Apps for Free Video Chat on Your Computer

How to Video Chat on Your Computer Using Free Apps

Did you know that there are apps you can download right now that let you make completely free video calls and video chat sessions through your desktop or laptop computer? No, you don't need a smartphone or house phone to do this - all of it works online through your computer.

Once you're all setup, you can (almost) instantly connect with family, friends, co-workers, or anyone else who is using the same app.

After you install one of the free video chat apps you see below, there are just a few things you need to make sure you have: an active internet connection, ample bandwidth, a webcam, and an audio input and output device (microphone and speaker).

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Video calling on computer
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Skype is the most popular app for voice and video calling. In the mobile market, Skype has since long been dethroned by WhatsApp and Viber, but it still remains the most prominent tool for free communication on computers. Besides, users who don't know much about VoIP tend to subconsciously interchange the words VoIP and Skype. 

Skype is available for all platforms and is very easy to use. The app offers HD quality voice/video and is often argued to be the the best when it comes to both visual and sound quality.

Skype's video and audio calls are free within the network (i.e. calls between Skype users are free) and you can make paid audio calls to landlines if you so choose. More »

Google Hangouts is great for many reasons, one being that most everyone can login right away, given that they have a Gmail account. This lets you not only login but also easily reach the contacts you already have stored in Gmail.

On top of that, though, Google Hangouts is actually pretty intuitive and easy to use. Since it runs entirely in your web browser, you don't have to download a program in order to run it. It grabs hold of your webcam and microphone through the Google Hangouts website and delivers HD transmission of both right through the browser.

Google Hangouts is also available as a video chat mobile app for Android and iOS, which you can find on the Google Hangouts website. More »

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Another way to video chat on a computer is with ooVoo, which lets you do so with up to 12 people at once! 

Like Skype, you can make phone calls to non-ooVoo users (like landlines) if you want to pay a fee. Otherwise, ooVoo to ooVoo video and audio calls are completely free. This, again, can be done using mixed platform.

For example, ooVoo lets you call a Mac computer from a Windows computer, or an Android phone from an iOS phone. So long as both users are using the ooVoo app, they can make video calls as often as they like, for free.

ooVoo was created in 2007 and works with a range of other platforms like Windows Phone and even inside web browsers. More »

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If you have a Windows computer, Viber might be the perfect free video calling app for you. It's as easy to use as selecting a contact from the "Viber Only" section of your contact list, and then using the video button to start the call.

Viber lets you turn the video off whenever you like, mute the call, or even transfer the call. It works so much like a regular phone that it should be one of the easier apps to use from this list.

Note: Viber only works on Windows 10. You can download the app on other devices like Android and iOS, but those devices can only use the text and voice calling features. More »

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The most popular social network lets you communicate over not only text but also video, and it can even be done from within your web browser (Firefox, Chrome, and Opera).

Making a video call with Facebook is super easy: Open a message with someone and then click the small camera icon to initiate the call. You'll be told of any plugin you may be required to download to make it work.

Note: Go to the Facebook Help Center if you need help using Facebook's video chat feature through Messenger.com or the mobile Messenger app. More »

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Facetime offers excellent video and audio quality with a very simple and easy-to-use interface. However, the main problem with this video chatting app is that it works exclusively on Apple's operating system and devices, and only to other Facetime users.

However, if you do have a Mac, iPhone, or iPod touch, you can easily make video or audio calls from the device, almost in the exact same way you would make a regular phone call.

Similar to Google Hangouts, Facetime lets you search through your phone's contacts to find someone to call. One neat feature when doing that is that you can see which of your contacts are using Facetime (you can't call someone unless they're also signed up for Facetime). More »

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Another similar way to make free HD video calls from your computer is with Nimbuzz. It works on Windows and Mac computers but also mobile devices like BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Nokia, and Kindle.

You can also join chat rooms, send stickers, make audio only calls, and set up group chats.

Since Nimbuzz is a video calling program, you can only video call someone if they are also using the app (be it on their computer or mobile device). However, their audio calling feature can actually be used with regular phones too, for a small fee. More »

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Ekiga (formerly called GnomeMeeting) is a video calling app for Linux and Windows computers. It supports HD sound quality and (full screen) video that has a quality comparable to DVD.

Since the program functions much like a regular phone, Ekiga also supports SMS to cell phones (if the service provider allows), an address book, and instant text messaging.

I particular like the ability to favor quality versus speed, or vice versa, which can be adjusted using a slider setting. More »