Best Video Chat Programs for Long Distance Relationships

Stay connected during long term relationships with video chat.

Fostering a relationship is hard, especially if you are separated by miles or even time restraints. While there are many great tips for maintaining long distance relationships out there, devoting time to a face-to-face chat is easier than ever with the proliferation of great video chat sites and services available.

Before You Begin on Video Chat

Preparing for your video chat requires a little bit of technical skill and setup, but it can mean the difference between a successful conversation and a flop.

  1. Purchase a webcam, if your computer doesn't have one. A good microphone and set of headphones are also recommended, especially a headset combination of both. Your computer may have a microphone on it and that will often work well enough.
  2. Pull out all your peripheral contents and connect your webcam, microphone and headphones in the appropriate ports.
  3. Ensure not only your computer but your partner's computers meet the system requirements needed to use your chosen video chat site, service or feature.
  4. Set the date with your lady or gentleman.
  5. On "date" night, ensure you are properly lit, grab yourself a drink (or perhaps share the same dinner for two at a distance!) and enjoy.

Your Best Bets for Long Distance Video Chats

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Used with permission. © 2011 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved.

From the parent company of AIM, AV by AOL lends itself well to connecting quickly for everyone from people on online dating sites looking to measure compatibility to the couple engaged in a long distance relationship. Start your video chat, check your webcam and microphone and send the shortened URL to the person you wish to connect with online.

Need Help? Learn how to troubleshoot AV by AOL problems most commonly reported here.

Bonus Tip: Use AV by AOL's text chat function to send flirty notes to each other, or to express things you cannot say out loud when other people may be present.

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Facebook Chat Video Calls

Facebook Chat Video Calls
Facebook © 2012

You are probably already on the Facebook social network, so why not make use of the site's embedded instant messaging client and it's video calling feature? The feature is great for spontaneous moments when you might need to see your partner but are too far away for a visit.

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Another great option for when you want to connect quickly, IMO Now features a no-frills, web browser-based video chat experience. Simply log in to the service, connect your webcam and microphone and share the URL with the man or woman of your dreams. Simple!

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Google Hangouts

Screenshot Courtesy, ©2011 Google

Google Hangouts allows users to connect for free for video chat and even telephone communications. But what makes this a fantastic option for long distance relationships is the fun things you can have together through the app:

  • Drawing with each other using Scoot and Doodle
  • Sharing YouTube videos
  • Challenging each other to online games and more

If you enable Google+ On Air Broadcast, you can automatically record your video chat for future viewing. You might even start your own video blog of your relationship, which can be shared with family, friends and each other on YouTube.

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Nimbuzz is an app (a web messenger) that you can install on your computer, mobile phone, smartphone and tablet PC to make voice calls and video chat. More than 3000 models of mobile devices are supported.