Discord vs Signal: Which one should you use?

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Discord is a popular, easy-to-use messaging app with many features, Signal is different than what Discord offers, but it is also a good messaging app, which one should you use?

Most of the time, you won't have a choice with messaging apps, you have to use the one all your friends are using to be able to talk to them. When you can decide the messaging app you'll use, it is great to know which one is better for your needs.

There is no better overall messaging app, it falls under your personal preference and your specific needs.

What is Discord?

Discord was released in 2015, initially popular only among gamers, the platform has grown to become the home of several online communities. Discord is easy-going, although it has more features than just a messaging app would need because it also serves other purposes.

Discord has any feature you would possibly want on a messaging app, voice chat, group chats, group voice chat, video chats, and so on.

Servers in Discord are chatrooms available for as many people you would like to invite, you can organize them in different text and voice channels, and having roles with different permissions over the server for each member, and much more.

If you need a way to have more control over group conversations, Discord will give you everything you need.

What is Signal?

Signal is a messaging app released in 2015, Signal gained popularity due to its safety, being promoted by users who worry about their privacy online.

Signal doesn't have as many features regarding group chats as Discord does, Signal is more focused on the regular chatting app features, being easier to compare it to WhatsApp than to Discord.

The regular chatting app features I am talking about definitely include video and voice-chatting, as Discord has.

Discord and Signal key differences

To help you decide which one may be better for you and your friends, I will list the reasons either would be a good option.

Signal

  • Messages are encrypted end-to-end
  • A great alternative to WhatsApp
  • Requires a phone number to register
  • A more "personal" application, with a private feel to it, as it doesn't have servers like Discord, only group chats
  • The group chats are an extension to a regular 1-on-1 chat
  • Uses donations as a fund
  • Known for security

The security aspect of Signal is because of the encrypted messages, when a message is encrypted end-to-end, the number of people who could intercept that message is reduced.

End-to-end attempts only allow the sender of a message, and the recipient, to be able to read it.

When you send a message to your friend using Signal, the message is only stored on their servers while it is in transit, after that, the message only stays on the devices that received them, and on the sender device.

Discord

  • Messages are not encrypted whatsoever
  • Voice-chat during gaming, with overlays integrated
  • Has not only group chats but also servers, having some differences between the two
  • Uses optional subscriptions that offer chat perks as a fund
  • Great features to manage big servers
  • Great for community servers, as it is easy to invite people to it
  • More popular
  • You only need an email to register

Discord doesn't encrypt messages, and they are also stored on their server.

Both are great messaging apps

You can also use both, and none is "just better" than the other.

If you need the encrypted messages feature go for Signal, although there is more room for discussion about this, this is an overview.

If you need better management over conversations with lots of people, or a voice chat overlay when you're playing, go for Discord.

Besides that, you can try both applications and see how your user experience is on them, they have a different look and feel, and other details are not mentioned here.

The encryption topic is an extensive one, and I didn't go through specific details here, I believe this is a topic for another article.

Hopefully, this overview of both messaging applications and their differences can help you with which one to choose or to help you decide to just use both.

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