February 7, 2013

How to Make Secure Voice Calls with iPhone, Android

Do you want to make secure voice calls?  Do you want to make sure your call stays totally private and no one can intercept it or eavesdrop?

Normal calls to and from a landline or mobile phone are not encrypted and can be intercepted.

VoIP services such as Skype, Google Voice are a little better but do not provide end-to-end encryption e.g. per Skype

All Skype-to-Skype voice, video, and instant message conversations are encrypted. This protects you from potential eavesdropping by malicious users.


If you make a call from Skype to mobile and landline phones, the part of your call that takes place over the PSTN is not encrypted.

Here are a few apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry that do provide end-to-end encryption so your call stays totally secure – the caller and the called both need to use the same app.

RedPhone    Android    Free
The app is still in beta and a little buggy at the moment. But it is free which makes it the most popular secure voice call service on Google Play.

Users complain about the call quality and the echoes on the call, issues that RedPhone should be able to fix. Similar echo cancellation is already included in other voip services such as Skype, Google Voice and others.

WhisperSystems, RedPhone’s parent company, talks about how they implemented low-latency switching worldwide for their voip service.

Silent Phone    Android, iOS    Free
Silent Phone provides secure voice and video calls and includes HD voice. 

The full suite of secure communication tools (voice, text, video, email) cost $20/month.

Discretio    Android    $10/month
Discretio is a younger encrypted call service, also in beta currently.

The developers expect to price the service at $10/month in production.

Cellcrypt Mobile    Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian S60   
Cellcrypt is a very robust secure voice call service that works across a range of phones. A demo shows the performance of the service.

But, you have to talk to a sales person to get a license (expensive?) to use the service that makes it not for casual use.

All of the secure calling services also provide (or will provide) secure text service for example TextSecure, a secure SMS service, from the RedPhone developers.

Silent Phone also provides secure video calls.

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