Leap into the vid-chat pond

CamFrog combines video, audio, and text socializing with group chat rooms serving an international community and the deaf to create a true global network of communication.

If you're sick of hopping from one chatware program to another, looking for the perfect mix of video, audio, and text socializing, CamFrog might be what you're looking for.

The chat rooms feature everything from music lessons to sign language to non-English chatting, and integrating video, audio, and text components are a great leap forward for chat communities since a Webcam is not a requirement. Be warned, though: There's also a slew of X-rated chat rooms--this is not a program that kids should use without supervision.

The interface should be familiar to anyone who has used any messaging software. You can create your own chat room and password-protect it, and the Contacts list has a section for favorite rooms and one-click contact adding, user searching, and profile management. New in Version 4 is a redone interface that gets rid of the modular style of the old UI and replaces it with a more standard single window. Unifying the Webcam window, the chat rooms, and the room participants under one title bar kills the clutter that older version of Camfrog created.

However, cautious users should note that the install includes several toolbars and a Weather Channel widget, which you can opt out of. Despite those drawbacks, if you're looking for a well-trafficked video chat program that serves a diverse community, CamFrog is cool place to land.

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