We have researched and reviewed the best free chat apps for personal and business communication. Here is our list of the most popular web chatting and messaging apps for private and secure messaging on Android and iOS devices as well as desktop computers.
Web chat apps offer real-time transmission of messages using the internet. The app allows users to communicate with each other without a landline or mobile service.
Most of the chat apps are free and they allow you to communicate with others using voice or video.
Here’s our review of the best chatting apps available for download in 2023.
What You Will Learn:
- Review of the Best Free Chat Apps
- FAQs About Top Messaging Apps
- List of Best Free Chat Apps
Review of the Best Free Chat Apps
Market Trends: The five most popular web chat apps include WhatsApp, FB Messenger, WeChat/Wixin, QQ, Telegram, and Snapchat. The following figure shows the most popular apps in different countries around the world.
Market Share of Online Chat Apps:
FAQs About Top Messaging Apps
Q #1) What is the best free chat app?
Answer: The best chat app depends on your requirements. If you are looking for the most secure chat app, select Signal or Telegram. WhatsApp is the most convenient app. The best free chat apps for businesses include Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Viber is a great app for students and teachers that want to exchange documents securely.
Q #2) How can I chat with a foreigner on WhatsApp?
Answer: To communicate with individuals living abroad, you need to enter the country code and then the phone number.
Q #3) How do I install a messenger app?
Answer: You need to download the messenger app online. You must visit the online chat website to install the chat app on your desktop. Mobile chat apps are available on Google Play and iStore.
Q #4) Can I have Messenger without Facebook?
Answer: You will need to create a free Facebook account to chat using its Messenger app. However, you can deactivate your Facebook account and keep chatting with the Messenger app.
Q #5) Are Messenger messages private?
Answer: Not all chat messenger messages are private. You must select a chat app with end-to-end encryption to ensure that your chat remains private.
List of Best Free Chat Apps
Here is a list of the popular and impressive chat apps for free:
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Hangouts
- Google Chat
Comparison Table of Top Chatting Apps
|Tool Name||Best For||Company Based in||Secure Connection without Digital Surveillance||Ratings
|Telegram||Secure and free online connection with no digital surveillance by government agencies.||Germany||Yes|
|Viber||Individuals and businesses looking for a secure connection.||Japan||Yes|
|Signal||Right activists and journalists for secure online communication.||USA||Yes|
|Individuals and businesses to communicate and collaborate for free.||USA||No|
|Facebook Messenger||Online chat and connecting with favorite businesses to find great deals.||USA||No|
|Line||Individuals and residents of Japan and other far Eastern countries.||Japan||No|
|Individuals and residents of China and other far Eastern countries.||China||Yes|
Best for a secure and free online connection with no digital surveillance by government agencies.
Telegram is a free online chat app owned by a German-based company. It supports the highest-grade encryption technology that keeps your conversation private and confidential. It has a powerful video and photo editing tool, emojis, and customizable themes.
- Secure AES and 2048 bit RSA encryption.
- Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol.
- Opensource API.
- Group chats with 200,000+ members.
- Share large videos and documents.
Verdict: Telegram is one of the fastest online messaging apps. It supports unlimited file and media sharing. The data is synced between different devices. This allows you to start a conversation with one device and keep connected with another.
Also Read => How Do You Get Emojis on a Computer
Best for individuals and businesses looking for a secure connection.
Owned by the Japanese-based company Rakuten, Viber, is one of the most secure online chat apps. The app uses one of the highest-grade encryption. The app supports 1-tap voice and video calls. A great feature of the app is the Notes section that lets you store files, notes, and links.
- Group chats and calls.
- Stickers and Gifs.
- Voice and video calls.
- Mobile and desktop app.
Verdict: Viber is a secure app that is recommended if you worry about digital surveillance. You can chat freely with anyone without having to worry about federal agencies snooping on your private communication.
Best for rights activists and journalists looking to secure online communication to share confidential information.
Signal is a scalable and secure online messaging app. The app, developed by a Californian-based company, supports one of the strongest open source and peer-reviewed encryption protocols. It is recommended by security experts such as Edward Snowden, Bruce Schneier, and others for secure communication.
- No trackers or ads.
- Voice and video communication.
- Share screens, GIFs, and stickers
- Group chat.
Verdict: Viber does not disclose any user information to government agencies. You can chat with complete peace of mind knowing that your communication is secure.
Best for individuals and businesses to communicate and collaborate for free.
WhatsApp is the most popular chatting app with billions of users. The app that is owned by Facebook contains lots of neat features. Users can share videos, images, and emojis. Businesses can also create an online catalog to promote to users.
- Supports Android, iPhone, macOS, and Windows.
- Business API.
- End-to-end encryption.
- Location sharing.
Verdict: WhatsApp is not the most secure or fastest messaging app. The video call feature is not optimized. You will notice a lot of lags with a slow net connection. The communication is not entirely secure as there have been reports of surveillance of messages by Facebook and government agencies.
Suggested Read =>> Top and Most Popular WhatsApp Hacking Apps
#5) Facebook Messenger
Best for online chat and connecting with your favorite businesses to find great deals.
Facebook Messenger is a free app to connect with your Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and Portal contacts. You can watch videos, films, and TV shows with friends using the Live video chat feature. Users can express emotions using selfie stickers, message effects, and AR effects.
- Custom colors and themes.
- Selfie and AR effects.
- Fingerprint ID.
- Supports PayPal, credit card, and prepaid cards.
- Online store.
Verdict: Facebook Messenger is a free app for online chat. You can do a lot more than simply chat using the app. It supports digital payments and online shopping, unlike many other messaging apps. But the app is not completely private as Facebook uses data for online ad retargeting.
Website: Facebook Messenger
Best for individuals and residents of Japan and other far Eastern countries.
Line is a free messenger app owned by a Tokyo-based company. Users can make free calls using the Line Out feature. A unique feature is Line Health Care, which lets users connect with health care professionals. It supports digital payments for online services. In addition, the app supports live streaming and sharing of creative video content.
- Chat-based medical updates.
- Digital payments (Japan only).
- AI-based recommendations.
- Search for Manga characters.
Verdict: Line is a recommended app for people living in Japan and other far eastern nations. It is one of the most popular apps in Japan.
Best for individuals and residents of China and other far Eastern countries.
WeChat is a free app owned by the Chinese-based company Tencent. It is one of the most popular web chat apps with over a billion connections. The app is the largest messaging app in China. It supports digital payment using Yuan for Chinese users. Users can communicate with others using text, voice, and video messages.
- Video and voice calls.
- Text messages.
- Digital payments (China only).
Verdict: Communication using WeChat may not be secure. There are rumors that the Chinese government uses online chat to spy on users. But there has been no concrete evidence regarding government surveillance.
Best for making video and text calls on mobile and desktop devices for free.
Skype is the most popular free video chat app. The app supports a wide range of devices, including online, tablets, smartphones, HDTVs, Xbox, and even Alexa. You can start a meeting with others with just one click.
- Text, voice, and video chat.
- Supports landline and mobile calls.
- Host meetings for up to 100 users.
- Live to stream.
- Screen sharing.
Verdict: Skype is one of the best team collaboration apps. The free chat app has no limits to the duration of meetings. The app is great for both individual and business team communication.
#9) Google Hangouts
Best for individuals to communicate with each other online.
Google Hangouts is a simple web voice chat app. It supports individual and group chats. Conversations are stored on a secure Google server. Individuals can add others by entering phone numbers or emails.
- Individual and group messaging.
- Share maps.
- Supports web, Android, and iOS.
Verdict: Google Hangouts is gradually being replaced with Google Chat. Google will discontinue the app by mid-2022.
Website: Google Hangouts
Recommended Reading => Most Popular FREE WiFi Calling Apps
Best for individuals to communicate with each other for free.
KakaoTalk is a free chat app developed by a South Korean company. The app allows you to communicate with each other using emojis, photos, and videos. It supports both one-on-one and group chat.
- One-on-one and group chats.
- Share photos and videos.
Verdict: Kakao app supports a lot of cool features like emojis, photos, and video chats. But you should not share confidential information since it doesn’t support strong eruption and privacy features.
Best for individuals and enterprises for a secure connection.
Slack is a free productivity app that supports voice and video connections. You can communicate with others using emojis, voice, and text messages. The app allows you to create organized workspaces.
- 1:1 voice and video calls.
- Integration with 3rd party app.
- Stores up to 10,000 message history.
Verdict: Slack is a free app for 1:1 voice and video communication. You must subscribe to a paid plan if you want the group communication feature.
- Basic: Free
- Pro: $6.67 per month
- Business+: $12.5 per month
- Enterprise Grid: Custom Pricing
Best for individuals to showcase their creative talent and earn rewards.
Snapchat is a creative app for mobile devices. You can develop followers with your creative content similar to TikTok. Creative content creators can also earn cash rewards for their top-performing content. Currently, the app is available in limited countries, including the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, India, and Mexico.
- Online Maps
- Filters and lenses
Verdict: Snapchat is a good online chat for people to hang out with online friends. Ads that can seem intrusive to many people support the app. The app does not support a secure connection.
Further Read => How To Get Snapchat On A Computer
Best for school clubs, gaming groups, and the art community to collaborate with others for free.
Discord is a free online and Windows chat app. Owned by a Californian-based company, the app supports voice and group chat. Users can create invite-only channels for private communication. It also supports screen sharing and game streaming.
- Create invite-only places.
- Low latency of voice and video calls.
- Game streaming.
- Screen sharing.
Verdict: Discord is a good app for hanging out with friends. The app is best for teenagers and young adults to have fun connecting with each other. A drawback of the app is that it does not support a secure connection.
Best for a secure and anonymous individual chat.
Threema is a secure app for one-to-one and group chats. Owned by a Swiss-based company, the app uses open-source NaCl cryptography to secure connections. The source code of the app is open for review and audit. It is fully compliant with European data privacy regulations, including GDPR, and does not collect data or show advertising.
- Text and voice messages.
- Supports iOS 10+, iPhone 5s, Android 5+.
- Anonymous chat.
- Share pictures and files.
- Scan QR code for identity verification.
Verdict: Threema is a recommended app if you want a secure connection without having to worry about monitoring by government agencies. You can talk freely about anything to anyone all over the world.
#15) Google Chat
Best for individual and team collaboration using voice messages.
Google Chat is a free voice chat app. The webchat app allows users to collaborate online. Users can chat by downloading an app or directly through Gmail. AI bots provide suggestions to connect with others and automate tasks.
- Chat in Gmail.
- Dedicated chat spaces.
Verdict: Google Chat only supports voice communication. The free app doesn’t support video calls.
Website: Google Chat
Other Notable Mentions
#16) Wickr Me
Best for secure communication for one-one or group communication on mobile or desktop.
Owned by Amazon Web Services, Wicker Me is a free, secure chat app. It supports fully-encrypted and anonymous chat. A drawback of the app is that it does not support older Apple and Microsoft operating systems. You need to have at least Windows 10, Mac OS/X 10.3, Android 8, and iOS 13.0 to use the messaging app. But it supports all versions of Linux.
- Basic: Free
- Silver: $4.99 per user per month
- Gold: $9.99 per user per month
- Platinum: $25 per user per month
Website: Wickr Me
Best for voice and video chat for individuals, professionals, and enterprises.
Mattermost is a free online chat that supports 1:1 and group messaging. Developed by a Californian-based company, the app supports unlimited channels, users, and groups. It also has pre-built custom chat templates.
- Starter: Free
- Professional: $10 per user per month
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing
Best for corporations for team collaboration and offering voice customer service.
Voxer is a free voice communication app for remote communication. The app is made by a Californian-based company and is best for real-time communication for teams. Businesses can also use it to offer customer support through voice messaging. The app works with internet browsers, Android, and iOS smartphones.
#19) Yabb Messenger
Best for free text, voice, and video messaging for individuals.
Yabb Messenger is a free chat app that works with Android and iOS devices. The online chat supports animated stickers and disappearing text. Based in Indonesia, the app is great for individual chats. It is not recommended for businesses since the app doesn’t support end-to-end encryption.
Website: Yab Messenger
#20) Microsoft Teams
Best for businesses and educational institutes to chat and collaborate.
Microsoft teams support free group meetings for up to 60 minutes. The professional paid version of the chat app supports 30 hours of group meetings. It allows up to 100 participants to chat at one time. The app supports strong data encryption for secure communication.
- Microsoft Teams: Free
- Microsoft Teams Essentials: $4 per user per month
Website: Microsoft Teams
Viber, Signal, Telegram, Wickr, Tox, and Threema are the best free chat apps for secure chatting without having to worry about digital surveillance by government agencies. Discord is the recommended app for gamers and artists to connect.
The best free chat apps for content creators is Snapchat. The top free chat apps for businesses to offer voice customer service include Voxer. Recommended free apps for business teams include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. If you have subscribed to Google Workplace, consider using Google Chat for team collaboration.
- Time Taken To Research And Write This Article: It took us 8 hours to work on the best free web chat apps so that you can select the best one that meets your exact requirements.
- Total Tools Researched Online: 30
- Top Tools Shortlisted For Review: 21