Video Chat

Video chat allows people to connect over the internet audio and video interaction in real time.

How does video chat work?

The technology behind connecting via video is very simple. It uses the internet to connect two or more people from different locations and allows them to see each other in real time. This can be done using a webcam, which is a small camera that connects to your computer via USB port or wirelessly through Wi-Fi.

Webcams are built into most laptops and desktops these days, but you can also buy external webcams for use with your laptop or desktop if you don’t have one already. Once you have connected your webcam, all you need to do is install an app like Skype on both computers (or mobile devices) and then call the person who has installed Skype on their device as well. You will be able to see each other live on screen simultaneously.

What do I need to video chat?

Video chats are typically conducted via a computer, tablet or smartphone device (also called videophone chatting). A cellular or wifi network connection is needed, of course, as well as a video chat-capable app such as FaceTime and Skype (for one-one or smaller group chats), or an app capable of supporting multipoint (or one-to-many) interaction, such as Google Hangouts.

Videdo chat vs. video calling

The term “video chat” can be used interchangeably with “video calling,” although some people use the latter term when referring specifically to services like Skype or FaceTime. The technology behind video chatting has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the internet became fast enough to support high-quality video calls.

Video chat vs. videoconferencing

While video chatting is often used interchangeably with the term videoconferencing — and there is considerable overlap between the two — in most cases videoconferencing refers to multipoint (3 or more participants) audio and video interaction deployed in a business setting. SaaS communications platforms like Skype or Zoom are used in these cases.

Take a look at this year’s top videoconferencing platforms |

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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