How to Video Chat

by Contributor

The ever expanding world of technology has now made it possible for us to online video chat with friends, family and relatives all over the world. We are so interconnected now that a husband on business in Australia can view his new born son in America. Here are a few tips on how to online video chat.

Purchase a web cam. Some computers, mainly laptops, already have a web cam installed. If that's the case, initialize the software on your hard drive to activate the web cam. If not, go to your local electronics store and purchase a web cam compatible with your system. If you are not sure which one to purchase, check with the sales associate. By providing your model number he should be able to sell you the correct piece of equipment.

Install your new web cam. Before you can online video chat, you'll need to install your new web cam. Usually your computer will recognize the new hardware the moment you plug it in (probably to a USB port). From there, place the disk in your hard drive and load the software onto your system. Again your computer should walk you through the steps of this process.

Download software. Much as you have a phone company which connects your calls, you will need to find a service provider to connect your video chat. But the good news is, it's usually free! Sites like MSN Messenger get revenue from advertisers, not the subscriber. They will welcome you for free so they can demonstrate to their advertisers how many people they have signed up. If a site is asking for payment, search for others unless they are offering an additional service that you or your business require.

Spread the word. Now that you've downloaded the correct software so that you can have an online video chat, spread the words to your friends and family. You usually must all use the same connection company. As each of your friends and family sign up, add them to your "friends" or "buddy" list. Then next time they sign on, you'll receive an icon informing you of that information.

Call them! Different video chats work different ways, but usually there is a simple button to press on your video chat application once it is open. It will then "dial" your friend or family member and within minutes you'll be connected! You'll be able to say hello halfway around the world!!


  • check Synchronize your software. Usually there is a video and audio tutorial on your software. Take the time to work through this interface. It may seem tedious, but it will help solve connectivity problems before you begin!


  • close If you have children, be sure to monitor their usage of online video chatting. There are predatory users who may try and take advantage of children in certain chat rooms. If this happens, call the authorities immediately.