Open Whisper has released a new update to both the Android and iOS versions of Signal, bringing encrypted video calling. The feature was previously only available to beta testers, but has now been rolled out to all users.
The privacy of video calling through Signal is now significantly improved. During the beta testing of the new video calling feature, the conversations still went through Signal’s own servers. However, that has now been changed. If you call someone on Signal, it will establish a direct connection with that person, which is encrypted.
It uses the same type of encryption that is applied to any other form of communication that goes through the app. A direct connection also ensures a higher quality of audio and video during your video calls.
By applying direct connections between contacts, it is possible that your privacy is still at risk if you call someone using Signal. Because of the direct connections, it is not possible to hide your IP address. Someone with evil intentions could extract your IP address and use it to find your location.
For this very reason, Signal only allows the so called end-to-end connections between you and people in your contacts list. It is also possible to change the settings and use the Signal servers to make video calls. This hides your IP, but there is a drop in quality.
Signal distinguishes itself from the many other messaging apps by providing encrypted communication as a key point. Anything you send through the app, whether it is a text message, a phone call or a video call, is encrypted. This means that it cannot be read while it’s being sent. Only your contact is able to read it/receive it.
One thing that Signal does that stands out is that it requires both a user and session verification. This helps the app defend against the attacks that are known as man-in-the-middle, and it will keep you safe and secure while using the app.
Signal also provides many options to help ensure your privacy. An example of such an option is that you can disable screenshots. Your device is not capable of making screenshots of your Signal conversations.
This is beta software and should be treated accordingly.
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