Chat via video, audio, and text with Camfrog

View, chat, and send text messages with this free chat app.

Let's face it: virtual face-to-face conversations with people from Antarctica to Zanzibar make video chat the most intimate form of telecommunications yet. Free video chat apps like Camshare's Camfrog Video Chat let you meet and chat with far-flung friends; there's just no way text messages can substitute for two people actually talking to each other, no matter how many emoticons you use.

While Camfrog is optimized for video chat, it's a full-featured chat client that also handles audio and text messaging, file swapping, and other functions. Camfrog isn't the largest chat network, which isn't necessarily a disadvantage! It offers what the others do, generally speaking, including the ability to create your own password-protected chat rooms. Of course, you'll need a Webcam to use Camfrog's video chat feature. We tried Camfrog in both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.

Installing, registering for, and signing on to Camfrog took just a minute or so. We could sign on to the Camfrog network automatically, save our password, and sign on as invisible, which hides your status from other users. Camfrog's compact interface has a Firefox-style start button (only green instead of orange) that opens a long menu of features and options. Camfrog displayed our screen name with a drop-down menu that let us quickly manage our connection and session. The main view has three tabs: Contacts, Rooms, and Phone/SMS. Camfrog's main features include the main Camfrog room, Video Chat Rooms, Search for Camfrog Users, and Parental Controls. Beneath the main view is a row of icons accessing the Notification List, Video Chat Rooms, Search for Camfrog Users, Send an Instant Message, and Add to Contact List. Users who need more features can click a link to download Camfrog Pro.

Camfrog offers a diverse range of chat rooms covering lots of topics. Online chat can be freewheeling and inappropriate for youngsters, and the problem is critically compounded by video. Camfrog's approach gives parents and other concerned users control over who uses the service, and when, and how. Camfrog Video Chat brings the world to your desktop, and with the greatest of ease.

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