VideoPort  (Free to try, $9.95 to buy)

Videoport’s VZOchat shapes up as the ideal application for simple, resource-light instant messaging and video chat. The good news is that it will work smoothly on either broadband or dialup connections. Furthermore, it is compatible with the majority of PCs and webcams, and using it does not need any special skills. VZOchat offers top grade network support so that connections are rock solid even in cases where both users have firewalls. It can even work with SOCKS proxies and HTTPS.

VZOchat also implements the NHP (NAT hole punch) technique, which means direct connections are possible in a raft of network configurations. This software also delivers tip top video quality and has support for video in full-screen mode. There’s also a feature that reduces the noise with low grade USB cams.

Additionally, VZOchat includes the option to record your video chat, subject to the agreement of the person with whom you are chatting.

The software is noteworthy for its inclusion of a proprietary codec for video. This has been designed specially to work wonders with online video chats where the connection is slower.

Newly introduced in the latest version is support for multi-conferencing. Conferences can have as many as 120 participants. Unwanted calls are a menace that the program protects against, and a nifty ban list allows users to block persistent nuisance callers. Associated with this is the flexible, user friendly address book. This shows when contacts are online, and it provides information about users along with a user photo. Last but not least, this software has the option to download different language packs.

Operating System:  Windows 7, Windows 2003, Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008

Limitations:   Creation of group conferences is disabled.

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Last updated May 17, 2014

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