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Secure messaging app reviews

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Last updated: 30 June 2017


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

We test and review 14 of the most popular smartphone messaging apps for security, usability and helpful features like multimedia messaging.

Our messaging app security buying guide will help you decide which type of messaging app you need, and how we test explains how we picked the best apps.

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Our test covers Facebook Messenger encryption and security features, along with Chat Secure, Confide, iMessages, Signal, Silent Phone, Snapchat, Telegram, Threema, Tunnel X, Viber, WeChat, WhatsApp and Wickr rated for security features.

Our expert testers give each iOS and Android smartphone messaging app a thorough workout to help find the apps that:

  • are easiest to use
  • have the most security features
  • have extra features such as multimedia messaging and message previews.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which messaging apps have the most security features and are the easiest to use. Our Recommended picks will help you quickly see which apps come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Price paid in May 2017. $0 means the app is free. Some apps may have in-app purchases.

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    Member only

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    Can save attachments

      Always logged in

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      If the user can stay logged in to the app without having to log in each time.

        Message copying and forwarding allowed

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        Whether the program allows copying and/or forwarding of messages.

          Multi-device support

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          If the app supports use on multiple devices.

            Included in this review

            Members-only access
            • Message destruction
            • Government data request policy available
            • Open source
            • Always logged in
            • Server data retention time
            • Idle time lock
            • Ease of use score
            • Zero access from vendor
            • Bad points
            • Message previews
            • Overall score
            • Server location
            • Security features score
            • Login type
            • Conversation log encryption
            • User managed data retention
            • Security audit
            • Screen shots allowed
            • Attachment file types supported
            • Can save attachments
            • Price
            • Message storage location
            • Account termination method
            • Recommended
            • Encryption type
            • Metadata collection
            • User alert and notification types
            • Good points
            • In-transit encryption
            • File permissions requested
            • Metadata encryption
            • Endpoint encryption
            • User data collected
            • Multi-device support
            • Personal encryption key
            • Versatility score
            • Message limits
            • User typing alert
            • Message copying and forwarding allowed
            • Android
            • Brand
            • Availability
            • iOS
            • Model

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