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WebCams for Family Conference Calls

Family Ties: Video Conferencing

Last night while I was typing away, I got a pop–up request to accept a video conference call from my cousin in NYC.

As soon as I hit the "accept" key, I saw my cousin, her husband and their precious new baby girl.

We chatted for nearly an hour and showed off our offspring. With 2,600 miles between us and children under 2 years of age, video conferencing is just about the best way for us to watch each other's children grow up. We email pictures, but tonight my lil one blew her kisses. To learn how you can do this,


You need the equipment to partake in virtual meetings, but it is fairly easy to find. If you have a computer with an Internet connection, speakers and a microphone, you just need to add a webcam to your set up. Newer model laptops come equipped with all the above. But most webcams cost upwards of $23.

I, being technologically challenged, would err on the side of caution and ask the experts at Best Buy or Circuit City to show me how to set one up. For those of you who are more confident, check out the selection in the widget below and see if any of these suit your fancy.


Join The Conversation
lms lms 9 years
My husband travels for business all the time. We use Skype when he is away. I use it sometimes with my cousin. I just have to make sure that I look decent when it is anyone but my husband.
redsugar redsugar 9 years
When I had to go out of town for a week, I thought being away from my toddler would be really, really hard. It was hard, BUT we video conferenced every day and it made my days away from my family bearable.
Gruberr1 Gruberr1 9 years
When my son was born, we bought my parents a webcam and started chatting with them every few days. Now, I sometimes set him in front of it during dinner so that they can watch him eat. It is pretty funny - he tries to feed the screen so that they can taste the food! It really has been a lifesaver for us!
Moms Moms 9 years
I love this idea!
katedavis katedavis 9 years
My husband has a MacBook at work and we have an iMac at home so we video chat all day- he loves getting to see our son while he's at work and my son loves seeing his dad. My son is only 9 months and I thought he wouldn't realize it's his dad on the computer but we've been doing this for months and he knows it's his dad.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
People keep asking me to do this, but I have a severe phone phobia, so a webcam one would be even worse. I'd like to do it with my parents, though. But then everyone would expect it.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
We videocam with my mom and stepdad and the kids all the time. I really think it makes a huge difference for them! My kids don't see them any more than they see any other grandparents, but they feel much more comfortable with them - we never have that couple of day getting used to each other period when they come to visit. The only thing is that we use Yahoo messenger to webcam with eachother and using the voice feature on Yahoo seeeeriously slows down the picture. So, we just leave the cell phone on speaker phone and use the web cam.
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