Webcam reviews: FAQs
What does a webcam do?
Webcams send moving images of you to another webcam-equipped computer via the web. Easy and cheap, it makes for an effective way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones overseas.
Just as when you're chatting on the phone, both you and the person you are talking to need a phone, and a connection, the same is true for webcams.
So, if you want to wave at distant relatives, and have them wave back, you'll both need to invest in a webcam. We've tested thirteen, ranging in price from just £25 to £99.
How do I connect a webcam?
You need to place your webcam at around eye level, and an arm’s length from your face to ensure that people aren't squinting to see you or staring up your nose.
Cameras clip or rest on top of your PC and the majority of those we tested were a snug fit. Only the Sweex and the Logitech QuickCam Sphere won't clip to a flat panel monitor, the latter extends on a stalk from its flat base on the desktop.
All the webcams on test connect via USB, and most via the fast USB 2.0. Most webcam software provides shortcuts to the popular instant messaging services Windows Live! Messenger and Skype and often links to Yahoo! Messenger and AOL’s AIM too. We had no problems getting online and video chatting with any camera.