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name requires phone number *4 works using only Linux *1 hides IP by default IP address can be hidden with Tor E2EE by default supports E2EE FOSS client requires registration requires payment offline messaging supports voice chat screen sharing
Session no yes yes yes yes yes yes no no yes yes no
LE CHAT no yes no yes no no yes no no usually not no no
qTox no yes no yes yes yes yes no no no yes no
Jami no yes no ? yes yes yes no no no yes yes
Element (Matrix) no yes no yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes
Gajim (XMPP) no yes no yes no yes yes yes no yes ? ?
Conversations (XMPP) no ? no yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes ?
Mega no yes no yes yes yes source available *7 yes no yes yes ?
Wickr Me / Pro no yes no yes yes yes no yes no yes yes ?
Irssi (IRC) no yes no depends on the server no no yes usually, yes no usually not no no
Mumble no yes no yes no no yes no no no yes ?
Email depends on the provider yes no usually, yes no yes *5 depends yes usually not yes no no
Pixiv no yes no yes *2 no no no yes no yes ? no
Facebook yes yes no yes ? ? no yes no yes ? ?
Discord yes ? no ? no no no yes no yes yes yes
SMS / phone calls yes yes no *6 yes *6 no no depends yes yes yes yes no
Steam ? ? no ? no no no yes ? yes yes probably only for games
Telegram yes no *3 no no *3 no yes yes yes no yes yes ?
Signal yes no no ? yes yes yes yes no yes yes ?
WhatsApp yes no no ? yes yes no yes no yes yes ?

Download: CSV, XLSX

*1 Android apps tested with Anbox in a Whonix-like setup. Apps that refused to work like that are considered unusable using only Linux.
*2 Pixiv blocks the IP addresses of Tor exit nodes. An additional hop after the exit node in the form of a proxy or VPN is required.
*3 Account got terminated a few days after creation. It's unclear if the account got terminated because of the use of Anbox, Tor or both.
*4 These tests were all done using a Whonix-like setup. Regular users may not get prompted to hand over their phone number because their residental IP address combined with other fingerprinting data is going to be used to uniquely identify them instead.
*5 Emails have a lot of meta data that will be visible in any case, like the subject line for example.
*6 These results are based on the assumption that one uses a good IP-based provider. Regluar phone communication does not use the IP protocol and the user's origin can not be hidden in this case.
*7 The code for MEGA's clients is publicly available and reviewable but most of it is not licensed under a FOSS license.

Perfect Dark title font by Brian Kent

Last updated: Tue Sep 13 11:38:17 2022