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HARDWARE

Three Low-Cost Video Chat Services

Business-friendly videoconferencing from TokBox, ooVoo, and Skype

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Until recently, online video chat services have been relatively bare-bones, better suited for a call to Grandma than a client. We tried out three services that are upping the ante with business-friendly features such as group chats.

TOKBOX

This service, which supports video chats with up to 20 people, is easy to use and bug free. You can share your screen, tweet invites with a chat link, and send video e-mails to other users. The audio and video were crisp during our tests.
COST: Free for basic chats; $9.99 a month and up for more features

OOVOO

ooVoo's business plan supports video chats with up to six people. It lets you share your screen, tweet invites, and record videoconferences. We liked the slick design and high-quality audio and video, but the interface was a bit confusing.
COST: Ranges from free for two-way chats to $39.95 a month per user for the business plan

SKYPE 5.0

The beta version of Skype 5.0, currently available only for PCs, allows video chats with up to five people. You can share your screen during calls and record videos using an add-on. Skype had the fewest dropped connections and smoothest calls during our test, but, like ooVoo, it was a bit confusing.
COST: Free

IMAGE: Monitor: Corbis; Mouth: Getty
Last updated: Jul 1, 2010

JOHN BRANDON is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.
@jmbrandonbb




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