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With technology advancements and the distance often separating coworkers, friends, and family, communicating via video chat is a popular option. With the right software, grandparents enjoy face-to-face conversations with their grandchildren, coworkers working remotely still attend team meetings, professionals meet with clients, and doctors may even consult with patients.
Programs even include screen-sharing features, so everyone on the chat views the same documents or reports. Participants may log in via phone, tablet, or computer, depending on the chat program's capabilities.
Benefits of Online Video Chat Software
Online video chat software supports text messaging, voice chat, and instant messaging. You can make standard phone calls, or click the video feature to see the other people on the call in real time. During calls, participants may still share documents and text-chat. In addition, many of these programs offer customizing options, and include contact lists.
One of the greatest benefits of these programs is the fact that they make chatting with family, friends, and colleagues around the globe affordable. There is no extra charge for international calls, so companies with multiple locations or traveling executives, freelancers working with global clients, or families spread across continents, keep in regular contact.
Points to Consider When Looking for the Best Online Video Chat Software
- Features and Capabilities: Online video chat software programs vary greatly in features, capabilities, and quality. Research each program carefully to determine whether it meets your needs.
- Geographical location: Some countries forbid certain software programs. When comparing programs, make sure countries you call regularly permit the software.
- Time zones: Scheduling is important, especially when working across multiple time zones.
- Ease of use: These programs should be easy to use with an intuitive, easy-to-navigate interface. Before buying the software, take it out for a test drive.
- Training: More robust programs may require training. Check to see what types of training materials the manufacturer provides.
Sample Prices of Online Video Chat Software Programs
Most video chat programs come with free versions, usually with abbreviated features and/or limitations as to how many people may chat at once. Pricing on paid versions varies according to features and capabilities.
- Programs that offer data security and a ticketing system average between $20 and $40 per month.
- Programs that offer unlimited chat history, basic reporting, and customization average between $50 and $80 per month.
- Programs that permit business branding support and agent groups average between $70 and $90 per month, though may cost more than $100 per month with more advanced features.
- Skype's premium service allows three or more users to set up live calling for $5 to $6 per day or $8 to $10 per week.
- Ovoo video calling allows 6-way calling for between $30 and $50 per month, including 10 chat rooms and 500 phone minutes.
- Ovoo's 5-way calling costs between $10 and $20 per month with 200 phone minutes.
- GoToMeeting allows up to three participants free of charge. The cost for five participants ranges between $20 and $30 per month. The cost for up to 25 participants is $40 to $50 a month.
- Any Meeting allows you to share up to six webcams per call for $20 to $30 per month.