Offline messaging apps are the future we need and want to use more, especially in these harsh times with covid and world disturbances all around us.
The Internet has integrated into our lives so much that it’s hard to imagine trying to manage our day-to-day workings without it. Naturally, it almost seems impossible to conceive of a time when the virtual world did not saturate our being. Today, be it for work or leisure, becoming connected online is indispensable. But having unlimited access to the Internet is a privilege not every one of us has. This is more so because these days, governments across the globe resort to shutting down the Internet in cases of emergencies. Or imagine finding yourself in a secluded location with no electricity or the Internet. What can one do?
Fortunately, there are a plethora of apps that enable communication even without the Internet. These apps work on what we know as mesh technology that uses nodes networking to transfer data across devices.
This technology enables peer-to-peer communication. It also allows the broadcasting of information to devices nearby, provided they remain connected to the node network.
Offline messaging apps allow the free flow of information and communication. And even in the face of Internet shutdowns prove helpful, especially during situations like natural calamities or traveling.
Below we have provided a list of the ten best offline messaging apps that run without Internet connectivity. Go through it and see which one you’d like to test first.
Offline Messaging Apps (Chat without WiFI)
These apps can do this through mesh networks that are essentially created by inbuilt Bluetooth or WiFi direct-based networks on the phone. This also means that this particular technology has its one limitation.
For one, mesh networks facilitate communication as long as there are enough devices within the range. So, if there are fewer devices than required, messages are not sent.
Additionally, messages cannot reach beyond the area of operating range. Moreover, mesh networks cater more to text messaging alone, and therefore cannot support the exchange of large media files.
Regardless, offline messaging apps provide a great and simple avenue for sharing information, especially during challenging times, and therefore should not be outright dismissed.
10 Best Offline Messaging Apps (Chat without WiFI)
It is a messaging app specifically designed for activists and journalists who seek a safe and easy way to communicate. Unlike typical traditional messaging apps that rely on central servers, Briar does not rely on any such mode.
Instead, messages in the app are directly synchronized between user devices. This means messages remain stored in the user devices and not in the cloud. This encrypted connection prevents surveillance and censorship.
Briar app runs with and without the Internet alike. In the former case, the app syncs with the Tor network to prevent users from exposure. In the latter, it syncs with Bluetooth to keep the flow of information going.
Interesting features include easy registration without a phone number. All one needs to do is to enter a name and set a password, and you’re ready to go.
Apart from that, it provides the feature of using a sharable link to add contacts that aren’t in your physical vicinity. This open-source app also enables users to create blog posts and forums.
Initially, the target audience for Briar were “activists and civil society.” However, the developers have made the system simple enough for anyone who wants to use it.
This becomes essential in the absence of internet infrastructure because even common people could use the app during disaster response or aid missions.
It is an offline messaging app that exclusively relies on Bluetooth to send text messages. It uses proprietary software to link devices within an area of 100m.
The app uses Bluetooth to create a mesh network, linking devices within the stipulated area. This enables connecting and sharing with other users during large events or social gatherings.
Aside from providing peer-to-peer mode, Bridgefy also has broadcast mode. With this feature, one can send messages to everyone around and to everyone around theirs, creating a large network.
This mode of communication is quite beneficial in large gatherings. Its usage during Hong Kong protests to circumvent Chinese surveillance stands testament to the fact.
In India, too, the app started gaining popularity recently after its usage during the anti-CAA protest. The broadcasting feature works even for the users who are not part of your contact list.
Bridgefy range requires that at least one other user must be present within 100m or about 330 feet. This means the more Bridgefy users between the sender and the receiver, the better.
That also means that the app becomes virtually redundant if no Bridgefy user is present within the device’s Bluetooth range. Also, the recipient needs to be on your contact list.
3. SIGNAL OFFLINE MESSENGER
This is a completely off-the-grid messaging app that is not as popular as the other two mentioned before. Even so, it offers services more or less the same kind.
This is a free app, and the information exchanged over it is not stored on any sort of cloud. It provides WiFi-based messaging services within the range of 100m.
It works by sending a signal to explore and discover nearby devices. Messages are exchanged on a peer-to-peer basis or in a group setting, and the information shared across devices is also encrypted.
Another interesting feature of this app is that data sharing occurs at a phenomenal speed of 250 Mbps. This enables large file transfer of images and videos without requiring any modification in size.
So, if you’re looking for an app that offers services beyond the simple requisites of simple texts, you should definitely check this one out.
4. FIRE CHAT
It was first introduced in 2014 for iOS users, followed by a version for android users. Though not designed with the purpose in mind, the app has been increasingly used as a communication tool during protests.
It started gaining traction in Iraq in 2014, following the government restrictions on Internet usage. Similarly, it was widely used during Hong Kong protests that same year. It’s among the best messages app for mac offline.
In countries such as India, students of Hyderabad University in 2016 were reportedly using the app following the closing down of the Internet.
Like any other app in the list, Fire Chat offers both peer-to-peer and group messaging features. It creates a mesh network using both Bluetooth and WiFi and enables secure, encrypted communication.
Compared to other similar apps like Bridgefy, which offers a connectivity range of 300ft. Fire Chat’s range for peer-to-peer messaging is rather limited at 200ft only.
Users can create local networks spanning 200ft which can also grow depending on the number of users within the range. Contacts are, by default, drawn from your email and phone list.
Also, the app has not had an update since 2018, although the version available seems to be working just fine.
This is perhaps the most different app on our list, and for the right reasons. Vojer is a secure and location-specific messaging app. It enables micro-interactions without requiring data connectivity.
The app works by enabling interactions simply with the usage of a unique, user-specific name which is liable to change time and again. It, therefore, requires no registration, no emails, or phone number to get started. For sure, the app is among the best offline messaging app for iPhone.
Interactions are location-bound. One interaction is soon followed by another. This is because the app focuses more on micro-interactions rather than long-living ones.
All communications on the app remain encrypted by default and anonymous. The app uses both Bluetooth and WiFi to create networks and provide an overall enriching experience.
Vojer delivers messages from one phone directly to another phone. It does this without any intermediate servers or websites in between. It also doesn’t store any of the messages on its servers.
The app ensures that each message sent does not remain undelivered. And even if the recipient party is offline, the message will end up reaching the next time they’re nearby.
Vojer, however, is only available for iOS users and is a paid app, and unlike the rest of the apps on this list, it is not available for free download.
The next on our list is a relatively less popular app, but it is also one of the best free offline messaging apps available. Meshenger is an open-source, peer-to-peer messaging app.
It offers both calls and video chats services without Internet connectivity. It uses a local network to connect users to one another. This is perhaps a major drawback of using this app because it would mean both parties should be on the same local network.
Another minute drawback, if we can call it that, is the fact that the app is not readily available on Google play stores.
On the bright side, however, one doesn’t need to sign up to start with messaging. One can simply begin by scanning each other’s QR codes and start free calling and texting.
The calls and messages sent are also encrypted and need no Internet connection. It needs no DHCP servers and is usable in LAN networks such as Freifunk community networks.
The app also provides a backup option if users wish to backup their data for safekeeping at a secure location. Overall, this is a solid app for those seeking offline communication, more so if the users are on the same local network.
This one is perhaps a peculiar entry on the list. Other apps focus more on peer-to-peer messaging.
Rumble, on the other hand, offers and promotes itself as a microblogging application for communities. It is free, open-sourced, and the best offline messaging app for android.
It is also one of the best Bluetooth texting apps for iOS and Android users alike. It provides immense help to those who seek to circumvent Internet shutdowns and surveillance.
Once a connection gets established over Bluetooth, users can start communicating without a cellular connection. It relies on wireless LAN technology to enable sharing of messages on the network.
So, if you’re looking to build an online community to share texts, images, videos, and other stuff, then Rumble is a great starting point. The only downside of this app is that it hasn’t had an update for a while now.
Nevertheless, the version that’s available online is good to go and works perfectly fine.
8. SERVER MESH
Another entrant on the list, though it offers more or less the same features and works on the same methods as any other. Sever Mesh is an open-source messaging app that works without cellular data.
It is one of the most popular offline messaging apps available currently.
It uses Bluetooth and WiFi to create a mesh network to communicate with other nearby devices. Much like any other app, the communication over the network is safe and encrypted.
That means no third party can have unsolicited access to the information exchanged.
Like Rumble, Server Mesh hasn’t had any updates in a while. The project seems to be no longer managed by their developers. Regardless, available versions of the app online can still work to great effect.
9. TWO WAY: WALKIE TALKIE
As the name suggests, this next app on our list turns mobile phones into live walkie talkie. This app is perhaps the most simple and easy to use among the rest.
It requires no email or phone number for registration and has an easy setup process. All one needs to do is tune into a channel and share it with other users.
Then, press and hold the talk button and communicate when it turns green. The app is a simple solution for people who find themselves in emergency situations like natural calamities or trekking.
It doesn’t require an internet connection. And because the workings of the app are simple, the communications over it are not secure and encrypted. It offers no privacy and is susceptible to easy hacking.
The app is open, and anyone with the same channel number on the device can access and listen to your conversations. So, this app is ideally not recommended to those who wish to share personal or sensitive information.
But it’s undoubtedly a great app for casual conversations or emergency situations.
10. NEER PEER
Neer Peer is another app that is not quite popular as the other entrants in the list. Nevertheless, it’s a solid option for those seeking a simple app interface, if not better.
Available only on android, this app also uses WiFi radar to create a mesh network to enable sending messages. It supports both peer-to-peer private chats and group communication.
One interesting feature about this app is that you can send messages even if the receiver is currently not in the range. It will automatically deliver the message once the latter comes in range.
Additionally, the app also supports drawing messages. This makes the interface more fun and helpful in some situations. On the downside, however, encryption as a feature is lacking in the app.
Whether or not messages communicated over the network are secure is a matter of debate because the developers haven’t mentioned it. Aside from this fact, the app is perfectly fine and usable.
This brings an end to our list of the 10 best offline messaging apps, and hopefully, you were able to get an idea of all that’s in store. We have tried our best to find the best app for users depending on their general preferences.
However, you should choose the one that suits your preferences the best. And only after weighing the pros and cons of each featured app should you make a choice. There’s a general perception that offline messaging apps are niche-specific.
These are apps that are only used by certain sections of the demographic. However, it is important to realize that these apps can be handy for even normal phone users.
It is not only activists or journalists who need to circumvent Internet shutdowns. And it certainly doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or a blue-collar professional.
Offline messaging apps can help anyone stay connected with peers and colleagues on the go.