The amessaging applications They are already part of our daily routine, both to communicate with our friends and loved ones, and for work matters. In this sense, WhatsApp has undoubtedly the absolute leadership. But there are others that seek to gain a foothold in the sector. It sounds to all of us Telegram, but there is a third in contention that, in terms of functionalities, competes with both. Is about Signal, a messaging application that is gradually gaining strength. We will know in depth what it is, how it works and what basic options offers the user.
You can tell that Signal has in the safety its strongest point. So much so, that his protocol end-to-end message encryption It is used by WhatsApp itself.
To be honest, today it is far from competing with the leading application and it is possible that at the user level it does not do so with Telegram either (there are more used alternatives such as Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct). However, in many areas it is becoming a serious alternative. Above all, as a result of the discontent generated by the changes in the conditions of use introduced by WhatsApp.
Before going on to describe the functionalities that Signal offers to the user, we are going to know a little more about the application from the basic sense.
What is Signal
Signal is a recently created application that is about six years old. And although many users are beginning to know about it now, we have had news about it for a long time. Personalities like Edward snowden, the CEO of Twitter Jack dorsey or Elon musk They make use of it and have publicly recommended it for its high security capabilities.
This messaging application tries to become an alternative to WhatsApp and Telegram, its most direct competitors. The attractiveness and the design are not among its advantages, but it offers many guarantees regarding the Privacy of your conversations. It is free and it is available for mobiles with operating systems Android and ios. It also has a desktop version for Windows, Mac Y Linux.
The protocol it uses for its encryption is called Open Whispers Systems. This mechanism prevents any data from the conversation from being shared, not even with the company, which will not be able to read your messages. Signal also does not store data about users on its servers, these remain on the device. And finally, in this application we will not find any type of advertising. In short, it is an intuitive, easy-to-use and very safe alternative.
How Signal works
First, Signal has a very similar use to WhatsApp and Telegram. Therefore, if you defend yourself well with both, this application will not cause you major problems.
The app is available at no cost in the Apple Storeas well as in the store Google play. Once you have it on your device, you just have to run it. At first, you will need to accept its license and provide it with the appropriate permissions to access your contacts and send notifications.
- You must then enter your phone number and confirm it. The next step is to click on to register.
- Your phone will receive a SMS with a personal verification code. You will have to open the message and enter it manually in the application. However, the code can also be detected and completed automatically.
- If you do not receive this SMS, you can request one verification call. When the counter has reached zero, tap To call or I have not received any code. Then choose the option Receive call with code.
Edit your user profile
As with the rest of applications of the style, you must put a name to identify yourself as a user, as well as a profile photo. Also, you can set a number PIN of security. In this way, your Signal account will be encrypted within the servers. If you install the application on other devices, with this PIN you can recover your account along with your profile, your conversations and other data.
- With the app open, go to the Settings by Signal.
- You can edit your data by clicking on your name, your photo or your associated number.
- The name is mandatory, be it the real one, a nickname or even an emoji.
- Since Add to Profile / BioYou can add a brief description about yourself if you wish.
- When you have edited all the options that you consider appropriate, it is time to give Keep.
In the rest, as we have pointed out, Signal works practically like the rest of applications of the style. The contacts that make use of this program will be detected and will appear in the list, being able to establish any type of conservation with them.
- From the blue pencil icon (new message), you will have access to your contact book.
- As in other apps, at the end is the text input field. Well, send both messages and attachments.
- Signal also allows two types of messages.
- The Signal message It allows you to communicate with another user of the application in a secure way.
- The unencrypted message (SMS or MMS) will appear when you are conversing with someone in an insecure way through your phone plan.
You will differentiate both through the icon, either blue (secure message) or gray (non-secure message). To switch from one to the other, you must hold down the icon for a long time. Logically, if the other user does not have the Signal application, you will not be able to exchange encrypted messages with him.
Voice or video calls
Like messaging, Signal voice or video calls are also private. The first time you do one, you will have to grant the camera and microphone permissions.
- To start, when you are in your agenda and you have chosen the contact, click on the icon of the telephone for a voice call.
- If, on the other hand, you prefer a video call, you will have to click on the emblem in the shape of a camera.
- In this case, you can show or hide your video by clicking on the lower icons, as well as mute the microphone, adjust the volume, rotate the camera or hang up.
- Another option available is to make these group calls, both voice and video.
- When you are in a group chat, go to the camera icon located in the top menu and press it.
- Now select Initiate call or Join the call.
- All group participants will receive a notification. In addition, it will be reflected in the group’s conversation history.
Signal also allows the creation of group chats to host multi-user conversations.
- Inside the application, click on the pencil icon and select New group.
- Now you will have to choose all the contacts you want to include in the chat.
- Tap on the next arrow and you will have to select the type of group. There are three available.
- MMS group: not secure and for contacts without Signal app. Messages will be exchanged through the phone plan and has a limit of 10 participants.
- Old group: messages can be exchanged safely. By tapping on know more you will be able to know which contacts need to update Signal.
- New group: It is only available for users who have updated the app on their mobiles. Here the communication is also private and offers options to @mention, delete messages, secure invitations by QR code, etc.
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