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Services like Gmail and Skype make it possible for businesses and families to communicate across the globe. The question is, which service is right for you? Find out what features these services offer so that you can make the choice that best suits your needs.
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Google Voice & Video Chat
Google Voice & Video Chat offers many features that will allow you to have face-to-face conversations with friends, family, and colleagues around the world. Installation for computer-to-computer voice or video call involves downloading and installing a plug-in for your computer. In order for Google Voice & Video Chat to work, you will need to have a broadband connection, plus one of the supported standard browsers like Firefox or Internet Explorer.
You are not limited to chatting only with the Gmail client; you can also use iGoogle and Orkut to make or receive calls. Calls made inside the US and Canada are free. International calls require payment.
Google Voice & Video Chat is compatible with the Mac, PC and Linux computer systems. If you have any questions, you may find the answer in Google’s Knowledgebase, which offers answers to many questions you may have about their service.
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Skype has been around for a number of years and offers a wide variety of features for businesses as well as the casual user. Calls are free between Skype users from anywhere in the world, as well as video and IM. Use a Pay As You Go or a subscription to call landline or cell phones. You can even send SMS messages.
If you are busy working on a project and do not have time to answer calls, you can use the call forwarding to transfer the call to your voicemail. You can also use the Caller ID to screen video or regular calls that you do not want to answer.
Skype offers some solid features for businesses in regard to meetings. Users can conduct a group video call and use screen sharing to present ideas to each other.
Casual users can use the video feature for group calls as well, to have a virtual family reunion or a get-together with out-of-state friends, without having to pay for long distance charges.
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Now that you have solid information about what each service has to offer, it is time to make a decision. Google Voice & Chat offers the more basic service for those who are interested in simple video chats, although Google will undoubtedly catch up to Skype to match or outdo its features.
Skype offers a broader service for businesses and casual users. They do not charge for International calls, which makes this service a better option if you have colleagues or relatives who live overseas.
For more information about Google Voice & Video Chat and Skype, please visit their websites by clicking on the links below.