Video chat services allow their users to talk to have an unprecedented level of interaction, and they’re especially popular among people with long distance friends and family members as well as business people.
When you choose a video chat service, you’ll need to decide which features you’re looking for. Here are five of the best video chat services for various uses and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Google Video Chat – This free service works as a part of Google’s popular Gmail. It’s in the chat client, and it’s completely web based–very advantageous for anyone who needs to regularly schedule video chats between multiple computers. Google Chat is fast, dependable, and it doesn’t suck up a ton of system resources like some of the other chat services out there. It doesn’t hurt that it’s completely free and works with any webcam that your computer will recognize.
Skype – Skype is one of the best known chat services. It allows friends and family members to use video chat for free after a small application has been installed. The service is not without the occasional speed hiccups, but it’s remarkably fast and easy to use for a free service and provides even less of a performance drain than web-based alternatives in my experience.
SightSpeed – SightSpeed is the one option on this list that costs money, but it’s worth it. The service offers full 30 frame per second video without any annoying delays. It’s like the futuristic video phones portrayed in old 80s movies, although you’ll have to decide how often you use video chat before paying for SightSpeed.
Wetoku – The beauty of Wetoku is in its simplicity. It’s designed for businesses and for interviews, and offers a recording element. You can easily record interviews on the web and post the results via embed codes. It’s fast, easy to use, and ideal for certain applications, particularly if you need to keep a video of a brief interview or if you need video chat that’s not necessarily in real time.
Chat Roulette – It may not be a real solution for talking to loved ones or having professional chats, but Chat Roulette wins points for its brilliant concept. Visitors enter the website and can immediately begin typing and chatting with complete strangers. It’s fun and unique, but be warned: it’s also full of some very strange and occasionally perverted people.
What are your favorite video chat services? Post your thoughts below.