Top 7 Most Secure Video Calling Apps

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In today’s world, global connections are the norm. Technology has made it possible for us to communicate with those beyond our local area just as easily as if they were in the same room.

But as the video calling app market becomes more saturated, knowledge is power. Keeping conversations private and data safe and secure is top of mind for most users. Knowing the risks of unsafe video calling, the best security features to look for, and having a few trusted options to choose from can help you call with confidence. 

The 7 Best Apps for Secure Video Calling

If you're overwhelmed with the number of options for video calling apps, we've rounded up seven of the best and safest that you can trust to keep your conversations private and manage your personal data securely. 

1. Zoom

Pricing: Plans range from free to $199.90/yr.

Zoom is a popular video conferencing platform primarily used in business settings. It is also available as a mobile app, making it a suitable solution for secure video calls. Zoom encrypts all video and audio data with AES-256 encryption and supports secure connections via TLS 1.2 with pinning. Zoom is also committed to maintaining its zero-tolerance policy for malicious activity. For real-time communication protection, Zoom encrypts streams with SRTP and DTLS -- UDT, both of which create an added layer of security through the datagram transport layer security protocol.

2. Google Meet

Pricing: Plans range from free to $7.99/mo.

Google Meet is available to Android and iOS devices and can be used on PCs via web browser. It can support one-on-one video chat and group video calls for up to 100 people for one hour for free. Advanced features are available on the paid subscription for a small monthly fee. Google Meet's voice and video communication are E2EE.

3. Signal 

Pricing: Free

Signal is primarily a text-based communication app. But, it also supports 1:1 voice and video calls or group calls for up to eight participants for Android, iOS, and desktop users. Its intuitive interface is simply designed, reliable, and user-friendly. Signal employs E2EE for all transmitted messages, data, and stored media. The app also leverages a security protocol that integrates an Extended Triple Diffie--Hellman (X3DH), Prekeys, and Double Ratchet Algorithm for heightened security.

4. Line

Pricing: Free

Line is a free app users can leverage to make voice and video calls, plus send text messages, photos, and multi-media files. Line supports 1:1 communication, group messaging, and calls for up to 200 participants. Line is available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux users. It encrypts all voice and video calls with AES-256 encryption, TLS 1.2 pinning, and SRT protocol encryption with a 256-bit key to protect all transmitted data.

5. WhatsApp

Pricing: Free

WhatsApp is a very popular communication app that supports messaging, video chat, voice calling, file sharing, and more. WhatsApp's video calling quality is high and very secure. It requires two-step verification and includes to E2EE as well as a number of in-app security features like blocking, double-check encryption, and eavesdropping prevention. The WhatsApp team does not have access to any customer messaging data, making it impossible for them to share or someone to gain access to it as well.

6. Skype

Pricing: Plans range from free to $7.99/mo.

Skype is a free messaging, voice, and video calling app compatible with computers, tablets, and mobile devices of all operating systems. It has several features that make it one of the safest and most popular choices amongst users for both business and personal calls, like the "Skype Translator", an easy dialing system, recording, screen sharing, and group calling capabilities for up to 100 participants. Skype uses E2EE to protect voice and video calls, a private profile ID that is not available to other users without permission, and also leverages a proprietary encryption algorithm to secure conversations.

7. Microsoft Teams

Pricing: Plans range from free to $9.71/mo.

Microsoft Teams allows users to send 1:1 written messages, create group chats, and make video and voice calls with up to 20 people. The Microsoft Teams live video calling app relies on E2EE to protect videos and messages from being intercepted, mandates two-factor authentication for enhanced security, and offers a single sign-on option, too.

The Importance of Secure Video Communication

Calling someone over an unsecured video stream poses more risk than details of your personal conversations becoming public. The importance of a regulated video calling app can not be overstated, as an app that is not secure can result in one or more of the following: 

  • Data Breaches: Unsecured video calling apps are vulnerable to data breaches, which could expose users' personal information to those with malicious intent. Bad actors can use this stolen information for identity theft or financial fraud.

  • Unauthorized Access: Without preventative safety measures in place, your video calling app could allow hackers to join your video calls without authorization and access private conversations and data.

  • Cyberbullying and Doxing: Bullies and stalkers trying to harass and intimidate others can easily circumvent unsecured apps. Just as a malicious user can leverage private information for personal gains, like financial fraud, they can also post it online, where others can view and misuse it.

Security Features of the Safest Apps

With the importance of a secure video connection being clear, let's take a look at the top safety features to consider before downloading your next app: 

  • End-to-End Encryption: Encryption protects communication between users on a video call and prevents unauthorized access to data transmissions.

  • Access controls: In-app access controls enable users to determine who can join a video call and access certain features, like screen sharing or file sharing.

  • User Authentication: To prevent unauthorized access, secure video calling apps require users to authenticate their identity with a code or from another device before joining.

  • Privacy Settings: Users can customize their privacy settings in a safe video chat app to limit or control who can see their profile, online status, location, and contact information.

  • Regular Security Updates: To stay up to date on the latest virus and hacking methodologies, secure apps implement new security standards regularly to prevent attacks.

  • Third-Party Audits: Security audits performed by an outside party ensure that the app meets industry standards and can help identify potential vulnerabilities.

  • Transparent Privacy Policies: Secure calling apps have clear and accessible privacy policies that outline how user data is collected, used, and shared.

Is Secure Video Calling Regulated?

There are several regulations that a video calling app may need to comply with to be considered secure, depending on the country or region in which it is used. They include: 

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): This European Union regulation sets strict rules for the collection, use, and storage of personal data. A video calling app used in the European Union must achieve GDPR compliance to be considered secure.

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): This US federal law mandates the protection of personal health information for patients receiving care. If you are a healthcare provider seeing a patient over video for a telemedicine appointment, your video chat app must be HIPAA compliant to be legally used.

  • The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA): This federal law requires government agencies in the United States to develop, implement, and maintain security controls to protect sensitive or classified information. Government agencies that wish to conduct remote meetings over video calling apps must ensure their solution is FISMA compliant.

How to Be Sure Your Video Calling App is Secure

Whether you're simply catching up with a friend or discussing confidential business information with a colleague, you deserve to video call on the best app with confidence and know your personal data won't be compromised. If none of the options above suit your needs and you want to explore more options on your own, be sure to do your due diligence to review the app's privacy policy, encryption levels, compliance standards, access control options, authentication methods, and other security-minded features.