The Secure Messaging App Conundrum: Signal vs. Telegram (a comparisson for non experts)

In the last few days I have been asked by many non-crypto friends “to recommend a secure messaging app alternative to WhatsApp”. This report contains my answer ,

The Contenders. When discussing secure messaging apps, two of them come immediately to mind: Signal [5] and Telegram [11] 1. Therefore, I decided to lay down as clearly as possible the reasons why one gives higher security guarantees than the other.

Disclaimer. Both Signal and Telegram care about security. Their teams are a collection of extremely smart people, and they do their best to protect their users. What sets them apart is their approach to security, and this is what I will analyze in this report. Neither protocol has been broken (yet), and as of the writing of this report I have never being in contact with any of the companies mentioned here.

TL;DR: Signal gives stronger security guarantees than Telegram.
If you want to prioritize security, use Signal. If you really like cool stickers, ginormous groups (100 000 of users!), and are willing to trust the guys at Telegram (they are not Facebook after all), go for Telegram.

Either choice gives you better security guarantees than WhatsApp,
If you are looking of a summary of my points, read the Conclusions section.

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