If you’re concerned about privacy when using your default messenger, then perhaps it’s time to switch. Telegram was developed by a Russian entrepreneur (and was later banned in Russia for refusing to hand over user data to the government).

The app puts user privacy at the very top of its priority list. The private messenger uses top-of-the-range end-to-end encryption on all messages, on top of this, it allows you to send messages that will self destruct. It also allows you to securely store files and more.

For this reason, it has been used by some controversial groups to secretly share information, including ISIS members who wanted to operate without detection in Europe (testament to the fact that it really is private!).

In terms of design, the latest version of Telegram for Android is structured much the same as Whatsapp. The interface is minimal, with a contacts sections, a messages list, and user settings. There are no fancy animations of unique visual features, although the app does look modern and well put together in its minimalist design.

Users familiar with Whatsapp will feel familiar with Telegram.

One drawback of this app is that it isn’t widely popular among everyday users of messaging apps, and you can only message with people who also have the app on their device. Therefore, you may download it only to find that there is no one in your contacts you can even message!

Having said that, the app is somewhat purpose driven. It’s especially popular in countries with strict laws regarding freedom of expression and assembly, so that users can communicate their thoughts and ideas without fear of repercussion from the government.

Best Features of Telegram

ENCRYPTION: With end-to-end encryption of all messages (even more so when in Secret mode), you can guarentee that anyone trying to snoop on your chats will have an impossible time doing so.

SECRET CHATS: These are heavily encrypted chats that are also hidden on your device. If you’re talking business or personal secrets, then this is for you.

SELF-DESTRUCTING MESSAGES: You have the ability to send a message on a self-destruct timer, giving extra privacy. The app also blocks the recipient/s from being able to screenshot messages sent in this manner. Bear in mind that someone could take a picture of it with another camera, so don’t think you’re completely secure.

FREE TO USE: Telegram is totally free to use and doesn’t feature any ads or in-app purchases. This is a great feature of the app, and puts it on par with other messenger apps like Whatsapp or Kik.

SEND LARGE FILES: You can send files of up to 1.5GB in size on the latest version of Telegram, which is significantly more than other, similar apps.

QUICK SEND: Messages also send very quickly, even in areas with low connectivity. This, again, is another feature that makes the app stand out.

Download the latest version of Telegram on Android, free

All in all, this is a great private messenger app, the only real downside being that there aren’t tons of people using it. If you want a way to privately communicate with friends or colleagues, then this is a good choice for you. Press the button at the top of the page to download it.