Overall Satisfaction with Signal
I use Signal as instant messenger of choice for talking to a number of my friends who only use it, mainly for privacy reasons. Signal is a highly secure messaging system that makes it very difficult for outside sources to intercept messages between two people. I have a number of friends and colleagues who are highly concerned about privacy and refuse to use any other instant messaging system. While I use a number of instant messengers, I respect this decision, and thus I use Signal to engage with them. I also prefer to use Signal when discussing highly sensitive matters that I wouldn't want potentially entering the public record.
- Security - This is the main feature Signal is known for, and it's no joke. Signal's encrypted messaging is best in class and you can rest assured that it would be very difficult for a third party to intercept your messages.
- Filesharing - You can share all manner of files and audiovisual content through Signal in a secure way.
- Desktop/Mobile Sync - In order to sync your mobile installation of Signal to the desktop version, you have to use a QR Code, and do it every time you update. Old versions of Signal are no longer able to send or receive messages. This is a good and bad thing as it is a bit of a hassle, but it helps to add extra layers of security.
- Message Drafts - A nice feature where you don't lose messages you are in the middle of writing.
- Named Conversations - It's nice to be able to organize conversations
- Temporary Messages - You can send messages that will be deleted after a certain time, or when read.
- Video and Voice Chat - In addition to texting, Signal lets you make video and voice calls.
- Update Hassle - While this is also a positive in added security, every time they release an update to the app, you have to update. Since I only use the app occasionally, I have to update probably 1-in-4 times I open the app. It feels laborious as I will sometimes want to send a friend or colleague a message, who only uses Signal, and I open the app to message them and suddenly have to wait 2-4 minutes to update and install the new version.
- Not Getting Messages - You also no longer send and receive messages until you update. So if you have an outdated version of the app, nobody can get ahold of you and they might not know why you aren't responding.
- Re-Sync Via QR Code After Update - Every time I update, I have to re-sync my mobile app to the desktop. So it adds another added step. The forced updates and forced resync steps are quite laborious.
- Positive - Signal allows us to communicate with colleagues and clients that prefer to use it.
- Positive - Increased security gives increased peace of mind in discussing sensitive matters or sharing sensitive materials.
- Negative - Hassle updating the app regularly.
The closest competitor we've found for Signal is Telegram. We do use Telegram with some clients and individuals who prefer it. Unfortunately, in this climate where there is no clear winner and a lot of diversity in applications, if you work with a lot of clients you're going to have to install a whole suite of instant messaging apps. Still, given the choice, we prefer Signal over its competitors, specifically for applications where high security is a concern.
I've never contacted support but I see that they are on the ball for bug fixes, highly communicative in release notes, and continually releasing updates to Signal that address common user complaints. Given how responsive the development team is, and how they are continually improving Signal, I think their support is top notch.
Do you think Signal Open Source Messenger delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Signal Open Source Messenger's feature set?
Did Signal Open Source Messenger live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Signal Open Source Messenger go as expected?
Would you buy Signal Open Source Messenger again?
Signal is great for high-security applications where privacy is a concern, perhaps because of the sensitive nature of the materials being communicated. For instance, if you are sending sensitive information about a film that hasn't been released yet, and you want to make sure that paparazzi and fans don't get access to spoiler information, Signal is a great way to communicate.