InSpeak - The Voice Chat Communicator is the freeware version of inSpeak's premium chat app. It's got a lot going for it, including good audio quality for voice communications, decent security, and an emphasis on customer support, even for free members. The freeware also offers other features from the paid nickname version, though with some limitations. For example, you can view up to six Webcams, use handwriting in messages, add up to 1,000 contacts, display a colorful icon, customize your space, create rooms, and more. It helps to have someone to chat with, though, and inSpeak has fewer members than other communities. You'll need a microphone to use inSpeak's voice chat.
As with most chat apps, we had to register to use inSpeak, including creating a nickname and providing various user details. You must provide a valid e-mail address to activate inSpeak and receive a password, though you can (and should) update your account with a new, secure, and memorable password. Once we'd logged on, inSpeak displayed its compact chat interface as well as the inSpeak Notifier, which offered startup guides as well as access to the Options on the Tools menu, and a helpful Welcome screen. Speaking of options, inSpeak's got 'em: the Options sheet has no fewer than 17 tabs, from General Settings to System Information, and they configure everything from Chat Preferences to the Auto Greeter. Anyone who has used a full-featured chat bundle will find much familiar about inSpeak, both in setting it up and using it. We clicked Audio Setup and used the simple Audio Test feature to verify our system's sound settings, which we could open directly from inSpeak's Options, a helpful touch. The Video Setup tab let us configure our Webcam, including an option to change our inSpeak status from Available to Away when our Webcam is active, preserving privacy by preventing unwarranted underwear exposure (we're just saying).
Other inSpeak members' experiences mirrored ours: the free app and services have a lot to offer, they just wish it included someone to talk to. But anyone looking for an alternative to some big chat apps (with some big chat app issues) certainly ought to check out inSpeak.