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AnyMeeting

An impressive and user-friendly Web conferencing service that's accessible via a Web browser, so no downloads required. AnyMeeting's free package allows you to set up and host an online video conference with up to six users talking simultaneously (although up to 200 "participants" can still access the meeting). The service is supported via small advertising messages but these can be removed for a small monthly fee. Features include: video and audio, conference recording, social features, text chat, and more.

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Chatango

A great service for creating a free chat room, either for private one-on-one chat, or to add extra functionality to a Web page. Chatango has a surprising range of features, from user blocking and private chat, to chat history logs, group chat, and message alert sounds. There's also a useful function to limit contact from strangers. An additional tool called Message Catcher can be used to chat when your Web browser is closed.

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phpFreeChat

A free and customisable chat room, perhaps most suitable for webmasters or users knowledgeable with basic Web site management. phpFreeChat is easy to install, reliable, and supports private messenging, multi-rooms, emoticons, plus customisable CSS style sheets.

Chatzy

Chatzy is a new free and simple chat service with no installation procedure. Using this service, you can create your own chat room and invite people to join you instantly by e-mail. On most chat sites, you can only enter public chat rooms, or you need to use ports not available from behind a firewall. Chatzy is different and possibly the simplest chat site available on the Internet.

Paltalk

A live voice and video chat community featuring a free program called PaltalkScene, which allows you to chat with others using webcams and microphones. The service includes thousands of chat rooms on virtually any topic imaginable, so you're bound to find a room to participate in. Paltalk also has an instant messaging component that allows you to hook up to AIM, Yahoo!, MSN and ICQ users. Functions on Windows, Apple Mac, Android and iOS (for iPhone/iPad).

Zippy Chat

A nice and simple chat service, allowing users to create a completely free chat room on the fly and with minimal effort. Zippy Chat is the fastest chat provider we've seen so far and better still, you can access your chat room via a unique Web address and share this with friends and family. Zippy Chat is advert-supported.

FreeJavaChat.com

Offers free chat rooms to add to your Web site. FreeJavaChat.com is able to provide a completely free service with no banner adverts or other annoying gimmicks. You can use mIRC or the Java chat applet in any Web browser, plus users can take advantage of private messaging, IRC commands, a "simple mode", etc. This service also includes various other features.

Just Chat

A popular free chat room community aimed at adults. A number of traditional chat rooms are available, each holding up to 200 chatters at any one time. Their message boards are also great place to talk about current affairs, politics, sport, etc. A unique point about Just Chat is that you don't even have to register (just select a room and away you go).

Bravenet Chat Rooms

If you've ever wanted to add a chat room to your site, offer live customer support, or simply establish an online meeting place for friends, check out Bravenet's free chat room offering. They provide one of the best free chat services we've seen with the ability to customise the "chat launch" page to match the look and feel of your site. Please note: users will require a Java-enabled Web browser to access this service.

FreeChatCode.com

Offers a free Java chat room service, ideal for increasing the "stickiness" of your Web site. The chat room provided here is easy to customise with your existing site and allows an unlimited number of users, with the additional option for private chat. The service also provides a language filter, password protection, sound alerts and the ability to save chat transcripts. FreeChatCode.com is advert supported.

ParaChat

Want to add a chat room to your Web site? ParaChat's "free" package provides a feature-rich, remotely hosted Java chat room service, allowing for real-time interaction. As a Webmaster, you can cutomise the colour and language of the chat room, and also integrate the embedded applet seamlessly into your site's page. For creating user appeal and repeat visits, ParaChat is an excellent tool. The service is advert supported.

AddonChat

The "free" edition of AddonChat offers a free, basic and advert supported chat room, which is easily integrated into your site's pages with a snippet of HTML code. A direct link is also provided to each chat room, so even if you don't own a site, you and your friends can still utilise the room. A number of features are offered, including: private messaging, control panel, multiple language support, user ignore feature and profanity filters.

Freeola Chat

A free chat community that's based around a series of message boards. Freeola Chat is a fun place to talk about games, gossip, films, life and more. By participating in the discussions, visitors have a chance of being singled out to win £30 worth of Argos or Amazon vouchers. If you're feeling creative, you can even start your own forum, and take charge with moderation privileges.