Free Video Conference Software
The average Internet user emails, shops and
with friends and family via instant messaging. And it is not far off
that video conferencing will
be part of that list as well. That is
because it is now possible to conduct video conferences on
desktop computer at no
cost for the service.
All you need is a computer enabled to connect to
Internet, a high bandwidth Internet access, a web cam, microphone and
speakers. But these are merely the hardware components. In order for
video conferences to work on your computer you will need video
Now before you start thinking that you will have
shell out money for this, think again. There are a lot of software out
there that allows you to conduct your own video conference for
In fact, most of these software could already be
installed in your computer system. That means, after you read this
article, you are most likely capable of having a video conference with
someone across the street or around the world. The possibilities are
So what do these free video conference software
and what is the catch (if there is one, at all)? For most of these free
software, there is no catch. Very often, all you need is to register as
a subscriber to their service (again for free) and you are ready to go.
Sometimes, you may already be a subscriber and not know it.
This is particularly true for free video
software like Yahoo!
Messenger. If you have a free Yahoo! account, then
you are already capable of video conferencing. All you need to do is
download the program and install it in your system. Once that is done,
you can start video conferencing with other Yahoo! subscribers at no
You can keep track of your friends through a buddy
that can also display a range of information from your calendar,
address book and even weather updates. While the service is for free,
you do NOT have to put up with pesky banner or pop up ads.
You can initiate a videoconference from your buddy
or even in the middle of a text chat session. Security measures are
implemented when initiating a video connection. People can only view
your webcam if you allow them to or you can send an invitation for them
to access your video stream. A peer-to-peer connection is established
with Super Webcam allowing for higher quality video.
Messenger, though, is best suited for personal use
Commercial application may be limited because of corporate firewall
limitations. The only recourse is to convert to standard mode, which is
of below-par video quality.
If you are looking for something that can cater to
business applications without having to spend on software licenses,
then consider Microsoft’s
NetMeeting. It is, by far, the leading
free conferencing software in the market that also allows satisfactory
video conference quality. On thing to note though is Windows
XP is the
last version of Microsoft Windows to include NetMeeting. Users
planning on using Windows vista will need
to upgrade to an alternative software provided by Microsoft.
NetMeeting can be downloaded for free from
Microsoft’s official website and the features it carries are
actually quite impressive.
Besides video conferencing, you can exchange and
files from multiple participants, something other free software cannot
support. A virtual whiteboard to help discussions along is provided as
well as the option for desktop and application sharing. Contacting
participants is similar to other messaging software so text chats are
also available in addition to video and audio conferences. All in all,
it is an excellent collaborative conferencing software at no cost to
What you must keep in mind with free video
software like these is that the parties you wish to reach must also
have the same program installed on their computers. If you will be
conduction video conferences on a regular basis, consider investing on
high-bandwidth Internet access so that you will avoid the frustrating
skipping and choppy audio and video that is symptomatic of low-speed
In the final run, despite these limitations, these
examples of free video conference software have helped make the
activity more of a household word. It brings people closer together and
bridges distances – and if it can be done for free, then all