A nice suprise in my life this week is that several Malaysian friends (whom I’ve talked to in the past over WhatsApp) are starting to appear in Signal. Awesome!

I have a Signal tip for you (and the other Malaysians new to Signal). I had to use this tip when I lived at the monastery Nandaka (Penang Mainland), BTW.

If you only have one or two bars of cellular reception for your handphone, and Signal becomes unresponsive (text or voice lags, or becomes unresponsive), then turn on your phone’s VPN (if you have one). Signal might perform better over a VPN in that case, such that at least texting works again.

Why would a VPN make Signal work better? The poor performance of Signal with one or two bars is (counterintuitively) not the fault of Signal. It’s the fault of the cellular towers unfairly giving apps like WhatsApp an advantage they don’t really deserve (while there are only one or two bars). This is called, in technical language, a lack of “net neutrality”. Here is a good Youtube video explaining what “Net Neutrality” is, and why you would do well to try to get it, if you can:

Internet Citizens: Defend Net Neutrality

PS: I wrote a blog post strongly recommending that people move to Signal way back in Dec. 2019. But I guess nobody was willing to listen to me yet… ;)