One of the many outstanding benefits that Macs offer is the ability to conduct video conferences quickly and easily. Like pretty much everything with the Mac, the built-in iSight camera "just works." For attorneys, the ability to talk face to face with clients, opposing counsel, or even the Court can prove invaluable.
There are several free videoconferencing solutions for Mac users, including:
- iChat :: Because iChat is included with OS X‘s default installation, every Mac has it. It enables you to conversations with up to three other people using chat, audio, and video. GarageBand (part of the iLife suite) enables you to record your conferences and turn them into podcasts.
- QNext :: This multi-platform chat and conferencing application allows users to interact via instant messaging, media sharing, and audio and video chat. It runs on OS X, Windows, Linux, and a variety of mobile devices, and supports videoconferencing between up to four computers. However, each participant must have it installed on his computer/device.
- Tokbox :: This solution runs directly in your browser, via Adobe’s Flash platform. You simply invite the other desired participants to join your conference directly from a web browser, and you will be able to chat with them in a matter of seconds, regardless of what operating system they use.
- Tinychat :: This web-based service "provides dead simple, free to use, video chat rooms that just work.” It uses Flash to allow multiple users to chat via audio, video, and text. Its greatest strength is its simplicity, but it offers little flexibility in the way your videoconference is run.
- Sifonr :: This web-based application also uses Flash to create video chat rooms with an unlimited number of participants. It takes advantage of a feature called peer-assisted networking to allow the participants to share their bandwidth in order to improve the overall quality and efficiency of the service. It also offers peer-to-peer file sharing.
Source: "Five Free Videoconferencing Solutions for Mac Users" by Marco Tabini, published at Macworld.com.