Checking out Camfrog
By Debbie Jones, NVRC Resource and Technology
Editor: Have you heard of Camfrog? It's a video chat program that is
taking the Internet by storm. And come folks claim it's perfect for people
with hearing loss! Here's the story from NVRC's Debbie Jones.
You are free to share this story, but be sure to credit NVRC. See the
note at the end of the article.
We've been hearing interesting things about Camfrog lately, so we
decided to check it out.
Camfrog is a Video Chat program that you can download to your computer.
With a computer, webcam, and high speed internet connection, you can use
Camfrog to chat with other Camfrog users, either one-on-one or in the
chatrooms. You can find it at www.camfrog.com.
There are two versions of Camfrog: Camfrog and Camfrog Pro. Camfrog is
a basic version and is free to download. Camfrog Pro gives you more
features and costs $49.95. This is a one-time fee.
Additional features in Camfrog Pro include:
- Viewing up to 100 video windows in video chat rooms. Camfrog claims that
it is the only webcam software that allows multiple "super fast" video
- The ability to resize video windows to any size.
- Locating what room a user is in.
- Adding text effects to your video windows.
- Sending files to other Pro users.
- Making your IM and chat windows transparent so you can easily see the
video behind them.
- Remotely accessing your webcam from another computer with a password.
- Keeping a history log of video chat rooms, one on one video chats, and
- Dragging your contacts to the desktop to see when your friends come back
from being "away".
- Showing a time log of when you last received an instant message from
Once you've downloaded Camfrog, set up the nickname you want to use,
selected a password and completed a profile, you're ready to chat.
When you log in, you can choose to set your status to Online, Away,
Busy, Invisible, or Privacy. Choosing the Privacy setting allows only
people on your contact list to chat with you.
You can chat one on one with other Camfrog users, either in text chat
or through the video window. You can also go into the chat rooms to meet
people from around the world. A User Directory and and Video Chat Room
List let you find people to talk to and chat rooms to check out.
In the chat rooms, you will see people typing in many different
languages. Some rooms have audio, too, so you can hear and talk to people
using a microphone plugged into your computer, or through a webcam that
combines the camera and microphone.
The user list shows who is in the room, and will give you information
about the users, such as:
- If they have a webcam
- If they are a User, Owner, or Operator
- If they are looking at your video window
- If they have Camfrog Pro
The Owner is the person who created the chat room, and the Operator is
the person who keeps watch on the room to make sure everyone follows the
rules of the room.
By clicking on a user name you can open up their video window, if they
have a webcam. If the icon next to their user name shows green google
eyes, that means they are watching your video window.
From what we've seen, Camfrog is a great opportunity to meet people all
over the world.
The only negative thing we've found is that sometimes people will ask
to chat with you, then ask for inappropriate or sexual things.
If this happens in a one-on-one chat, you can select the button
for"Block" in the chat window, so the person can never IM you again. You
can also give them "Bad Karma" by selecting that button. If a person gets
several Bad Karma clicks, they will not be able to message anyone for a
period of time.
If people use inappropriate language or show inappropriate body parts
on their webcam, the Operators of the room usually handle it pretty
quickly. If you don't think they saw it, you can IM the Operator directly
to report the bad behavior.
Have any of you tried Camfrog? What has your experience been?
(c)2007 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of
Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;
www.nvrc.org. 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. You do
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