Internet shutdown? Here are top offline messaging apps

Internet shutdown? Here are top offline messaging apps

In India, ever since the abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to the Jammu & Kashmir in August 2019 and also recent passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act (2019), there has been a spike in sporadic violence in the country. The central government, in their bid to curb the spread of misinformation and also cut off communication between activists, who go against government orders, has been selectively shutting down mobile services in sensitive regions.

However, the clampdown on the Internet service also affects innocent citizens, as they won't be able to communicate with their loved ones to know about their safety and also seek help if they need one.

To help you communicate with your dear ones, we have listed the top five mobile apps, that will work even when the internet and mobile networks are down.

This app makes use of the Bluetooth antennas to send out messages.

It has three modes Person-to-Person mode– and people can chat privately with friends that are within 330 feet (100 meters) of you.
Secondly, the Mesh mode offers a wide area. People can chat beyond 330 feet, as it will be connecting through other Bridgefy users found in the middle. Example: person 1 can talk to person 3 if person 2 is in the middle, making the possible distance of 660 feet (200 meters). The same goes for an unlimited number of people in the chain. Don’t worry! Your messages are safe and can’t be read by those people in the middle.

Thirdly, the broadcast mode will allow people to send messages to every Bridgefy user around them at the same time, even if the user don’t have them in contacts list.
It works on both Apple iPhones and Android mobiles.


FireChat on Google Play store (screen shot)

It works without an Internet connection or cellular phone coverage. People can use it on public transportation, cruise ships, campuses and crowded events. 
People are advised to switch on the Bluetooth and WiFi (yes, even if you don't have access to the Internet) to send and receive messages. It works on both Apple iPhones and Android mobiles.


Briar official website (screen-shot)

This is a tailor-made app for journalists and activists. It works on only the Android platform.

"If the internet's down, Briar can sync via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, keeping the information flowing in a crisis. If the internet's up, Briar can sync via the Tor network, protecting users and their relationships from surveillance," the company claims.

Near Peer

Near Peer on Google Play store (screen-shot)

It is a free offline messenger app. It lets the user text their friends and family without any internet restriction from both sides while offline. It works only on Android phone.

Serval Mesh

Serval Mesh official website (screen-shot)

It is said to offer secure mesh networking, voice calls, text messaging and file sharing between mobile phones. It works without the need for a SIM or any other infrastructure like mobile cell towers, Wi-Fi hotspots or Internet access. It can be downloaded on the official website only.

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