Threema Messenger • Review

Threema Messenger Review Seventyone

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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:

  1. 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,
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Download on the App Store

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.

Please check our blog on metaverse upland the next big thing.

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11 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. Thank you very much for this summary. It is indeed a problem in the western world that WhatsApp is simply the most used.

  3. The Swiss army has banned all instant messaging apps, including Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp, recommending the use of the Threema app.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. Threema – это очень хорошее решение. Я бы предпочел, чтобы мои сообщения просматривали швейцарцы, а не АНБ.

Comments are closed.