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2 VoIP Programs for Great In-Game Chatter

One of the most appealing features of today's games is the capability to converse with other players from your PC in real time using VoIP (short for Voice over Internet Protocol). You may already be familiar with VoIP technology if you use an "Internet telephone" instead of a traditional landline.

Some of today's games have proprietary in-game VoIP support, so you don't have to run another program to chat. However, most gamers have already settled on one of two programs that enable you to chat while playing any game (or, if you like, without playing at all):

  • Ventrilo 3.0: Ventrilo (commonly shortened to Vent) is free for non-business use, and you can freely download either the client (which everyone runs in order to talk) or the server (which provides the host that PCs running the client program can connect to) from the Flagship Industries website.

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  • TeamSpeak 3.0: TeamSpeak is also free for non-profit use, and also works with a client/server system. You can download TeamSpeak client or server from TeamSpeak USA.

If you're itching to run a Ventrilo or TeamSpeak server on your gaming PC, consider using an older PC on your home network as a dedicated VoIP server instead. Because of the processing time and resources needed to host a large chat room server, you're likely to see a significant drop in performance on your gaming PC.

To truly enjoy VoIP conversations while you're playing, you need to invest in a gaming headset, which enables you to keep both hands on your gaming controller and keyboard. These headsets incorporate both full headphones and a microphone, which is activated either by the press of a key or the sound of your voice.

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