Is there a free video conferencing program like Skype for multiple people to converse from different locations with their pictures or better video feeds on the screen at one time? Playing the odds, Windows-based would be important and compatible with modern desktops or laptops.

  • Is there a reason that Skype is not a candidate? Dec 15, 2014 at 21:49
  • Just looking for an alternative. Dec 15, 2014 at 21:50
  • Is it for personal or business use? Some software are only free for individuals
    – Tymric
    Dec 16, 2014 at 8:42
  • Personal is fine business would be great in the future but not required here thanks for asking that Dec 16, 2014 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


Many people have Gmail/Google+ accounts these days, so Google Hangouts video calls may be what you are after.

You can initiate video chat with up to 9 other users, and all user's videos are shown on-screen, with one primarily focused and all others as smaller images, and you can select different videos to make them the focus (please note it has been over a year since I have used it and the interface may have changed slightly in this regard).

Hangouts video calls allow you to connect directly from either Gmail or Google+ in modern versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari and as such users on most OSes can join (not just Windows) simply by installing a browser extension/plugin. There is also an Android and iOS app which allows mobile users to join your video call.

You can also share your screen to other users in a video Hangout which can be useful, and can even invite users to the call via phone (they can't see or broadcast video, but take part as if they were in a standard conference call) although I have never actually used this functionality so can't really comment too much on it.

From the times I have used Hangouts to participate in video calls I can say that the video and frame rate was acceptable (I don't remember it being amazingly good, or terribly bad, but there is a HD option available) and sound quality is also quite good, although the only calls I have made with Hangouts have been to locations physically within a hundred kilometres of my location, so really can't comment on the effects of distance (if there are any) on the video or sound quality.

  • Did not realize it could do screen sharing that is really nice Dec 16, 2014 at 12:44

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