Following the outage that knocked WhatsApp down earlier this week due to a Facebook outage, there’s been increased interest in decentralized and safe alternatives. During Facebook’s downtime, Telegram was one of the major winners, but there are other choices that are totally decentralized and private, based on the Blockchain-like technology that drives Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
When it comes to instant messengers, privacy is paramount. Most popular messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Messenger, use ‘end-to-end encryption,’ which is a type of privacy technology. However, for individuals who want total anonymity in a chat, there is a messaging service called Session that has piqued the interest of privacy enthusiasts.
The software is effectively a fork of Signal, which is also an open-source communication platform, according to Restore Privacy. However, the developers of Session, the Loki Foundation, a registered NGO headquartered in Australia, intended anonymity to be the star feature of their communicator, which means that while the fundamental software is similar to Signal, the way it operates is completely different.
Chats in Session are protected using standard end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and recipient of a message may see the content of the discussion, according to its FAQ page. Session, on the other hand, takes a step farther and secures the user’s identity.
Session does this by routing conversations across a network of thousands of server nodes that send and receive messages while also providing extra services. Session’s onion request mechanism protects communications by ensuring that no server in the network knows the sender’s or recipient’s IP addresses — effectively a decentralized system akin to blockchain — which also means there’s no centralized server for hackers to break into.
That’s not all, though. You do not need to sign up for Session with a phone number or an email address.
Furthermore, no metadata, such as device information or geolocation markers, is collected by the service. It’s also not platform-specific. Clients for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS are available.
This isn’t it, chief if you’re searching for a WhatsApp replacement that matches the Facebook-owned app feature for feature. The number of features doesn’t come close to that of WhatsApp, Telegram, or Signal. Session does, however, include the essentials, such as group messaging, file sharing, and voice samples. Session appears to be a fantastic choice if security and anonymity are key considerations in messaging.
The service has been downloaded over 500,000 times and has 200,000 monthly active users.