Internet shutdown Toolkit: List of messaging apps that will work without internet
Internet shutdown Toolkit: List of messaging apps that will work without internet
Photo credits: hamed/Medium.com

The internet has been suspended in India numerous times in 2019, and every time it happened, communication was paralyzed since most of us now depend on mobile data for our day-to-day conversation and updates. In Prime Minister Modi’s post-demonetization era, people have also stopped carrying cash with them and started depending even more on ATMs and online banking services for daily transactions.

With the current unrest in India with citizens in large numbers protesting on the roads against CAA and NRC, telecom operators on Thursday suspended internet, voice and messaging services in parts of Delhi-NCR following instructions from the government.

It is highly possible that other cities and regions will follow suit on orders from above if the protests continue becoming violent. In a time like such, it is highly important for us to be equipped to function without the internet as well.

To be able to inform and reach out to your family members, friends, or just be aware of what’s happening around us in case of internet shutdown, here is a list of chat apps and services that will function even without internet:

1. FireChat

The messaging app FireChat can be used to communicate with people without the internet or cellular data. The app provides an open wireless service functioning on Bluetooth and WiFi hotspot.

The app supports text images and images as well.

Download the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opengarden.firechat&hl=en_US

2. Signal

Signal is a secure messaging app that can be used to send text messages offline. The best part is, the app is available for free. The app has options to make calls, video calls, send text messages or multimedia messages with internet and SMSs offline for free.

The app also features an option to send disappearing messages, that is, messages that can be deleted after a set period.

Download the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.thoughtcrime.securesms&hl=en_I

3. Manyverse

Manyverse is a non-cloud based social networking app. Unlike most social media apps, Manyverse is not connected to the company’s or any other online cloud system, the data will be stored in the user’s phone and can be accessed anywhere and anytime.

Similar to any other popular app. Manyverse features posts, threads, likes, profiles, etc. the app is available for free.

Download the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=se.manyver

4. Briar

Briar has one of the most robust and reliable systems, in case of internet shutdown, the messaging app functions on Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi. It is pretty common among activists and journalists.

Briar does not depend on a central server, therefore, can sync the messages between phone devices. The app also uses direct and encrypted connections between devices safeguarding the privacy of its users.

Download the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.briarproject.briar.android

5. Txti

Txti is a service used to produce web pages with slow internet. The service can also be used to collate information at one place for easy access in areas with a weaker data connection. The service also allows links from the service to be directly shared on Twitter.

The service lets you create a custom URL and Edit code. The custom edit code lets you edit the information on the web page and the service guarantees that the data won’t be lost ever.

You can use the service here: http://txti.es/

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