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What is Desktop Videoconferencing?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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Desktop videoconferencing is an innovative option for having meetings. It allows two or more people in different locations to have live interaction using a desktop computer. It can be used to accomplish many tasks such as to conduct business meetings, provide training, or converse with a distant lover in a personal way.

For a person to be able to engage in desktop videoconferencing, there are several things that she will need. To begin, she should have a desktop computer, consisting of a central processing unit (CPU) and a monitor. If her CPU does not have an internal modem, she will need to have an external modem. The modem allows a person to connect to the Internet. Desktop videoconferencing requires Internet access.

This method of communication also requires a camera, which will allow a person to be seen. Having speakers and a microphone will allow for the best desktop videoconferencing session, but these items are not absolutely necessary. The speakers allow one user to hear another. The microphone allows one person to speak to another. If a person does not have these items, then she will have to rely on her keyboard and monitor.

Many of the components needed for desktop videoconferencing may be built in to the desktop computer. Some may accompany the computer although they are not attached. If neither of these cases apply, these items are widely available for sale.

When a person has all of the equipment, desktop videoconferencing is fairly easy. It does not usually require any special user software. The process is usually facilitated by a website that allows people to log in and contact one another. Such websites can allow millions of people to videoconference at the same time without one group’s conversation infringing upon or being revealed to another.

Desktop videoconferencing allows people to mix the mediums they use to communicate. For example, one person may type a message and the other can reply verbally or visually. This method of communication also allows users to perform many of the tasks performed during in-person meetings.

One good example of this is file sharing. If one person has a document or other type of file that another person needs, there are applications that allow for the exchange. There may also be applications that allow telephone conversations to be conducted during the videoconference with parties who are not online.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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