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Five low-cost video chat apps

Camfrog 1

This gallery is also available as a post in the TechRepublic Five Apps Blog.

As someone who travels almost constantly, I depend on video conferencing software to keep in touch with friends, family, and clients. Although video conferencing has long had a reputation for being expensive, there are actually a lot of free or low cost video chat applications available. This article lists five such applications.

Five Apps

1. Camfrog Video Chat

Camfrog Video Chat is a free video chat application that can also be used for audio, text chat, and even for transferring files. The software is simple to install. However, after doing so, you must complete a quick and easy online registration that consists of supplying a nickname, password, and e-mail address.

Credit: Images by Brien Posey for TechRepublic

23 comments
peterlonz
peterlonz

The failure to mention Skype is tantamount to assuming the readers are idiots. Editorial review is called for here. I don't wish to waste my time reviewing spam.

drdhrtd
drdhrtd

The best is SKYPE, why you don'y nothing about.

warpdog21
warpdog21

Options people. Simply options. A good thing. Research and compare. Answers most questions...

H3144-IT
H3144-IT

Great App - available for PC, Mac, iPhone, Android and via Facebook... Up to 12 HD Video Clients in one Session - yes with Advertising in the Application Window, which can be turned off for a $30 Fee, BUT it does not bother me at all...

greg.harter
greg.harter

With it's huge user base, Skype video and audio quality has plummeted. It supports very few people at a time. It also requires peer-to-peer data sharing, which is a big NO NO at my company.

pmwork1
pmwork1

I object to givng my full date of birth even if there are these vague privacy promises. As a result I will not use any service which demands this and they lose my custom. Date of Birth is an important peice of personal inforamtion which can be used to steal other information.

henfetchit
henfetchit

The depths to which this "article" delves is staggering - for it's lack. For a 'go figure it out for yourself' list, this is about as informative as a soundbite or tweet. A trend in TR reporting that leaves everything to be desired. I thought I was on facebook for a moment half expecting to see a picture of what the writer had for lunch. The response "It's free and has a large user base." conveyed more useful info (though I would call it a gigantic global user base). It would have saved bandwidth to post a screen shot of the list with the caption "google these".

fjdole
fjdole

I am a firm believer in reading skills, why has Tech Republic and others started displaying everything in videos and graphics. Good Readings skills can be developed by reading articles instead of looking at videos and pictures, please go back to articles that are written and read!

LarsDennert
LarsDennert

Nice to hear about some different products but... I'll bet that 90% of the population uses: Skype, Tango, Facetime and Google Chat on a regular basis. Convenience and connectivity is where it's at. If it isn't as easy as making a phone call then I think a standard is tough to adopt. Mobile is also important. Despite what Corporate would like. People are all over and don't have a "video conference" center handy. It's like the days of VPN where things had to be set up just right at both ends of the pipe for it to work. Today solutions have to be quick and dynamic. Cloud hosting solutions are replacing VPN just like mobile video is replacing structured video calls.

DAS01
DAS01

Martin Hugh Harvey, you mentioned two points that make Vidyo superior to Skype. Doesn't HD also depend on the camera being used? And what do you mean by "collaborative"? If (video) conference calls, then Skype of course has that capability too (for a price). Matthew Moran, I think you mean your are "uninterested" in finding an obscure app..."disinterested" means something a tad different...

Matthew Moran
Matthew Moran

Hmmm.. I use Skype in my coaching, Google Hangouts from time to time, and Spreecast for group video chats... I am disinterested in finding and using an obscure app with a limited user base.. The article provides no information about the effectiveness of these apps.. Empty content? :-(

WalterT
WalterT

Sorry, but I don't really see the point of this article. Showing a bunch of screen shots isn't very informative. Did the author install and try to use all of these applications? What are the pros and cons of each program? Why would a business user decide that any one of these was better than any other? How do these compare to widely-used Skype? Why should we read this article?

Matthew Moran
Matthew Moran

Okay, either very funny or you've been following another discussion I had on FB....... Recent conversation with my editor on the use of the two words... Thanks.

bart001fr
bart001fr

It's one of their "[i]5 thisorthat[/i] for [i]anything[/i]" posts which mean absolutely nothing but are supposed to interest you in other usually unknown software, some of which is sometimes a lot more useful to some of us than originally thought. Thanks HAL9000 for the refresher course in the proper tags to use; I had tried the html tags that look like "less than" and "greater than" before, and those obviously don't work.

zodiacknigth
zodiacknigth

Skype does charge you for Video conference support, indeed the needs more work and a review of the programs, but it is always good to know you have option for free video conference.

jonwia888
jonwia888

Skype not being mentioned here, even if only to point out that it exists, leads me to believe that something is fishy in this reporting. This is the first time that I am suspicious of TechRepublic??s motives.

martinhughharvey
martinhughharvey

Like martinwtaylor I'd like to know why replace Skype with one of these solutions. I also happen to use a cloud based Vidyo service that is far superior (HD, collaborative) but it isn't free. With Skype one gets what one pays for it!

DAS01
DAS01

I think you should ask the relatives of the people who died and those people who have been forced to leave their homes because of damage and/or power failure if they think Sandy was a "wet noodle".

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

They have been for a long time now and just require a [i] at the front of the whatever you want to turn into Italics and a [/i] at the end You can also Bold things like [b]I love highlighting text to make it stand out[/b] and underline text with a [u]I love highlighting text to make it stand out.[/u] Italics require a brackets i and close brackets [b] [ i ] [/b]at the beginning of the text you want to turn into italics and a open brackets /i and close brackets at the end [b] [ /i ] [/b] For Bold you open brackets b and close brackets at the beginning [b] [ b ] [/b] and open brackets /b close brackets at the end [b] [ /b ]. [/b] For underlining you just use a u [b] [ u ] [/b] instead of a i or a b. Col

bart001fr
bart001fr

Can I interest you in a free-standing steel construct to help you oversee all around you? It's for sale real cheap. Only US$2 million! and a steal at the price!

hcb
hcb

I am an hi volume user of Skype. I have yet to work out how I can do video chat without disturbing the other with a video call..