Skype has dominated the Internet paid and free audio/video calling/chatting since long time. It has millions of free as well as subscribed users. Recently, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion which is Microsoft’s largest acquisition. New feature of Skype is integration with Facebook video chat. No doubt, Skype is great in providing audio and video quality but if you are free user, the biggest limitation is 2-way video calling. If you want to add a third video call, you need to buy subscription. Now I need a new video calling software but free and ooVoo is great for 6-way free video calling.
I am used to Skype for video calling through my PC. And I am always satisfied with its video and audio capability. The matter is free Skype gives you only two way video calling. Recently, I needed to have a group call because my few clients are abroad and we needed to talk on a very important business issue. I decided to buy Skype credits but before that I thought to google my problem. Of course, Google is solution for your all type of quests. I found ooVoo. I have not used it fully but a bit of my experience with ooVoo is stated below.
Free ooVoo 6-way videos calling is a great feature. It gives you HD video chat with crystal clear voice. You can hardly differentiate between Skype and ooVoo audio video chat at same bandwidth. My Internet connection speed is 24MB/s and on the other side three people were connected between 4MB/s to 8MB/s. On such speed, it felt like they are sitting next to me. One bright feature of this multi-way video chat is there is no time limitation. You can have such chat as long as you can. During the conversation, for while, the chat became sluggish but that was just for a few seconds. It might be because of dropped Internet speed. Remember, you need to have HD webcam to have HD video chat.
Free ooVoo has 5MB file size limitation to send and receive. But this limit is for only one file. It is possible to send group of files, no matter what size of group is. I received over 20 files of almost 40MB as batch. Whenever, I used Skype to transfer file, I could never get over 100KB/s transfer speed but in free ooVoo, the file transfer speed was not less than 500KB/s. This means file transfer speed was 5 times faster than Skype.
One important feature, which I have not used, is if the person, you want to chat with, is off-line, you can simply record your video message and send it through ooVoo. I think Skype does not have this sending off-line video message feature. One feature of desktop sharing is being offered by Skype in free account but ooVoo does not has this feature. If they integrate this feature, it will be more complete. Free ooVoo has one more limitation that you can not create more than one video group call. There are a few more features available in free ooVoo like Text Chat History, Technical Support, Create Your Video Chat Link, Web Video Chat (I have not tested this feature, too), Setting email notification for new video message, etc.
All good companies always take privacy seriously (not like Facebook with complicated privacy settings and every month new privacy settings) and make it sure no body can access private info of their customers. ooVoo gives you complete control over your privacy. You can hide your birthday and gender. You can also hide yourself completely that no one can find you through ooVoo contact search. If you are visible in search, your country will be visible along with the name you have chosen to show. Free ooVoo also shows ads but their is no popup or system tray ad. All ads are inside the ooVoo window. It is of dark layout with white and orange color fonts. This dark layout is bit problem but with such free features, this dark color is acceptable.
ooVoo Mobile Free Video chat, VoIP and IM on your mobile device.
ooVoo on Desktop Download ooVoo on PC or Mac and see up to 6 friends on video chat.
Video Chat Room A simple way to embed a video chat in any website, blog or social network.
HD and High Resolution Video Video calling with spectacular clarity and detail.
Full Screen Mode Enjoy a more focused, engaged meeting experience.
Video Call Recording Create and share instant memories.
Video Messages Send a video greeting to multiple people at once.
Desktop Sharing Make your video conferences more productive when you share your documents or photos.
Phone Calls Phone a mobile or landline.
Manage your Phone Book Save phone numbers in your ooVoo ‘Contacts’.
Add Phone to Video Call Add up to six phones to video calls.
Text Chat Text with up to 12 friends at once.
Send Large Files Send files up to 5 MB each.
Sidebar View Change the size of a video call window.
Invite your Friends You can easily invite your friends to join you on ooVoo.
Find Friends Find people you know or find new friends on ooVoo.
Call Me Button Bring your blog or MySpace page to life with an ooVoo link.
Set Privacy Controls Control who can see or contact you.
Social Networking on ooVoo Connect with your friend, family or colleagues right from within ooVoo.
ooVoo offers three plans available: Free, Premium Monthly and ooVoo Credits. So far, we have talked about ooVoo Free plan. There is complete help and features details available on its website.
Here is a list of mobile devices supported by ooVoo: