Video calls are a great way to communicate–as long as you’re comfortable having your pretty face on display. Talk to your remote colleagues, clients, friends, and family members face-to-face. Exchange files, leave messages, and engage in text chats, too. ooVoo and Skype let you do these things (and more) for free.
For the most part, you’ll experience great-sounding calls, along with video streaming that’s solid enough for business–and for fun, too, of course. Depending on your bandwidth and on the quality of your camera, your mileage will vary. We tested the latest versions of ooVoo and Skype, and found that Skype’s audio quality and video quality came out slightly ahead.
These voice-over-IP services also let you place calls to landline and cellular numbers, which you pay for. (You can also pay for more advanced features such as multiparty videoconferencing.) You can’t use them to call 911, however.
Video quality has improved over the years. As a result, your video calls will be more productive, but your clothing and background environment may be in full view–that’s something you might want to keep in mind prior to your first videoconference with your boss.