Today, we will look at Threema, a secret and anonymous messaging program from Switzerland. While Threema hasn’t achieved the same level of popularity as other apps like Signal or Telegram, it is nevertheless worth your consideration. In this Threema review, we’ll show you all there is to know about this secure communications software.
What is Threema?
Threema is a popular, secure messenger for Android. It has all the features you would expect from a secure messaging app, including text and voice messages, voice and video calls, groups and distribution lists, file sharing, media sharing, and location sharing. Everything is encrypted end-to-end, including the items you exchange.
Threema also enables you to do polls, have private conversations password-protected or protected by fingerprint and PIN, check contacts to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, and quote text messages.
Because you don’t have to enter your phone number or email address when establishing a Threema account, you may use the service completely anonymously. This is in stark contrast to Signal and Telegram, as we discussed in our Signal review.
What Type of Encryption Threema Uses?
This is a secure messaging software with full-time E2E encryption and the lowest unencrypted data ever reaching the company servers. Anything kept on company servers (e.g., messages in transit or metadata to route those messages) is there only temporarily. The message and all of the data surrounding it are erased from the servers after it is delivered.
All servers are owned by Threema, which keeps them in two secure data centers. Because they’re in Zurich, Switzerland, these data centers are subject to Swiss data protection laws.
Threema completed the move of all their apps to Open Source in late 2020. Anyone who wishes can analyze their code and confirm that it is secure as a result of this transition.
How does data storage work?
Threema encrypts your messages before they are transmitted to its servers. A date stamp is added at the time of encryption, but this doesn’t permanently store your data on Threema’s servers. Because the system must keep a minimal amount of meta-data on its servers for messages to reach their destination, it does need to save
The data on electronic devices is protected using AES-256 encryption for maximum protection. This covers media items that have been passed through the Threema network.
Does it receive audits and tests?
Threema has regular security checks to make sure the service is safe. Cure53 conducted an audit in 2020. “The code quality and overall structure of Threema are unusually strong,” according to the audit.
Using Threema messaging apps
Aside from paying for the Threema app (which is available for download), there’s another oddity about its installation. Because Threema does not rely on your phone number or email address to identify you, the first thing you must do is create a Threema ID.
You create this 8-digit ID by starting the app and using your finger to gesture randomly on the screen. The ID is generated and a one-of-a-kind asymmetric key pair that the Threema app will use to encrypt and decrypt messages.
When you download Threema, the app sends a copy of your public key stored on the Threema servers. Their software will use your public key to encrypt a message sent to you by another Threema user.
The Threema app does an excellent job of keeping your private key safe on your smartphone. Messages sent to you using the Threema app are decrypted using your private key. The private key is never transferred from your device, and even Threema’s engineers can’t obtain it. It also implies that no one else can read your communications unless they have physical access to your device and push you into revealing your username and password.
When you’ve removed everything, the Threema mobile interface should appear. It’ll resemble this:
Threema for Android offers all of the features you’d expect from a messaging program.
The app also contains a bunch of interesting functions, such as:
You may now search across all of your chats at once instead of searching each one separately.
Integrated media gallery with Image Search
The new integrated media gallery makes it simple to share photos or videos by displaying them in an easy-to-use format. You can also add captions and modify the pictures before sending them.
It is an optional function that uses image analytics to allow you to search for pictures by entering keywords. Enter the term “cat,” and Image Search will return all photos that contain a cat. It’s worth noting that the local analysis of images is performed on your device. No photographs are transmitted to some other location for inspection.
The Android app now supports groups with up to 256 members and enables you to quote all message types, catching up with the iOS app. The iOS app received these capabilities as part of a 4.6.4 update.
Threema For Desktops
Threema does not provide stand-alone desktop applications, unlike many of its competitors. Instead, Threema.Web is provided to them.
Threema.Web is a web-based interface for a Threema-equipped mobile device that runs the Threema app. First, you must install the Threema app on your phone and then use Threema.Web to link it to your computer.
Many of the most popular instant messaging applications (such as Signal or Telegram) only provide one service version. Threema takes it a step further by providing specialized versions of Threema for various audiences. Before we wrap up this review, let’s go over these different versions.
Threema Work is a corporate-managed secure messaging platform. You may safeguard against proprietary data loss and minimize the chance of violating pertinent privacy laws or other rules like GDPR by forcing workers to use Threema Work instead of their messaging apps.
Threema Broadcast is a web-based interface that allows you to send messages to distribution lists, groups, and news feeds. You may even program Threema chatbots using Threema.Work.
Threema Work Education is a special educational pricing plan for Threema Work. It is only available to public education institutions.
The Threema Gateway API is a solution that allows you to connect Threema with other applications. The Threema Gateway API is part of Threema.Work, but it is also available separately.
Threema’s support website, like that of Telegram, has many frequently asked questions and answers. You may look for a certain answer or choose a category to see all the related entries.
You may also contact the Support team, but they’ll need you to confirm that your problem hasn’t already been answered in the FAQ.
The Threema messaging program’s base edition, which is not free software, costs $3.99 to download from the Google Play shop or the app store for iPhone and iPad.
Each Threema variant has its pricing plan.
Threema review conclusion
Threema is a fantastic secure messaging software. One of the few that allows you to use it anonymously works well and offers all of the features you would expect from a top messenger service.
The fact that you must purchase the program, in my opinion, is a plus. Every firm needs some method to pay its bills. They have a lot of incentive to find a way to make money from their user base if a messenger app is free; as a result, they may face issues. Threema charges for their applications, so they
The one thing that gives me pause about Threema is that its user base is so small. They only have a few million users, compared to the tens or hundreds of millions of users of competing apps.
When it comes to picking a secure messaging program, there are always trade-offs and considerations to weigh. Threema has a lot to offer and excels in security and privacy.