Live webcam chat, also known as live video chat, or video conferencing, is the hip thing on the dating and social networking scene right now. After all, what's better than to see each other while chatting or instant messaging, and without leaving your home and in real-time?

This article explains how to webcam chat on internet, and what you need to get started.

Basically, you can webcam chat in two ways:

1) by audio or,

2) by text. When you video chat by audio, your can see and hear each other. By text, you type in the messages, but you still can see each other on your computer screens.

Before getting started in live webcam chatting there are a few things you will need. These are:

1. A computer with a later version Windows such as XP or Vista. Older versions may not support this relatively new form of communication.

2. A high speed internet connection (think DSL, broadband, cable, T1, Fiber Optics etc.): A dial-up connection is not be practical due to lugging issues.

3. Webcam: This is a web camera, popularly known as a webcam or cam for short. Some computers already come with an in-built webcam. Webcams are relatively inexpensive.

4. Software: Your webcam will typically come with a disk that installs the necessary software in your computer. This is as easy as plugging the disk into your CD drive and following the instructions. The software interprets and uploads images to be accessed through the Internet.

5. A web server: This is also referred to as a webcam chat room. It is, basically, a host site that facilitates the communication. The server must be robust enough to handle the video load which can easily cause an ordinary server to crush.

Of the above, perhaps the most difficult to decide on is the server. Typically, you and your chat friend(s) must all use the same company. The important thing here is to know why you want to chat. Do you simply want to connect with friends or relatives? Do you want to find a date? Or do your interests lean toward the risqué? If you just want to chat with friends or relatives, then you can use one of the popular Internet services (Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, etc.) or a social networking site (MySpace.com, for example).