Signal vs Pulse

I’ve been using Pulse for several years for a few reasons. But the main reason has been the ability for me to send messages off of any of my other devices. However, I’ve started to notice recently that its started to become buggy – sometimes the messages from my phone and laptop don’t sync, and so being able to send messages off of other devices is no longer reliable.

Because of this failure, I’ve started to eye the Signal SMS App.

What is Signal?

Similar to Pulse, Signal is an alternative SMS app.

Data Usage Concern

One of my biggest concerns with using Signal is the data usage. Data is Canada is not cheap, and so everyone has to be extremely picky about their usage when not on a WiFi connection. For non-Canadian users, a $50 plan with 4GB of data is considered a good deal.

So my question is:

Does Signal use data when communicating with another Signal user? And how much data does it use over the course of a day?

Answering my own Questions

To figure out how much data it uses, Android provides a tool to view how much data each app uses.

Signal SMS App data usage for July 2021. App was not being used as the primary SMS app.


After I had setup Signal on my phone, I went ahead and also installed signal onto my desktop. I noticed that I didn’t have any of my SMS messages and couldn’t send any messages to non-signal users. I looked around for an explanation, and came across this page on their support forms:

Signal Desktop does not support SMS/MMS – Signal Support Forms

As mentioned in the very beginning, one of the main features of my SMS app is to be able to read and send messages off of my desktop. Yes – SMS/MMS is insecure, but I’ve had issues trying to get everyone I know to switch over to Telegram; its not going to happen with Signal as well.