Threema is essentially very similar to WhatsApp but focuses more on security, anonymity and freedom from advertising. Hence, digital privacy has become a key concern with the explosion of online social interaction, mainly through smartphones.
Relying on the word and servers of big companies like Apple and Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) isn’t going to cut it. For such privacy-conscious people, there are third-party apps like Threema.
The name is “End-to-End Encrypted Messaging Application”, abbreviated “EEEMA”. But that was a bit many “E “s, so it became “Threema”. According to Threema, the company finances itself through corporate subscriptions and app sales.
connecting with Threema users
You have three ways to get in touch and communicate with other users:
- Threema recommends the safest method to personally face your contact and scan his ID via QR code. With colleagues and friends in your immediate environment, it’s certainly excellent. Nevertheless, if your messenger contact is further away, the other methods come into play,
- You can synchronise your address book. To do this, your contact partner must have assigned his mobile phone number and e-mail address to his ID. Once a day, Threema synchronises these data automatically.
- The third and least secure method is the manual entry of the contact ID. Your contact list will later show you the security status of each contact.
But we’re not entirely done setting it up yet. Now, you can, but you don’t have to enter your e-mail address and mobile phone number and link it to your ID. Then give yourself a nickname used for your chat partners in push notifications. If you want to secure access to Threema, you can also enter a passphrase in the settings, optionally requested after each start or in a predefined time interval. After ten unsuccessful attempts, you can check the option to delete all data in the app.
Threema and security
On WhatsApp, a security problem arises from reading the address book. Threema leaves this decision up to you, the user:
You can also use Messenger without access to the address book. The app does not read any address book data if you switch off synchronisation. You then have to enter your Threema contacts manually – via ID input or QR code scan. If you opt for synchronisation, the e-mail addresses and telephone numbers get hashed out of your address book, i.e. one-way encrypted.
The transmission of data to the Swiss servers utilises additional SSL security. They delete the hashes from their working memory as soon as the list of matching IDs has been determined. Threema ensures that it writes neither hashes nor matches results to a disk.
Advantages over WhatsApp
It’s not easy to combine security and ease of use. While WhatsApp chose ease of use, Threema’s healthy mix of both works quite well. For example, to create the secret key pair during app setup, Threema is offline. The private and public keys don’t leave the phone during installation – everything happens locally. While the public key must be distributed so encrypted messages can be sent, the private key remains on the device used. From both key pairs, the recipient’s public key and the sender’s private key, the app calculates a third key that encrypts the message.
The message recipient decodes a message with his private key. The Threema Server does not decrypt information, so it cannot be given to any authorities. So if a Swiss court orders a report according to Swiss law, this information cannot consist of sent messages. And the data would also otherwise look relatively meagre: If the recipient retrieves messages, they get deleted from the server. IP addresses or traffic data (who sent which message to whom and when) are also not stored. If the user decides not to link the e-mail address and mobile phone number to his ID, this data is not stored on the servers.
Threema calls and chat
According to Threema, calls and chat messages are also encrypted “end-to-end”. The keys are created on the device and do not leave it, according to Threema. Besides, Threema ensures that it generates as little metadata as possible when using this function. Thus, it uses the anonymous Threema ID for the connection instead of the user’s telephone number.
Another security feature is a constant bit rate for audio encoding. It means that no conclusions can be drawn about the content due to the size of the data packets transmitted. Finally, a peer-to-peer connection is established between the callers whenever possible.
With the introduction of encrypted voice calls, Threema is moving from its functional scope to that of its local competitors.
Threema - fewer users
Unfortunately, Threema has substantially fewer participants than Whatsapp or WeChat. This circumstance is regrettable because this messenger would be a perfect solution in today’s world, especially in the professional exchange of information.
Hence, we hope to gain new users with this blog entry and to establish Threema, at least in the business messaging.
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My husband and I use this exclusively and have peace of mind. I am on iPhone too, so it’s nice to have all the read receipts and better quality videos that you can’t send over text. The one downside that doesn’t have to do with the app itself but comes up when using it is that the audio on a phone call starts dropping out when losing service, whereas a regular phone call would still work just fine. Buy it and force all your family and friends to use it. It’s awesome.
Appreciate your effort with Threema Libre, though! I bought an extra license just for Libre! web.threema.ch worked in the past. Now it’s completely broken, and I see the yellow connecting banner. Some developers wanted to “optimize” something that used to work nicely. Now they are optimized and super fast (I guess but do not experience) and also super broken. ——- Just crashed and could not be restarted for 1min. It starts to remind me of MS software.
Still, I am testing all functions..one thing is too much annoying me.. 1. when I am on call in Threema, if someone calls me in my sim, then the threema call disconnect automatically. 2. if I switch from wifi to data or vice versa while threema calls, it disconnects automatically. 3. Also, for 5..10 sec, if there is no internet, it quickly disconnects and doesn’t try to long connect as the Microsoft team. I didn’t find Threema a suitable calling app for me…Kindly upgrade the app and make it stable.
I like it, but it’s very glitchy. Messages sometimes take a while to send, but I get the icons, so I’m not guessing if it did. The video is hit or miss. For instance, they will hang up on occasion. If you receive an incoming call or if your Bluetooth disconnects. I love that it has a pin setting and not tie to a phone number. Seems very dependable for keeping things secure.
It’s a pity that you can’t test the app for four weeks free of charge.
I switched to another app since this app’s notifications have stopped working—very, very inconsistent messages. You have to open the app to get the news. It beats the purpose. I tried working with their support team, but none of the solutions worked! —— Something has happened to this app. It stopped sending the notifications until I opened the app. I tried all the troubleshooting steps, but it did not work. Looking for another app now 🙁
Good app with a fantastic white-coloured user-friendly interface and offers fulls time end-to-end encryption for chats. It generates a unique ID for every individual and is safe to operate at any time and anywhere and its relatively easy to use with no ads so far, and you can even verify by adding a phone number or email to Threema ID; I recommend this app for anyone that wants the best-encrypted chat on their device.
I can’t recommend this enough. It only needs self-destructing messages, but that’s less reliable than you might think. It would be best if you always were careful of the things you send no matter what and that you fully trust the person on the other end. If you care about your security and still want group texts, then Threema is the best messaging app. Not having to tie your phone number or email to your account is a massive plus for me, while for some people, it’s nice to be able to see all of your pre-existing contacts (which you can still totally do if you want), I prefer not to have people be able to find me like that. I had some of my friends download it (I even paid for some of them to get it because it’s that good) and, walked them through skipping adding their phone number and email, had them add a master password (which you have to enter when you turn your phone on; optional) and PIN. You can set the PIN for individual chats. I have one group with ten people who exchange books with each other. There are polls. Now there’s video chat to complement the phone calls, you can transfer your account between phones, there’s a web client, the servers are in Switzerland, end-to-end encryption by default, and you can verify and add your contacts phones by scanning their QR code to avoid “man in the middle” attacks, and best of all you can ditch your account; delete everything and start over whenever you want with a new anonymous ID. If you genuinely care about security, you must buy this app and get your contacts. Sure, you can get Signal, which is tied to your phone number (not to mention gets part of its funding from the State Department and has a broken desktop app that stores everything in plain texts files) or WhatsApp (which is owned by Facebook and probably collects your data to sell you garbage) for free, but your paying for the real thing when you get Threema.
Not everyone has PayPal or uses credit cards. What a pity!
Threema is the best messaging app ever. The most secure platform there ever. I have a few suggestions. Please elaborate. 1. Please consider adding stickers in a chat, like animated stickers. Without these, chatting is boring sometimes. Stickers are one of the best things. 2. If you can add a global search, it will be best. (by title only) 3. Photos should have the option to send original or compressed. 4. Add more and more features in the upcoming update (while streamlining previous features.). Thank you.
I love Threema and its functions. Messengers should not experience too much gamifications like other apps.
Bin komplett von WhatsApp weg und habe über 80% meiner Kontakte mitgenommen.
I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. I am using Threema and I am very happy.
Threema’s QR Code is a sign of trust. If you hand it over to another person, you declare that you want to keep personal contact with them. Therefore, it makes sense to print the code on the business card. This makes it easier to get in touch and automatically verifies you with your contact person in the app.
I have all messengers installed: Most of the people use WhatsApp.
It is not intended in Threema that chat histories are stored on a server. This is not practical if you lose or change your device. Important protocols can still be saved and later viewed in plain text. The logs are stored in password-protected ZIP archives.
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Telegram called on hackers to try to crack the encryption and decrypt messages. Anyone who succeeded was promised a bonus of 300,000 US dollars. The competition ended without a happy winner.
The NSA, the US Government and governments worldwide can demand as many things as they want from Signal, but that doesn’t mean they HAVE all the data they request. As far as we know, the only information Signal stores on their users are their phone number, the date when the account was created, and the last time you logged into your account, NOTHING ELSE. So governments worldwide can demand whatever they want, and Signal has to comply with what they DO have. How about Threema?
I have been informed by a friend that in a subpoena by relevant authority can force Signal to supply personal texts and meida. How is that possible if such are encrypted end-to-end between the parties? Further the source states that Telegram is the only app that is protected from that.
Your response please. I haven’t chased this through the Signal website yet.
Telegram is a thousand times better than WhatsApp and YouTube because they let the truths be deleted and that should not be allowed because the truths should be allowed to come to light.
Before I kicked out WhatsApp and fb, I registered an account with Telegram.
Very easy to use, ad-free and simply wonderful not to have to put up with this left-wing fascist mob any more and to finally have freedom of expression again.
Real privacy messenger feel safe speaking with your friends trough threema app Nr 1
With an incredible focus on totally encrypted chat privacy Threema app is used by the way by Swiss’s best Prosecutors for their investigations…To use without stopping, You can switch WhatsApp for the Threema app for 2022. A good idea, why not?
Threema would be good if it had more users. I have switched back to WhatsApp only.
Unfortunately, I have to join the many others. It’s a good app, but I can’t convince my friends to use it, because they would have to convince their friends, so it’s easy to stay on WhatsApp.
Threema would be fantastic – unfortunately not many are using it.
I’m giving Threema 5 STARS after it becomes open source but, what’s the point of all these features that added recently and Threema still blocked in many countries
We took a look at this Work version. You can chat with it. But the administration was a disaster.
Joke. If you forget your password, there’s no way to log back in. They must be living completely out of touch with reality.
I would love to use it, but all my friends are on WhatsApp.
I’ve been using Threema for years. It is by far the most safe and secure
I simply deleted WhatsApp and people who want to write with me have to adapt to me. I am important enough.
I am an American in Germany because my boyfriend is in the army here. He told me to stop using WhatsApp and to use Threema. He must know something.
It’s kind of crazy how WhatsApp could reach such a large number of users and other messengers disappear.
Threema – please write a blog about the other messengers.
As we pointed out in the body of the article, no one can guarantee that a service is now and forever 100% secure. That means it is possible that Threema could be hacked. That said, with E2E solid encryption and frequent audits of their code, it seems unlikely that Threema will be hacked.
The National Security Agency hates encryption. At least when others use it. That was already the case in the seventies. Back then, the secret service tried to influence the development of new cryptographic procedures and to slow down the spread of the technology in society, as Jay Stowsky from the University of Berkeley described in his essay Secrets or Shields to Share? ten years ago.
Threema is the answer
I only use Threema now.
Safety is important to me. That’s why I only use Threema and if you don’t like it – you won’t find me anywhere else.
For the most part, Threema and WhatsApp offer the same features, and there is hardly any difference in usability. However, the two services differ on almost every level regarding security and data privacy. Threema was designed from the ground up with maximum security and data reduction in mind, while WhatsApp’s business model is based on using personal data for marketing purposes.
My Whatsapp has been hacked. I wrote some bad words about my country and two days later the police summoned me for questioning.
I am not using any messenger. I don’t trust them.
Threema – это очень хорошее решение. Я бы предпочел, чтобы мои сообщения просматривали швейцарцы, а не АНБ.
Basically this Is a useful app, the only thing it says is the problem is that parents can not see what you say, If they either have a shared device, know the pass-code for your device, or check your device regularly, They can monitor you. The thing I have to say about this is just useful chatting with most of the features you need, and It is pretty cheap, too, just a once paid when you buy it.
We took a look at this Work version. You can chat with it. But the administration was a disaster. And you have to buy one user per device!
Threema is becoming more and more of a cumbersome chat tool. Even migrating to a new device is more tedious than easy. You have to keep the app open on the mobile device so that you can use the same app on the desktop (what a nonsense), and you can’t appoint multiple admins in group chats. Currently we are experiencing that in a group a former group member was added. But the admin has no idea about it. Even better, he doesn’t even see the added member in the group. Nor has he received a message about it in that group chat.
We will turn our backs on Threema with our various clubs and associated group chat.
All messengers can be read. So stay careful.
Thank you for this entry. I use WhatsApp.
Threema simply has too small a user base. Even in Switzerland.
Thank you very much for this summary. It is indeed a problem in the western world that WhatsApp is simply the most used.
I can’t shake the feeling that messengers, in general, are applications of the secret Service. WhatsApp from the Americans (and the Europeans are so stupid), WeChat from the Chinese and Telegram from the Russians. Threema could be a Swiss sandbox.