Telegram (software)

2.11.8 (iOS ) March 21, 2014

Windows Phone, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux ( unofficial)

Telegram Messenger is a free and partially open source application for web-enabled mobile phones to exchange messages. Users of telegrams can exchange encrypted and self-destructing messages, photos, videos and documents. Telegram is officially available for Android and iOS. Unofficial programs are available for Windows Phone, Mac OS X, Windows and Web-based using Internet browser.

History and Background

Telegram was founded in 2013 by the brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, the already established the most widely used Russian social network Nikolai Durov, the protocol MTProto written on which Telegram is based. His brother Pawel provides the financial basis. Telegram is a free app without advertisements, which may be financed by donations later. The service competes with other mobile instant messengers like WhatsApp, Threema, KakaoTalk, or WeChat and describes himself here as safer.

In the course of the purchase of WhatsApp through Facebook also the independence of this is emphasized. As a result of the acquisition, Telegram established as one of the most successful free and secure messenger alternatives.


Since the focus is on, inter alia, safety, all communication is encrypted to the server. There is also the possibility of secret messages with end-to -end encryption. These so-called " secret chats " but must be specifically enabled.

  • Synchronization of content between devices
  • Following an open API (programming interface), independent developers to program your own clients
  • There are unofficial desktop and browser versions
  • Photos, videos, documents of any kind can be exchanged
  • Groups with up to 200 members
  • Emoticons
  • Even Devastating news are possible (similar to Snapchat )
  • Indicators on the status of a message: 1 tick means the message has arrived at the server; Mean 2 hooks, the message has been read

Security / criticism

Some Kryptografieexperten keep the safety of the specially created MTProto Protocol to be inadequate.

The awarded by Telegram itself Hack Competition (see Penetration Test ) with a prize money of $ 200,000, optionally in Bitcoins, has been criticized as a promotion. In December 2013, a sum of $ 100,000 was paid to a hacker, who described a potential attack scenario. He received this reward regardless of the competition, because he could not decipher the conditions specified on the contest page traffic.

The Foundation Warentest Telegram in February 2014 as critical in terms of privacy. The app section in the quick test, although better than WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger and Line, the auditor criticized, however, that the app address book entries stored without the consent of the user or of the persons concerned.

Free Software

All official client for Telegram (and some unofficial ) are open source free software. The server-side infrastructure telegram is proprietary.