best free or cheap video chat
October 21, 2016 12:45 PM   Subscribe

I have a regular video chat with friends. For the last few years we’ve been using Google Hangouts for this purpose, but lately it seems like the quality has gotten worse. We have regular sound/video quality and connectivity issues, to the point where sometimes we just give up. What are our other options for doing this for as little money (and with as little hassle) as possible? There are usually 4-5 of us involved, and a mix of iPhones/laptops/Android devices being used to make the calls.

I'm also interested in any tips on making Google Hangouts work as well as possible for us, if that's the best solution!
posted by juliapangolin to Technology (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I like Tox a lot. I've used it for audio and video with great results in two-person chats.

It supports group chat, but I don't know how well it performs in that regard. Your mileage may vary.

Here's a list of clients. It should work on all the devices you listed. My preferred client is uTox. I run Linux.
posted by mr_bovis at 1:31 PM on October 21, 2016

I've been liking No login required, though there are some benefits to getting a free login, such as reserving a url.
posted by at at 2:04 PM on October 21, 2016

I've been very happy with Zoom. We started using it at work to replace Skype, and I've also begun using it (instead of Google Hangouts) for personal group video calls.
posted by soleiluna at 2:12 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

nthing -- it's always been perfect quality for me. We've had five people on at the same time with no problems.
posted by erst at 3:07 PM on October 21, 2016 has worked really well for me for work and socially
posted by joboe at 12:51 AM on October 22, 2016

I use everyday. It works fine on laptops, but the mobile app uses the battery much faster than other apps.
I've used occasionally, and it works well too.
posted by motdiem2 at 12:42 PM on October 23, 2016 worked great for us tonight. Many thanks!
posted by juliapangolin at 8:08 PM on October 23, 2016

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