Platform: Windows XP
Number of downloads: 665
CUworld is the latest incarnation of CUseeMe, the service that kicked off the whole video-chat craze a few years ago. The current version claims to be easier and faster than ever before.
In practice, the CUworld set-up is a little more complicated than that of other video-chat programs. Unlike others, CUworld encourages you to install the software online as part of the registration process. However, we recommend right-clicking the Install Now link and selecting 'Save As' to download the set-up program to your hard disk first.
Once you have finished registering with the site, you'll find two new applications in your program list. Web Endpoint allows you to check that all your hardware (webcam, soundcard, microphone, etc.) is working correctly, and offers the option to tweak various settings. However, the only help available is based online at the CUworld website.
The other program is the point from which you log onto the service, and lists your CUpals (fellow CUworld chatters) and CUcreeps (CUworld users you'd rather avoid). You can communicate directly with your friends using this application but most of the video-chatting actually takes place at the CUworld site itself.
CUworld claims to have more bandwidth and faster video, but in our tests the software seemed to hang and occasionally crash - even on a broadband connection. Also, many of the public chat rooms were very thinly populated when we experimented with the service.
Note: As mentioned, you will need to register with the website before you will be able to download the software.