With more than two billion users, WhatsApp is the world's favorite messaging app. It’s easy to see why it’s been favored as a top messaging app, with its clean, friendly, and easy-to-use interface, even for those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
However, WhatsApp has a big drawback that’s made recent headlines: privacy issues. Is your privacy violated when using WhatsApp? It depends on what you feel is a violation of your privacy, but the app certainly isn’t as safe as other messaging apps. Using it could make your phone an easy target for hackers.
Gone are the days when WhatsApp could be trusted as a private, secure app. Now, you’ll find that your data can be easily mined and offered to advertisers. Not into that? We get it, especially if you don’t have a real phone number you’d like to use in order to sign up to chat via the application. Here are three alternatives to WhatsApp without a phone number (that are also much more secure).
Do you need a phone number to use WhatsApp?
If you are a regular WhatsApp user, you know that you need to register using a working phone number. This means that, when setting up a new WhatsApp account, you’ll be asked to enter your phone number.
Subsequently, you’ll receive a verification code generated that you need to use in order to verify the account and finish the setup process. Don’t have a phone number you can use? That’s okay, you can get a temporary number for WhatsApp when creating an account.
Using a temporary or second phone number will allow you to access WhatsApp without having to provide your private phone number, which is great if you’re trying to conceal your identity when messaging contacts or simply want to create a second WhatsApp account for work or personal purposes.
Chat app alternatives to WhatsApp
While WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption for chats, the main problem is that Facebook is in the middle of your messages, so it’s difficult to know the exact destination of the conversations you have with others.
Other chat app alternatives to WhatsApp include Signal, Discord, and Telegram, all of which offer true end-to-end encryption without Facebook or other third parties in the middle of your business.
Keep in mind that the following applications may ask for a phone number in order to register. However, to chat with other people you will not need their phone numbers nor will they necessarily need to see yours (which isn’t the case with WhatsApp).
Does Signal work without a phone number? No, unfortunately, you do need a number to sign up for a Signal account, yes, but the private communication that Signal offers relies only on your number as a means of identification and not as a transmission point.
Today, Signal is the most supported and endorsed open-source chat alternative to WhatsApp. As stated by former computer intelligence consultant Edward Snowden, who claims to use it every day, Signal strikes the perfect balance between privacy and ease of use.
Where can you download Signal? It’s an app built for Android, iPhone, macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome platforms. It is designed under the philosophy of "sharing without insecurities." For Signal, "privacy is not an optional mode, it is literally how it works."
Does Discord work without a phone number? Yep! Discord is a VoIP and instant messaging platform where you can enjoy voice calls, video calls, text messages, and sending media and files in private chats as well as part of communities. You’re able to do all of this without the need for a phone number.
Although it was developed mainly as a platform for online games, in recent years Discord has received major updates, allowing it to be more useful for the general population. The main feature that most users enjoy is the ability to participate in private and organized voice and text channels.
Discord runs on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, iPad OS, Linux, and web browsers. With more than 250 million users, it is one of the most popular alternatives to WhatsApp without a phone number.
Does Telegram work without a phone number? No. It’s similar to Signal in that Telegram requires you to have a private number to register.
Similar to WhatsApp, Telegram also shows your contacts your mobile phone number. However, if you want to chat with strangers without sharing your phone, you can create a public username in Telegram Settings.
Telegram can be used on Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Mac, and even Linux platforms with its desktop app. It has a webchat app for messaging needs that are more suited to an office setting, but the best part is that it supports end-to-end encryption while respecting your privacy.
The best Telegram feature? It has nothing to do with privacy, but it’s worth noting that you can create channels and groups in order to chat with up to 200,000 members at a time. Talk about a wild group chat.
Using a second number app
As you can see, most of the top WhatsApp alternatives still require you to have a phone number in order to create an account. So, what do you do if you don’t have a phone number or want to avoid using your real number to sign up?
You get a temporary or Burner phone number instead! Using a second number app is a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to add a second line to your phone with ease. With this alternative, you will be able to receive calls to that new line and make outgoing calls from it, straight through the application. It can be a throwaway or temporary number, but in the end, it works as a regular number does.
With Burner, you’re able to make and receive calls and texts as well as do things like send images and turn on a Do Not Disturb feature that’ll ensure you’re not bothered by incoming messages. If that sounds like a good deal to you then you might just consider...
Chatting on Burner without a phone number
Why use WhatsApp and other messaging apps where you need to use your number to sign up when you can just get a Burner phone and chat straight from the Burner app?
Burner is a free app that offers disposable, temporary phone numbers or a “second line" instead of a traditional phone number. While you don’t get the number from a traditional service provider like AT&T or Verizon, it’s a real, fully functioning number. And, you get to choose how long you keep the number for. We’ve got Subscription Burners and Prepaid Burners depending on your needs.
Among the many features we offer, one of the most popular ones is that, when using your Burner number and the app, calls to that number will effectively be rerouted through the app to your cell phone so that no one sees your real number.
Similarly, Burner allows you to manage contacts from the application and treat this new line as a second long-term phone number, either for projects or businesses, or perhaps to create a temporary phone number for appointments, sales, deliveries, purchases, and more.
Ready to give it a try as an alternative to WhatsApp? Get a free number for seven days so you can try it out.