6 of the best online video chat systems

In one click, you can hold a web conference without having to install any Java clients or complicated software. For mobile users, that's important because we are always in a hurry to set up our laptop quickly and start being productive. No one likes to install software first before you can start discussing that new marketing proposal with the home office in Holland.

Vyew also supports Firefox (including the latest version 3.0) and Internet Explorer, runs fast and without any bugs, and helps you collaborate smoothly.

Vyew is free for 20 users with ads, but to host more participants without as many ads, you have to pay about £5 per month, including VAT. Also, customisation add-ons such as a private URL cost about £5.

6. Twiddla
Similar to Vyew, Twiddla is a bit more streamlined for online collaboration, in that it is mainly just a whiteboard. You can draw objects, chat in an instant messaging client online, and even talk to participants using an audio streaming component. But the most impressive feature is that you can browse to websites and then mark them up and discuss them with meeting participants.

There's also no registration process and sign-up to speak of – you can start a meeting with one click, invite people to attend, hold the meeting, browse sites, and then close the meeting without ever having given your name or email address to anyone.

This incognito aspect of using Twiddla makes it one of the best Web 2.0 sites we've used and, while Vyew is more powerful, Twiddla is a boon for mobile users short on time but burdened with work. Of course, you can also register (still for free) and host private meetings and schedule online appointments or even hold recurring meetings, if you decided not to be anonymous.


First published in What Laptop, Issue 119

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