If you need a little face time with friends and family that live far away, firing up a video chat has never been easier. These days you don’t even need to install an app or download a heavy client — many services let you open a browser and start chatting within seconds, no matter where you are in the world. This week we’re going to look at five services that give you the best, fastest and most hassle-free video chatting experience.
Photo by Alan Levine.
Google Hangouts was introduced back in 2011an integral part of that serviceAndroid appiOS app
Inviting other people to hang out is as easy as emailing them, and if they have Google accounts as well, it’s even easier. Add in the fact that Google Hangouts lets you share your desktop, has built-in apps for drawing, collaboration and other features, supports screen sharing> and is a great online meeting service, and you have a powerhouse tool. Impressive for something that’s just over two years old.
launched in 2011Skype desktop users can video chat with Facebook users
check out the plans here
part free videochat service and part social network
This week’s honourable mention goes to Gruveo, a newcomer to the anonymous video chat scene which launched just a few weeks ago. Gruveo promises encrypted, totally anonymous video chats without the need for sign-ups, plugin installs, or any personal details. You and your friend agree on a number that will identify your chat room, visit the site, type in the number, and you’re instantly connected. It has its limitations — there’s no screen sharing or document sharing, and you can only chat with one person at a time, but its angle is anonymity and privacy, not a checklist of features. It’s fast, easy and free.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favourite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Tell us how you handle video chat in the comments.