Top 3 Encrypted Instant Messaging App for Windows

Ever since Edward Snowden exposed NSA’s massive surveillance in 2013, encryption and privacy are always hot topics in tech, most notability the recent court battle between FBI and Apple. The case between FBI vs. Apple is that at the end both parties got what they want, FBI was able to hack into a locked iPhone while Apple remains its position against FBI in unlocking the iPhone. You may wonder what does that has to do with you and how is that affecting you in any way. According to re/code, most of the popular instant messaging apps you are using are not encrypted. Take Skype, for example, it does not offer end-to-end encryption. Will, the truth is whether you like it or not most of your digital life are unencrypted, hence subject to intercept by the third party without your knowledge. If you are looking for a secure way to send messages we have a top 3 choices for you to choose from.

Confide

Think of this as Snapchat with encryption, Confide offers dedicated Windows app (and other cross platforms apps) that lets you send messages encrypted and privately. It’s so secure when you taking a screenshot of its app it would all blank out in black. The same is true when receiving and viewing the message inside Confide, as soon as the message has been viewed it gets discarded. It’s a perfect platform for sending over sensitive information.

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The only way to take a screenshot of this app is either with your camera or taken it inside a virtual machine where the app is running from. The encryption offers

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Wickr

Wickr Me is another encrypted messenger with a Windows desktop client. It’s not as secure as Confide in terms of locking down the entire app even when taking screenshots of it. It still offers many security features that you don’t get from most other messaging platforms. There is also a professional version for ‘unlimited security’ for your business’s need. Instead of instant wipe messages after viewing it in Confide, with Wickr you get to choose for how long to keep the history. By default, it will keep your history for 1 day. All messages send via Wickr are locked and require a click to view the message.

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That said, with the standard version you only limited to send in the below valid file types. It restricts you to send in .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .bmp, .gif, .mp4, and .pdf formats. If that’s a problem for you in sending over documents such as word, excel or PowerPoint files, this tool is not for you.

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Telegram

Lastly but not least, Telegram. If you don’t care about so much about the security after you received the message, then Telegram is a perfect tool for you. And it’s among one of the most popular tools out of the three. Telegram ensures end-to-end encryption and provide an easy of use just like Whatsapp.

Telegram is more secure than mass market messengers like WhatsApp and Line. We are based on the MTProto protocol (see description and advanced FAQ), built upon time-tested algorithms to make security compatible with high-speed delivery and reliability on weak connections. We are continuously working with the community to improve the security of our protocol and clients

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What you don’t get is security after you received the message, unlike in Confide or Wickr when a message is received you see the content right away instead of hover over in Confide or click the lock icon in Wickr.

The Verdict

If you are looking for a messaging tool that is secure, all of the tools above are good choices. However, if you want additional lock down in terms of what happens when and after received the message then you should consider choosing from Confide or Wickr. There is more customization offered with Wickr, but Confide is truly more secure in many aspects compare to all other tools. If security is your number one priority then Confide is the way to go.

Jonathan Hu

Programming by day, Web Development, Canucks & Movies for spare time!
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂

Last updated: 04/02/2016

Posted in: Security , Tools
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