Viber is an instant messaging and VoIP tool used by close to a billion people around the world. It helps users connect with each other, make calls and send instant messages, pictures and videos.
Behind only WhatsApp and Skype, Viber commands the third largest market share in the instant messaging space. Established in 2010, the app has steadily grown in popularity. It is presently owned by Japanese company, Rakuten.
In this Viber review, we’ll take a look at its functionality and features. We’ll also provide step-by-step instructions on how to set up Viber on your PC, Mac, or Android devices. Towards the end, we’ll provide a quick comparison between Viber and WhatsApp to give you a clear picture.
How does Viber work?
In order to register on Viber, you need to provide you phone number. Once registered, you are able to bypass your mobile carrier and start making calls and sending messages directly with Viber. You can also call non-Viber landline and mobile numbers with the Viber Out feature. That being said, a slight downside to Viber is that it is blocked in many countries.
Viber is currently available on most of the leading mobile platforms including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone, as well as desktop platforms including PC and Mac. This Viber review focuses on Viber for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac.
You can use Viber from a browser on a Windows PC or a Mac computer. In this Viber review, we provide step-by-step guides on how to use Viber from either platform.
Viber for PC
If you want to use Viber on a Windows PC, you first need to have the app installed on your smartphone. If you already have the app on your smartphone, download the desktop version here. Once you have downloaded the desktop file, follow these steps:
- Run the downloaded file and install it on your PC.
- Enter your mobile number when prompted by the app.
- You will then see a QR code on your PC.
- Scan the QR code with your phone.
- You are ready to use the app on your PC
You can alternatively use a BlueStacks emulator to install Viber on your PC. The great thing about BlueStacks is that it mirrors a smartphone. So even if you don’t have a smartphone or don’t want to use it for the PC installation, you can use install Viber for PC using BlueStacks.
Viber for Mac
To install Viber on your Mac, download the Mac version here. Then follow these steps to set up Viber for Mac:
- Install the downloaded file.
- Enter your mobile number when asked by the program.
- Check your iOS smartphone for the activation code.
- Enter this code and Viber is ready for use on your Mac.
Viber for Android
Viber is one of the most popular instant messaging apps on Android. To set up Viber on Android, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Google Play Store.
- Search for “Viber.”
- Once you find the app, download and install it on your Android device.
- Find the purple Viber icon among your Android apps.
- Click the icon to launch the app.
- Provide your mobile number when prompted. Select your country.
- Check the security code sent to your phone.
- Enter the code into Viber and your Viber account is activated.
Once you follow these steps, you are ready to start making free calls and sending free messages using Viber for Android.
Viber App security review
Viber is one of the most secure instant messaging apps on the market. This is simply because of the rich array of security features offered by the app. These features protect your identify, your data and your chats. In this part of our Viber review, we have highlighted some of the most stand-out features of Viber security.
End-to-end Viber encryption
When you send a message from your device using Viber, Viber encrypts it. This means that the message is transmitted as a scrambled code so that no one can understand it along the way.
When this message reaches the recipient, it is unscrambled. In this way, the message is readable only by the person who is meant to receive it. Viber encryption is an excellent feature in that it ensures maximum security for all the messages you send via Viber.
Secret chats allow you to send Viber messages with a self-destruct option. Once a friend or contact has seen and read the message in a secret chat, it is automatically deleted. You can select how soon the message should be deleted after being seen.
Viber does not allow messages sent in a secret chat to be forwarded. It also prevents your contacts from taking screenshots of secret chat messages. If they still try to take a screenshot of such a message, you are immediately notified.
This Viber security feature is particularly useful when you are sharing highly sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or personal data.
Encryption to group chats and public chats
Viber offers end-to-end encryption for group chats as well. So you can talk to an entire group of contacts with the peace of mind that no outsider can access the chats. That being said, Viber encryption does not cover public chats and community discussions.
You can create “Trusted Contacts” in Viber by selecting the people in your contacts list that you trust. Viber indicates your Trusted Contacts with a green lock color.
The great thing about this Viber security feature is that you know all your communications with the Trusted Contacts is fully encrypted and secure. You can also choose to block messages from anyone other than you Trusted Contacts.
Do you regret sending someone a message on Viber and want to delete it? No problem. Viber lets you delete your previous messages, whether you sent them two days ago or two years ago.
When you delete the message, it is no longer visible to the recipient who originally received it. This excellent feature lets you remove any information you have accidentally shared with your Viber contacts.
Viber is one of the most popular instant messaging apps used around the globe. However, it comes with its own set of problems. In this section of our Viber review, we cover the most common issues and their solutions.
Viber not ringing on iPhone
Many iPhone users face this problem when using Viber on their smartphones.
To resolve the problem, simply:
- Go to: Settings > Viber > Notifications.
- Choose Alerts or Banner in the Alert Style section.
- Viber status is always “Online”
This can be an annoying problem. You don’t want to be always available on Viber but the app always shows that you are “Online.”
To resolve the problem, open the Viber app and go to the Privacy section. You can manually change the status by using the Share Online Status feature.
Viber not connected on PC or Mac
Sometimes, Viber refuses to connect on PC or Mac. This can be for a variety of reasons. One of the key reasons could be that the relevant ports are closed, preventing the connection. The Firewall on your PC or Mac may also prevent Viber from connecting.
To resolve these problems, follow this helpful resource from Viber.
Viber is blocked
In the past, Viber has been blocked in a number of countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Bangladesh, North Korea, UAE, Morocco, and Malaysia. More recently, many of these countries have eased the ban on the app.
If your country currently blocks Viber, you can use a quality VPN service to bypass the block and enjoy using the app.
Viber vs WhatsApp
Both WhatsApp and Viber are among the leading instant messaging apps. WhatsApp leads the charge with close to 1.5 billion users whereas Viber boasts around 1 billion users. That being said, both apps offer a similar range of features.
Both apps provide end-to-end encryption to ensure your chats are safe and secure. WhatsApp is generally preferred for mobile-based calls because of the superior voice quality it offers.
In contrast, Viber is a winner when it comes to desktop-based calls. Unlike WhatsApp, it offers native apps for both PC and Mac. Viber also provides Cloud Sync feature, something which WhatsApp lacks.
|Users||1 billion users||1.5 billion|
|Secure File Sharing||Yes||No|
|Messages stored in servers||No||No|
|Chat/ Messages Self-Destruct||Yes||No|
|Phone Number Required||Yes||Yes|
|Supported Platforms||Android, iOS, Linux, MacOS, Windows||Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS|
The comparison clearly shows that Viber offers a more extensive range of features. WhatsApp has a more limited set of features in comparison. Especially if you switch frequently between desktop and mobile devices, Viber can help you transfer your calls between devices easily.
Tech writer and privacy advocate
Julie is a firm believer in equal rights for everyone. She is a traveler and blogger, focusing her efforts on exposing censorship and discrimination around the world. She wants to hold corrupt governments and shady companies accountable by writing investigative articles and helpful guides.