Let's Talk: IRC and Internet Phones

People have been chatting using Internet Relay Chat (IRC) since five years before the birth of the Web in 1993. Special software (other than one's browser) is definitely required to use it. IRC was used heavily during the 1991 Gulf War for updates re the fighting, for instance. (See also the IRC Help Page.)

With IRC, you can see more quickly what the other person has typed (versus regular Web-based chat where you have to "refresh" your screen to see new typed words. Some Web chat programs do that for you every fifteen seconds). Like Web chat, you can use IRC to have conversations with many people or with just one other person. Also like Web chat, the general topic for each "channel" is predetermined.

Or perhaps you miss hearing the sound of your friend's voice and you just want to call him (or her) up on your DialPad.com Internet phone. That is, using your computer (with your Internet connection) to make long distance phone calls for free AND without going through the phone company!

Want to see the person you are having this chat with? No problem! Inexpensive video conferencing has also come to the Web with products such as CUSeeMe. You can not only hear the other person's voice but you can see them on live video as well! (Assuming both people have the video camera and special software needed!)

See also Net2Phone for calls at a small fee within the United States. International rates also available.
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Last Modified: 4/3/2000