privacy Agreements, millions of users have left the famous instant messaging platform for other safer applications.

    Among the various apps that have seen an increase in their users there is also Signal. This platform, loudly sponsored by Elon Mask, was installed about 4 million times in just over 7.5 days. If you are curious to know how Signal works and the differences with WhatsApp, in this article you will find what interests you.

    How Signal works

    Born in 2013 to integrate with WhatsApp, Signal is an application . completely free, available both on Android that of iOS, which allows you to chat with your friends or relatives. This platform exploits the end-to-end encryption, which helps protect text messages, images, audio and calls between users.

    WhatsApp and Signal confrontation

    Although it may seem almost identical to WhatsApp, Signal has several peculiarities that make it different from its competitor. Among the main differences we find:

    • possibility of creating group chats for up to 1000 users, against 256 for WhatsApp;
    • within the group chats it is not possible to see if a contact has viewed a message or if the latter is online or not, while on WhatsApp all this is possible;
    • Signal allows you to use many animated stickers, which instead have recently been introduced on the green handset app and still show many limitations;
    • Signal has a special app for iPad and tablet, while WhatsApp does not;
    • Signal allows you to send timed messages that self-destruct according to an indicated time limit, instead this function on WhatsApp has recently been introduced and allows automatic deletion after 7 days.

    Security and privacy

    Despite using the same encryption, Signal is the only messaging system to combine the protocol Extended Triple Diffie-Hellman (X3DH) e l’algoritmo Double Ratchet. THE'X3DH is a cryptographic protocol that allows secure and private communication between two users. The algorithm also contributes to the privacy of conversations Double Ratchet, which is used as part of a cryptographic protocol to provide end-to-end encryption.

    On top of that, Signal stores a very small amount of metadata compared to competitors and does not use the Cloud for backup. In fact, the history of messages is saved only on the devices and not on the servers of the messaging service. Finally, the big difference that prompted users to migrate from WhatsApp to Signal lies in the processing of data. In fact, unlike WhatsApp, which in the latest update forces users to accept the sharing of information from their Facebook account (in order to obtain monetization from the presence of users), Signal is managed by a non-profit foundation, the Signal Technology Foundation.

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