Featured Freeware: PaltalkScene

PaltalkScene connects you to a network of video, audio, and text chatting, all unified under one window. It sounds great except for the ads that plague the free version.

PaltalkScene's integration of video, audio, and text chatting unified into one window makes for a strong chatware program that includes a wealth of features.

Parental controls employ a password to change settings or block groups; adult content is hidden by default and all rooms are moderated. Add in the room ratings of G, R, and A, and safe chatting is a cinch. Right-clicking a person's name gives a user-defined amount of personal information, with private room invite and file sending options. Sessions can be printed and saved, and buddy lists from other chat accounts can be automatically imported. Latest updates include screening rooms to share online videos, music feeds from Rhapsody, and multiplayer games in case you get bored talking.

However, the abundance of pop-up ads, which strike even while you're in the middle of joining a room, might motivate users to pay for a subscription or look elsewhere. Free accounts only can open Webcams for a few seconds, while paid users can open multiple video windows. The application crashed when closing, and the system slowdowns were disappointing. Uninstalling Paltalk left an icon on the desktop. Still, the thousands of rooms for politics, karaoke, tech advice, and porn mean that anybody can find a connection on Paltalk.