How to Face Talk With a Laptop

by Marissa Robert

Video calls, once exclusively limited to specific telephones, are now available for anyone all over the world on any personal computer. If you want to use your laptop to have a talk face-to-face with someone else, several instant messaging programs also support voice and video calls. Whether your laptop has a webcam built in, or you have an external one, you can video chat with your contacts through several services.

1

Download Windows Live Messenger to make video calls to your contacts. Windows Live Messenger uses your Microsoft Live or Hotmail email account and password to connect you with other people using Microsoft services. You can initiate a video chat from the instant messaging window or directly from your contact list. It is available for free, and works on laptops and other personal computers running Windows.

2

Install Yahoo! Messenger to video chat. Yahoo! Messenger uses your Yahoo! email address and password to open a contact list with your other friends using Yahoo! Messenger. You can initialize a video chat window from an instant messaging conversation. Yahoo! Messenger is available for free and works on personal computers running Windows or Macs.

3

Place video calls over Skype and chat with your contacts around the world. Skype can also call regular phones if you purchase Skype credits. Skype is a cross-platform software package available for free for Windows, Linux and Macs so a laptop running any operating system works. You must sign up for Skype before you can use it. It does not use any of the free email services available online.

4

Chat online with Google Chat, which is available for free and uses your Gmail account signin and password. Anyone on your contact list with a Gmail account is included in your Google Chat buddy list. You can use the Google Chat video plugin in your Gmail account online, or you can download a client that runs on your desktop. Though the Google Chat video plugin works on any operating system, the Google Talk client that you download for your desktop only runs on Windows.

5

Video conference with more than one person using Koowy, a website that runs on a computer with any operating system installed so long as you have a flash plugin installed. It allows you to connect with up to 16 other people over their webcams and microphones. You also have the option to connect with only one other person. Koowy is a service available for free.

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About the Author

Marissa Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English language and literature. She has extensive experience writing marketing campaigns and business handbooks and manuals, as well as doing freelance writing, proofreading and editing. While living in France she translated manuscripts into English. She has published articles on various websites and also periodically maintains two blogs.

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