Web: If you want to video chat from your computer, most options require both parties have an account, install a client, add each other to friends and then connect. Gruveo is different: type in a number you both know, and you're instantly connected to each other in a private, anonymous, encrypted video or voice call.
Gruveo is a new service, but the promise is big: anonymous, encrypted video or voice calls, no software installs or sign-ups necessary. You and the other party you want to talk to just have to agree on a number; that number will be your access code to connect to one another. Head to the Gruveo site and type in the number, and you'll be connected to one another instantly.
The service is fine as a simple way to start a video chat or voice call without having to install any extra software or plugins (the service uses Flash to access your camera) but when the creator of the service also promised it was anonymous and encrypted, we pressed for details. Here's what he said:
Gruveo is built using Adobe Flex and operates in two modes. In the first mode, a call is established using the peer-to-peer RTMFP protocol. Among other security measures, all network traffic is encrypted using 128-bit cipher in RTMFP. There's more on the protocol here.
If a peer-to-peer connection cannot be established due to the users' firewall restrictions, the call is relayed via a central server using the RTMPS protocol. This protocol leverages the proven security of SSL and likewise encrypts all data. Some additional information on RTMPS can be found here.
Of course, you run the risk of being connected to someone else if you use a low or simple number that someone else is already using, but if someone else's call is in session, you won't connect. If you do get someone else, it could be a little embarrassing. Either way, the service is free and available to try now. Hit the link below to give it a whirl.