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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1231. Free online video chats

Kathy asks: "I heard there is a free way to do video chats online.  What is it? I need this!"

I know Doug knows the answer because we both use this technology and it's also FREE.

Skype provides free audio and video chatting from computer to computer.  I found when I want to do a audio chat or just a conversation with a friend that also has Skype it provides a far better audio quality signal than I get with an ordinary phone line.  As long as I have decent bandwidth, it works great! Dial-up doesn't provide quite enough bandwidth, but even slow DSL or almost any other connection is fine for Skype. (Connections with very long latency, such as Hughes and BlueSky satellite connections, tend not to work well either.) Obviously, audio-only chats require far less horsepower than audio/video chats.

Skype also allows you to create free video chats with one or more other people.  And all you need is a Skype account, along with a computer that has a microphone and a video camera attached on each end.  It's simple to set up and it's free, when you're making calls from computer to computer. (Making audio calls from your computer to a land or mobile phone does require paying a per-minute or monthly fee, but these charges are generally much less than similar charges from the telephone company.)

Convince your friends to sign up for Skype. It's free, it's easy and you can have audio and video chats over your computer.  For more information, visit www.skype.com and sign up for a free Skype account.


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