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What is Discord? It’s one of the largest chat apps originally designed for gamers back in 2015 by Jason Citron and Stanslav Vishnievsky. As children of the late 80s and early 90s, the platform’s founders were huge fans of video games, cherishing connections that formed while playing them.
Being the brainchild of video game developer Hammer & Chisel, Discord started as a multiplayer game. The gaming community wasn’t enthusiastic enough about this release, but truly got attached to its messaging and communicating functionality. Having listened to the users’ opinions, the developers decided to shift the focus. This is how Discord as we know it came to life.
According to the company, since its launch in 2015, the application has attracted over 250 millions of users around the world with 14 millions daily active users. And today not so many of them are gamers: in fact, only about 20%, as reported. But we’ll get back to that further in the article.
Related: “How to get Discord nitro for free“
Many people worldwide love Discord for its high level of anonymity compared to other similar chat apps such as Slack. But you’ll still have to share your private phone number to register Discord account. Well, what kind of anonymity can we talk about if the platform has your phone number which potentially gives access to other user data? This remains the question.
Let’s try to figure it out in today’s post. In addition, we’ll discover how different Discord is from other chat applications and how you can protect your sensitive data using virtual phones from SMS-man to pass phone number verification.
Review and comparison of Discord
The main reason why Discord stands out is that it offers the opportunity to create both channels and separate servers that may contain numerous channels on unrelated topics. Those tools can be both private and public. Due to its flexible functionality, Discord seems to be a truly comfortable platform to grow a community just like Reddit.
Many people love it not only for its intended anonymity that we’ll discuss later, but also because it brings together a lot of elements of the Internet’s early days. While Discord’s anonymous usernames in many ways remind the AOL service, it’s also reminiscent of Myspace platform being a cozy place to hang out with friends online and send random stuff to each other.
Regarding its audience, today Discord’s user base is not limited to gamers. For a while now, it’s been serving as a home for nerds of all kinds, from comics lovers to people who go to the platform with educational and networking purposes. Besides, unlike Slack, which often goes together with Discord in people’s conversations, it’s not widely used for work communication (but still is).
Discord — Benefits & Features
For a basic user, among other things, Discord offers:
- Voice and text chats;
- Video conferencing;
- File sharing — free of charge for up to 3 Mb;
- Links sharing in both public and private channels;
- Screen sharing with or without sound;
- Streamer mode that allows you to hide all your private data when you’re streaming.
Premium mode, which is available with the help of the in-app service Nitro, includes upgraded features such as larger upload capacity, animated avatar and emojis, and customizable profile pics.
To decide whether you’re ready to make Discord account or not, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of the app.
- High-quality sound and video. To ensure high quality sound, the platform uses a special Opus codec with built-in noise and echo suppression options, as well as an automatic gain control. And for stable image transmission, the messenger uses the VP8 codec.
- Simple interface. With it, users can easily create private servers and channels, add or exclude members, and assign special roles to users with just a few clicks.
- Useful bots. The platform has a large catalog of official bots with specified properties and functions, but it also allows users to create their own bots to solve specific problems.
Usually, server admins use electronic assistants to automate their work. It includes role management, displaying statistics on players, searching for music content, etc.
- Frequent failures when transferring large files. Discord’s capabilities for storing and transferring multimedia data are quite limited.
- No video recording feature. This increases the safety of confidential information, but significantly limits the ability to communicate in certain areas.
Now, when we’ve learned what opportunities Discord offers to its users, let’s talk about anonymity on the platform.
Anonymity and Privacy on Discord
What is Discord when it comes to the matter of anonymity and user privacy? Many users believe that it’s one of the safest and most anonymous messengers that exists throughout the Internet. Even despite the fact that it isn’t End-to-End encrypted. But, according to some casual Discord users on YouTube, the app is safe as long as you use it only for friends that you know in real life. Or you are aware of how to safely navigate it. Besides, the best way to have a near private conversation on Discord is via voice chat.
Like other platforms with a huge user base, Discord is also known for tracking basic usage statistics. Here’s how you can check it out. If you open up your Discord settings, go to the “Privacy & Safety” section, you will see some options that allow the platform to do it. At the very bottom, you will find a button that lets you receive an email containing all the information the platform has on you. This includes: friends, settings, username, email, transaction history, every message you’ve sent (including direct messages), what servers you are in, how you navigate around the app, what games you play, etc.
So, to say that Discord is private is relatively wrong as it may simply give third parties access to parts of your data.
Is it safe to use and register Discord?
It’s always up to you, but… Though a truly private system is one that is End-to-End Encrypted such as Signal, Telegram, or Element (closest to Discord), it doesn’t mean that you need to give up Discord as a messenger. At least, because it offers so many useful and even unique features for satisfying communication.
Just be careful not to get into the virtual hands of scammers who like to send “links to follow” and other kinds of stuff.
What’s even more, to increase your data safety, it’s not necessary to provide your private phone number for Discord registration. Instead, you can use a disposable phone number that, similar to a cellular phone, can receive an SMS message to complete account verification.
How to register Discord account without a phone number
SMS-man is a platform that provides virtual number services for SMS verification. It is one of the leading companies in the market for providing temporary numbers for various purposes, including registration of accounts in online services.
Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Log in to sms-man.com. If this is your first time here, register an account;
- In the left sidebar, select “Top up my balance” and make a deposit using one of the available payment systems;
- Go back to the home page to select your mobile operator country and “Discord” service. Then click the “Buy” button next to it;
- Copy the virtual number from the “History” section and use it to register Discord account;
- When the messenger sends you a confirmation code, go back to the SMS-man platform and click “Receive SMS” next to your phone number;
- There you will find the generated verification code. Use it to complete your Discord registration.