‘Speek!’ : An Open-Source Chat App That Uses Tor

By Pratham Patel | It’s FOSS

Brief: An interesting open-source private messenger that utilizes Tor to keep your communications secure and private.

Speek is an internet messaging service that leverages multiple technologies to help keep your internet chats private.

It is end-to-end encrypted, decentralized, and open-source.

Undoubtedly, it aims to pitch itself as one of the WhatsApp alternatives and a competitor to Signal on Linux.

So, what is it all about? Let us take a closer look at the details.

‘Speek!’ A Peer-to-Peer Instant Messaging App for Linux and Android

screenshot of Speek

Speek! (with an exclamation mark as part of its name) is an encrypted chat messenger that aims to fight against censorship while keeping your data private.

To keep things simple, we ignore the exclamation mark for the rest of the article.

You can also find it as an alternative to Session, but with some differences.

It is a fairly new competitor compared to other messengers available. However, it should be a candidate to try as an open-source solution.

While it claims to keep you anonymous, you should always be cautious of your activities on your devices to ensure complete anonymity, if that’s what you require. It’s not just the messenger that you need to think of.

speek id

It utilizes a decentralized Tor network to keep things secure and private. And, this enables it to make the service useful without needing your phone number. You just require your Speek ID to connect with people, and it is tough for someone to know your ID.

Features of Speek

speek options

Some key highlights include:

  • End-to-end encryption: No one except for the recipient can view your messages.
  • Routing traffic over TOR: Using TOR for routing messages, enhances privacy.
  • No centralized server: Increases resistance against censorship because it’s tough to shut down the service. Moreover, no single attack point for hackers.
  • No sign-ups: You do not need to share any personal information to start using the service. You just need a public key to identify/add users.
  • Self-destructing chat: When you close the app, the messages are automatically deleted. For an extra layer of privacy and security.
  • No metadata: It eliminates any metadata when you exchange messages.
  • Private file sharing: You can also use the service to share files securely.

Download Speek For Linux and Other Platforms

You can download Speek from their official website.

At the time of writing this article, Speek is available only on Linux, Android macOS, and Windows.

For Linux, you will find an AppImage file. In case you are unaware of AppImages, you can refer to our AppImage guide to run the application.

speek android

And, the Android app on the Google Play Store is fairly new. So, you should expect improvements when you try it out.

Speek!

Thoughts on Using Speek

screenshot of Speek

The user experience for the app is pretty satisfying, and checks all the essentials required. It could be better, but it’s decent.

Well, there isn’t much to say about Speek’s GUI. The GUI is very minimal. It is a chat app at its core and does exactly that. No stories, no maps, no unnecessary add-ons.

In my limited time of using the app, I am satisfied with its functionalities. The features that it offers, make it a good chat app for providing a secure and private messaging experience with all the tech behind it.

If you’re going to compare it with some commercially successful chat apps, it falls short on features. But then again, Speek is not designed as a trendy chat app with a sole focus on user experience.

So, I would only recommend Speek for privacy-conscious users. If you want a balance of user experience and features, you might want to continue using private messengers like Signal.

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