Signal is a popular private messaging, voice call and video call app where you register with your phone number.
It is funded entirely by charitable donations and grants, and has no way of accessing its users’ data. (Note that signal requires you to activate your account on a phone app, you can’t just use a computer app.)
ANDROID APP – Signal Private Messenger
iPHONE APP – Signal Private Messenger
WINDOWS / MAC / LINUX APP – Signal Private Messenger
Wire is an encrypted messenging, voice call and video call app with the emphasis on privacy.
The personal version of the Wire app is free, and there’s a paid-for version (Wire Pro) aimed at businesses which has extra features.
The free app is very easy to use and suitable for everyone. Don’t be put off by the business language used to market it, that’s just there because the company makes its money from the business version of the app.
WEBSITE – Wire Personal
ANDROID APP – Wire
iPHONE APP – Wire
WINDOWS / MAC / LINUX APP – Wire Downloads
Jami is a free easy-to-use open alternative to Skype, with voice call, video call and messaging. It has apps for Android, iPhone, Windows Mac and Linux.
It is libre and designed to respect its users’ privacy, with calls going directly from one user to another without using servers. It gives all its members a unique code, which they can share with others, so that they can add each other on the service.
(In case you’re confused, Ring has just changed its name to Jami. You may see both names used during the name transition.)
WEBSITE – Jami
ANDROID APP – Jami
iPHONE APP – Jami
WINDOWS APP – Jami
MAC APP – Jami
LINUX APP – Jami
Jitsi Meet is a free libre video chat app made by volunteers. It is extremely easy to use: you don’t need to register, all you need to do is make up the name of a chat room and send the link to whoever you want to join you (you can also add a room password if you want). You can use it through their website or through the mobile apps.
WEBSITE – Jitsi Meet
ANDROID APP – Jitsi Meet
iPHONE APP – Jitsi Meet
Another easy-to-use chat app, you can register with just your phone number.
It’s based on the XMPP standard, so if you know someone with an XMPP account you can communicate with them as well.
ANDROID APP – Quicksy
XMPP (also known as Jabber) is a widely-used free and libre internet messaging standard. It’s very easy to use: just register an XMPP account and install an XMPP app.
Because it’s federated, there are lots of sites you can register on. It doesn’t matter if your friends sign up on a different site, all the sites talk to each other.
(If these apps and sites are too complicated for you or someone you know, try the much easier Quicksy alternative above. It’s part of the XMPP network as well.)
ANDROID APP – Conversations
WINDOWS / LINUX APP – Gajim
MAC APP – Monal