This free desktop video chat app allows you to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world. All you need is an active internet connection, sufficient bandwidth, a webcam, and audio input and output devices (microphone and speaker).
The services shown here are compatible with many platforms, and many are also available as mobile apps. Check the specifications of each product and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Skype is one of the most popular voice and video calling applications. In the mobile market, it is not as popular as WhatsApp and Viber, but it is still a leading tool for free communication on desktop computers.
Skype provides high definition audio and video quality and is often considered the best in terms of picture and sound quality. Video and audio calls are free between Skype users. A paid subscription is required to make voice calls to landlines.
Skype is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop computers, as well as Android and iOS devices. Skype for web works best with Microsoft Edge and the latest version of Chrome.
Google is dead
Google Meet, formerly Google Hangouts Meet, is great for a number of reasons, including the fact that many people can use it right away if they have a Gmail account. A connected Google account makes it easy to sign in and provides access to contacts you’ve already stored in Gmail.
Since it works entirely in a web browser, you don’t need to download anything to run it. The app accesses the webcam and microphone through the Google Meet website and provides HD transmission of both directly in the browser.
As part of Google’s efforts to make business-grade tools available to consumers, you don’t need a commercial subscription to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) to access all of Google Meet’s features. Free users can arrange one-on-one calls for up to 24 hours and group calls for up to 60 minutes. Individual subscribers to Google Workspace can set up individual and group calls for up to 24 hours.
Google Meet is also available as a mobile video chat app for Android and iOS.
Google Meet works best with current versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari.
How to record a zoom meeting
Zoom’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. While it was a widely known and used tool before, it has become a household word in 2020. Used in school, church, business meetings, family reunions, trivia nights, social events, etc., Zoom is now synonymous with video chat.
Its free version can accommodate up to 100 participants, unlimited one-on-one meetings, and group meetings of up to 40 minutes. There are a variety of paid plans to meet the needs of any organization.
You do not need a paid subscription to use Zoom. If someone else is hosting the meeting and inviting you, simply click on the link and follow the instructions in the Zoom invite email.
Desktop Zoom requires macOS 10.9 or later, Windows 10 through 7, and various Linux configurations. There are also Zoom apps for iOS and Android.
If you have a Windows PC, Viber might be the perfect free desktop app for video calling. To use it, simply select a contact from the Viber Only section of your contact list, then use the video button to start the call. It is also available for Mac, Android, and iOS devices. (To use Viber on desktop, you must first create an active account on your mobile device, which then syncs with your desktop).
Viber lets you mute the video whenever you want, mute the call, or even forward the call. It is so similar to a regular phone that it has to be one of the easiest to use apps on this list.
Viber for Desktop works on Windows 10, OSX 10.13 and above. On mobile devices, you will need Android 4.2 or later or iOS 11 or later. Viber also works with Ubuntu 64 and Fedora Linux.
Video call from Facebook
It’s easy to make a video call from Facebook, and there are several ways to do it. When using Facebook on the desktop in the browser, go to the person’s profile page, then select the contact (the phone icon) and choose the video chat. Or select the Messenger icon in the upper right corner, open a conversation with someone, and then select the video chat (camera icon).
If you’re using the Facebook mobile app for iOS or Android, select a contact and tap the phone icon. You go to Messenger, where you click on the video chat. You can also open the Messenger app, create or open a chat, and tap the phone icon > Video chat.
FaceTime provides excellent video and audio quality with an easy-to-use interface. As an Apple product, it’s smooth and easy to use on a Mac running OS X Lion 10.7 or higher, or on an iOS device. The recipient of the call does not need to have FaceTime open to receive a call, but must be logged into the FaceTime app.
Similar to Google Meet, FaceTime lets you search your phone’s contacts to find someone to connect with. If your contacts use FaceTime, it will be displayed on their contacts screen.
The only problem with FaceTime is that it works exclusively on Apple’s operating system and devices, and only with other FaceTime users. So if you are wondering if you can get Facetime for Windows, the answer is no, although iPhone users on iOS 15 or later can include Android users in FaceTime calls.
Discord is a free app that integrates audio and video chat as well as texting features to help groups socialize and connect. Originally created to allow players to meet and collaborate virtually, Discord has evolved into a dedicated, channel-based, real-time communication system.
Discord is free to use and offers a large number of features including unlimited file storage. The paid version, called Discord Nitro, costs $9.99 per month and lets you upload files up to 100MB.
Use Discord in a web browser or download the Discord desktop app for Mac, Windows or Linux. There is also a Discord mobile app for iOS and Android.
Ekiga (formerly GnomeMeeting) is a video calling, instant messaging and softphone application for Linux and Windows desktop computers. It supports HD audio quality and full-screen video with DVD-like quality.
Since the program works like a regular phone, Ekiga also supports mobile SMS (if the service provider allows it), address book and text messages.