Software

Mobile Apps

personally tested


Threema. Secure Messenger

Secure. Anonymous. Private.

Introduction

Initially, the three Swiss founders of Threema called their messenger EEEMA (End-to-End-Encryption Messenger App). A bit unwieldy, so they renamed it: Three (times) EEE = Three + messenger app = Threema.
03.08.2022: Threema is now also available as a Libre version!
There is not a single line of code in Threema Libre that requires a proprietary software library from Google or other third parties.

Developer

Threema GmbH

Purchase Date

23.12.2020 for 1.99 EUR at Apple's App Store for my iPhone 11 Pro.
Threema apps are open source since 21.12.2020! Threema is celebrating with a 50% discount until 28.12.2020.
17.09.2021 for 3.99 EUR at Threema's Onlineshop for my Fairphone 3+.

Purchase Price

3.99 EUR for Android smartphones/tablets in Googles Play Store
3.99 EUR for iPhones and iPads in Apples App Store
3.99 EUR for Huawei smartphones/tablets in Huaweis AppGallery
3.99 EUR for Android smartphones without Google in Threema's Shop
(no subscription, no advertising! You do not pay with your personal data)

New since 03.08.2022: Threema Libre – read FAQ at Threema
3,99 EUR for Android smartphones without Google:
Buy a licence in Threema's Shop, but download at F-Droid
 

Rating

***** 5 stars

System Requirements

• iOS or iPadOS from vers. 10.0 upwards
• Android OS from vers. 5.0 upwards
• Harmony OS

Compatible with:
• iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
• Android Smartphones/Tablets
• Huawei Smartphones/Tablets

Languages

English, German, Basque (Spain) (iOS), Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Catalan (Android), Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romansh, Russian, Spanish, Slovak, Czech, Turkish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Belarusian

Support

Help competent & friendly by
Threema Support Page (FAQ)
• Threema Forum
• Threema-Messenger (*SUPPORT)
• Threema Support Contact form
• E-Mail
Please read the FAQs first and then register in the forum and ask questions. I myself am one of the many active forum members who are quick to help and offer advice and support there.
This way, most open questions can be clarified in advance and we keep the Threema team's back free for real problem cases. Augenzwinkernder Smiley

Features

  • Chats and voice messages
  • Groups and mailing lists
  • Share files, media and locations
  • handy survey function
  • Voice and video calls
  • agree/disagree without Push Notification
  • light or dark design according to taste
  • also optimised for tablets, can be used without SIM card
  • text formatting as you like
  • contact verification via QR code to protect against MitM attacks
  • chat completely anonymously, no need to enter a telephone number
  • Quote function
  • Contact synchronisation optional, no address book access required

Practice

23.12.2020: As of today, I use Threema – on my iPhone 11 Pro.
17.09.2021: System change to Fairphone 3+. Chats and media can only be transferred when switching within the same ecosystem. By using Threema Safe, I can transfer ID, contacts, groups and privacy settings. And I could export chats and media files encrypted to a SSD.
10.12.2021: App move including data (backup + restore) to Fairphone 4.
04.09.2022: System change to my old iPhone 11 Pro Max.
I am not satisfied with the Fairphone 4, so in the evening I export all chats as encrypted files to SSD and install Threema from Apple's App Store on the iPhone. Thanks to Threema Safe, ID, contacts, groups and privacy settings are transferred reliably.

Since December 2021, I have been using another Threema ID on my old iPhone Xs just for testing. If someone in the Threema forum describes an unknown problem, I can reproduce it and help if necessary.

Pros

  • Security and Privacy by Design
  • End-to-end encryption throughout
  • maximum metadata sparseness
  • open source and external audits
  • No proprietary software library from Google or other third parties (Libre version)
  • anonymous use, no central user account required
  • if you grant access to the address book in order to automatically enter the Threema IDs of your address book contacts into Threema, the contact data will only be transmitted in one-way encryption and will not be stored on any data medium at any time
  • strong encryption on the device
  • chats, contact lists and groups are managed exclusively decentrally on the participating devices, no storage on a server.
    In this respect, Threema differs significantly from conventional messengers
  • comfortable typing on large keyboard with Threema Web

Cons

  • only the client software is open source, not the software on the server*

Conclusion

I have not regretted switching from Signal to Threema!

I've been using Threema for over 1.5 years now and I especially like the Android version because backups and switching devices work without any problems.
05.08.2022: The change from the shop version to the Libre version was quite simple. It is important to make regular data backups.

*It is not a real disadvantage that Threema's server software is not open source. Thanks to “Security and Privacy by Design” without a central user account with decentralised storage of customer data exclusively on customer devices, Threema's servers only serve as a relay station.

Security experts recommend Threema as a secure messenger.

Alternatives

SMS and ordinary emails are not really secure. Threema is the secure alternative for fast communication, even if you have no need for chats or video calls at the moment. But if at some point you need a tap-proof phone call with or without a video image, you have the best tool for that too.

Important Tips

  • Android version: Keep Threema's email with licence key from purchase in the shop safe!
  • keep all passwords and IDs safe, preferably using a password safe such as KeePassDX
  • data security stands and falls with the master password of the password safe!
  • (regular) complete data backup with media while the battery is charging
  • never configure a memory card as internal memory extension – very high risk of data loss!
  • do not save incoming pictures and videos and outgoing camera pictures in Android's gallery

Reference

Mike Kuketz: Messenger: Threema-Client nun Open-Source (German)

Dr.-Ing. Mario Heiderich: Pentest & Audit Report Threema Mobile Apps 10.2020 (PDF)

YouTube: TWiT Tech Podcast Network: Threema Goes Open-Source

Keyword list: Alternatives, Conclusion, Cons, Help, Intro, LAN, Mobile Apps, Pros, SMS, Threema

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