Signal, the encrypted messaging app for Android and iOS, has made video calling available for everyone. In the latest update of the app, you are now able to video call your contacts. On top of that, every video call that is being conducted is encrypted for maximum privacy.
Signal Video Calling
Open Whisper Systems, the developer of Signal, has released the video calling feature in the latest Signal update. The feature was previously only available to beta testers, but has now been rolled out to all users.
Furthermore, the privacy of video calling through Signal is now significantly improved. After all, Signal’s goal is to provide a genuinely private messaging app.
During the beta testing of the new video calling feature, the conversations still went through Signal’s own servers. However, that has now been changed. If you call someone on Signal, it will establish a direct connection with that person, which is encrypted.
It uses the same type of encryption that is applied to any other form of communication that goes through the app. A direct connection also ensures a higher quality of audio and video during your video calls.
By applying direct connections between contacts, it is possible that your privacy is still at risk if you call someone using Signal. Because of the direct connections, it is not possible to hide your IP address. Someone with evil intentions could extract your IP address and use it to find your location.
For this very reason, Signal only allows the so called end-to-end connections between you and people in your contacts list. It is also possible to change the settings and use the Signal servers to make video calls. This hides your IP, but there is a drop in quality.
Messaging App Differences
Signal distinguishes itself from the many other messaging apps by providing encrypted communication as a key point. Anything you send through the app, whether it is a text message, a phone call or a video call, is encrypted. This means that it cannot be read while it’s being sent. Only your contact is able to read it/receive it.
Signal also provides many options to help ensure your privacy. An example of such an option is that you can disable screenshots. Your device is not capable of making screenshots of your Signal conversations.
Other messaging apps also offer encryption. Examples of such messaging apps are Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WhatsApp. However, Signal is more reliable when it comes to the security of the app. The reason for this is that Signal is open source, which means that the source code is often checked for security holes. Signal is free on Android and iOS.