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1Budget Video Conferencing Nine Services for the Value Oriented

WebExOriginally an online meeting and webconferencing tool, WebEx has expanded to include video communications in addition to its online collaboration and meeting capabilities. Probably the most well-known of business video communications services, WebEx offers everything from whiteboarding to text chat to multi-way video chat.Cost: $49 per month per meeting host (or free if you’re not the host)

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Skype As a voice and IM tool, Skype has gained a huge following within the consumer realm, but the addition of video communications has made it the technology of choice for business travelers who want to phone home. And it also makes it usable for face-to-face business meetings. Multi-way video chat is currently not available, so meetings between more than two people are out.Cost: Free within Skype (calling plans are available for dialing out to phone numbers)

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Google Voice & Video Chat Available as a plugin for Gmail, iGoogle and orkut, Google Voice & Video Chat provides video communications capabilities. Multi-way video chat is not available, so as with other consumer products, video calls between more than two people are not possible.Cost: Free

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Windows Live Messenger Seeing as we’ve covered Google, it’s only fair to include Windows Live Messenger in the mix. Microsoft’s popular IM service has featured video chat capabilities for quite some time, but as with other consumer applications, the video communications features are only good for two-way communication and are not suitable for meetings with multiple people.Cost: Free

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HP Virtual Rooms HP Virtual Rooms offers online meeting and collaboration tools for businesses, as well as the ability to do video chat on the desktop. The service provides everything a business needs for real-time online meetings, including whiteboarding, shared presentations and multi-way video chat.Cost: Starts at $12.95 per month for five users

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Dimdim Dimdim provides a webconferencing service that includes voice and video chat, as well as collaboration applications like desktop sharing and the ability to show presentation slides to all involved.Cost: Free for ability to host up to 20 seats in webconference; $25 per month per user (can host up to 50 seats), with additional pricing plans for ability to host more seats

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MegaMeeting Aimed at businesses, MegaMeeting provides webconferencing capabilities in addition to audio and video communications features. It also features screen/application sharing, PowerPoint presentation sharing, remote desktop control and other functions.Cost: Starts at $45 per month for three seats

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Microsoft LiveMeeting Unlike Microsoft’s consumer IM product, LiveMeeting has been specifically designed for businesses. It includes audio and video chat capabilities, as well as the ability to share files and applications.Cost: Starts at $4.50 per month per user (can host up to 250 participants)

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Adobe Acrobat ConnectNow/Connect Pro Formerly Macromedia Breeze, Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro is a Flash-based webconferencing suite that features audio and feature conferencing, whiteboarding, polling and other online meeting features.Cost: Free for meetings up to three participants; Starts at $45 per month (for hosting meetings with up to 100 participants)