You may have heard a lot about end-to-end encryption for calls and messages. But what does this actually mean?

In simple terms, this means that any third party will not intercept the calls or messages sent using end-to-end encryption. For example, let’s assume that you want to send a message with this encryption technology. In this case, the message will be encrypted on your phone and then sent to the other party’s phone. On that phone, that message will be decrypted and then shown to that person.

Even if someone intercepts the message as it is going through the network, all they will receive will be gibberish. The only way to decrypt that message will be through an encryption key. With end-to-end encryption, that key is usually present on the receiver’s and sender phone.

Encrypted Phone Calls – What does it mean?

In many popular instant messengers and calling applications, end-to-end encryption is a standard protocol that is used for the protection of communications data. You will find end-to-end encryption being used in Signal, WhatsApp, Telegram, and many other popular messenger applications.

If you are wondering how to encrypt phone calls on Android, you can also use Google’s built-in Duo app for making secure calls. The Duo app usually comes pre-installed on most Android phones and can also be installed from the Google Play Store. With the Duo app or Signal app, Android encryption can be achieved. As for iPhone encryption, the Signal and WhatsApp applications are available as well, which allow users to encrypt phone calls.

End-to-end Encryption – Explained

Let’s say that you have sent a message “Hello” to another person. Under normal conditions, this message would be sent unencrypted to the other person. If anyone manages to intercept the data packets, they would be able to read that message right away.

But with encryption, that message will be protected using a code. For example, hello may be converted into “JFSFB” or something else resembling gibberish. Even if someone manages to intercept the data, they would not be able to make sense of that message.

In end-to-end encrypted phone calls, a key is required to decrypt (decode) the data. The only way to decode that encrypted audio or video call is through a shared secret key present on the sender and receiver mobile.

The secret key has the following characteristics:

  1. A secret key is usually a number created on your mobile and the receiver’s mobile. Other than these 2 devices, the secret key will not exist anywhere else.
  2. The secret key is not shared with any third party, even including the applications such as Google Duo, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.
  3. As soon as the call ends, the secret key disappears.

Encrypted Phone Calls (Android & iOS)

Many options are available for making encrypted phone calls on Android & iOS devices. On iOS devices, Apple Facetime and iMessage come with built-in end-to-end encryption. Other than that, the applications such as Silent Phone and Signal can be used on all modern smartphones for making secure phone calls and sending messages.

On Android devices, Google Duo’s is also a good option as well and usually comes pre-installed.