by Tina Gasperson

Video chatting is a fun and easy way to keep in touch with people too far away to visit often. Grandparents love to use this method to “see” their grandchildren and interact with them remotely. Sometimes parents who have to work long hours set up video cams with sound at home to feel closer to their family. Others use video chatting as just the latest way to “do” chatting – instead of typing your conversation and reading the responses, you just speak and watch.

To start video chatting, naturally, you’ll need a computer with a broadband Internet connection – DSL, cable, or FIOS. Dial-up connections are too slow to have a Jetsons-style video chat. Make sure you purchase a Web cam that has a built in microphone, as this makes the entire setup process much easier. Microsoft’s Lifecam series of Web cams have built in microphones, are optimized for video chatting, and are reasonably priced. Or search Google Shopping to find a full range of web cams to suit your needs.
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Disable Windows Messenger

in privacy & security

You can disable, or perhaps even uninstall, Microsoft’s Windows Messenger if you’re worried about vulnerability to viruses and other malware.

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