VoIP software that lets video game enthusiasts chat with ease
TeamSpeak is an application for communication by voice over the Internet using a chat-room style interface. It uses voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology to connect average users together across different peer-to-peer servers. TeamSpeak is used across many different industries today for everything from corporate meetings between people hundreds of miles apart to distance learning at online colleges. The main use by far, however, is as a way to connect gamers in real-time. TeamSpeak originally developed before games and gaming systems commonly include voice chat options. The target audience of gamers has helped to shape many of the features and characteristics of TeamSpeak over the years.
TeamSpeak is free to download and use as long as it is not part of a for-profit business. Average users can have up to 32 people in a room all talking at once through the application. Gamers and non-profit organizations can have up to 512 people using the service for free. Anyone who wants to use TeamSpeak as part of a commercial service or with a for-profit business needs to operate or lease a private server running the software. The large majority of users do not pay anything to use TeamSpeak.
One of the first things users will notice is the simple and sometimes confusing interface. The interface is made up of only three panels although the amount of information presented can be a little confusing especially for first-time users. There is a panel showing all available rooms on the server, a general information panel and a chat panel on the bottom for text messages. Users simply select a room and can then start talking. Some rooms are password protected while others are completely open. The servers are run by individual people or companies. It is possible to talk in several different servers at once under the newest version of TeamSpeak.
One of the main draws of TeamSpeak is that it is optimized for the best sound quality while using the lowest bandwidth possible. This prevents TeamSpeak from interfering with real-time games and applications. Sound quality is sharp. TeamSpeak also includes a number of filters that attempt to improve quality by removing echoes and dampening background noises. The filters do not always work especially when playing loud games with many ambient sounds. TeamSpeak has hands-free options for talking and the ability to work with modern gaming headsets. A drawback is that TeamSpeak is proprietary and will not interface with other types of VoIP software.
TeamSpeak has a large number of customization options available. Users can switch skins to overhaul the entire appearance of the application. It is possible to increase security, reduce bandwidth usage and adjust basic audio properties all through a series of menus. TeamSpeak includes gamer-specific features like being able to mark enemies who might be trying to listen to private strategies sessions while playing online. TeamSpeak does take some time to get used to using. It is still one of the most popular options for gamers and has exceptional sound quality.
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