Web Cams: The Best Ways to Video Chat

By Jennifer Jarrett
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Video chatting is becoming an increasingly more popular way to communicate. But with all the different web services out there, is one video chat application better than the others? After reviewing the top-rated webcams we decided to look into the best video chat applications. 

TokBox
Through our research we found that Tokbox is one of the best options for video chatting. It's a video conferencing service that has several features to fit your needs. They offer free one-on-one Video Chat, a Video Meeting option which is $12.99 per month and a Video Conference option that's $39.99 per month. You can add contacts from Facebook, AIM, MSN, Google and Yahoo to create one convenient place for all of your phone calls and video chats. TokBox also has one-click upload to YouTube so you can conveniently and easily upload videos onto YouTube.

 

Tokbox will send you an email notification any time you miss a video chat request or receive a video message. You'll also be notified when your sent voicemails are read, when TokBox updates your service, when invited contacts join, when someone adds you as a contact and when you have an old unread video message. You can change the features and stop email notifications for any and all of these services at any time; however, we found it a convenient way to stay in the loop without logging in to check your account. With TokBox’s free video chat plan you can chat with up to a maximum of 20 people at a single time.

TokBox has excellent features and tools that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, like the video message option, for example. The quality of the picture and sound for each video chat are determined by your personal web cam. We were thrilled with the simplicity of the navigation for Tokbox; once we signed up it was incredibly easy to add contacts, make calls, edit our account and check web cam and microphone settings. The site has a clean design, and we're convinced that you too will be thrilled at just how easy it is to use.

Skype
One of the world’s most popular services, Skype, provides users with free global video calling, as long as the call is made to a Skype contact. Users can also call landlines and mobile phones for a small fee, but obviously the choice service is the free video calling. Users must download the Skype application to make video calls, and you'll need a web cam, microphone and internet connection video calling.

The latest version of Skype, version 4.2 for Windows, allows users to make video calls in high definition using their HD web cam. We found Skype to be reliable and user-friendly. It is simple to install and navigate, and with the pre-call sound check, Skype will give you optimum quality from your web cam and built-in microphone. We have used Skype to make international calls to other Skype contacts and have never experienced the application freezing, which only proves its reliability.

Skype has also teamed up with Verizon wireless to provide free Skype-to-Skype calls and instant messaging. The benefit of this service is that you are always logged on to Skype so you can receive all incoming calls even when you're away from your web cam and computer. The Skype-to-Skype service also doesn’t use minutes from your wireless plan.

Google Voice and Video Chat
Google Voice and Video Chat is available through Gmail, iGoogle and orkut. Like most video chat applications, all you need is an internet connection, a web cam and a microphone. To get started, you must download and install the Google Voice and Video plugin and sign in to your Gmail, iGoogle or orkut account. Contacts that are available will appear on the left side of your window with a green dot by their name. And if they are available for video chat they'll have a green video camera by their name.

Like other VoIP services Google Voice and Video chat can be enlarged to a full screen video so all you see is the person you are chatting with. If your contact doesn’t have a web cam you can have a one-way video chat as long as they have a microphone. Google Voice and Video Chat are free when you communicate with another Google contact. Not a Google contact? No problem. Google has provided a way for users to make and receive phone calls using Gmail to any mobile or landline phone number. Calls to international numbers will cost a small fee, but all calls within the United States are free.

The quality of Google Voice and Video chat is determined by the quality of your web cam. We were impressed with the quality and the features Google provides. It’s difficult to complain about a free service.

If you have been thinking about purchasing a web cam we recommend you check out reviews on today's top rated webcams. With an array of features, tools and quality you will be sure to find a webcam that matches your personal needs and budget.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™

 
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