Instant messaging tools are very useful for keeping in touch with friends and family, and the likes of Skype have also found their way into the workplace. The ability to communicate with colleagues and contacts around the world can be a great productivity boost and a massive help to business. TeamTalk is a free conferencing system which includes a chat component to it, but there is a great deal more to be found as well.

As you would expect of any communication tool you can use TeamTalk to send text based messages to other users, and there is also the option of using a web cam and microphone to conduct video and voice chats. Unlike other chat tools, TeamTalk includes the option of recording conversations so you can play them back at a later time. In corporate environments, the program can be used on used on a LAN to keep workers connected to each other, but it can also be used over the web to connect to people further afield.

But this is not just a program about chatting. It can also be used to share files, but more than this, it can also be used to share applications for the purposes of collaborative work or giving online demonstrations to large groups of people. There are no limitations on which applications can be shared in this way and anyone hosting a conference call is afforded full control over sessions. You’ll also find helpful accessibility options that make the program easier for those with visual problems to use.

When installing the software you can choose between setting it up as a client, server, or both. For the greatest flexibility, it makes sense to install it in both client and server mode as this means that the program will be ready to use no matter how you decide to work with it. This is a great alternative to the likes of Skype and the accessibility options open it up to an even wider audience who can then take advantage of this handy means of communication.

TeamTalk 5.0 new features:

- WebM video codec replaces Theora - OPUS audio codec replaces CELT
- Separate stream for multimedia files
- User rights now part of user account (instead of server properties)
- Audio codec bitrate limit moved to user account
- Max number of channels 4000
- Max number of users 1000
- Removed P2P support
- Rename channel names
- No voice activation channel type
- Added -pid-file option to server
- Automatic gain control enabled by default
- Classroom free-for-all stored in server's config file
- Default server config file now tt5srv.xml and log file tt5srv.log
- Daemon startup script for Debian Linux
- Server statistics for "users served", "users peak" and "uptime"
- Console server included with Windows-distribution
- Refresh sound devices for Classic client
- No recording allowed channel type
- Packetloss statistics in Classic client
- Option in Classic client to disable VU-meter
- Classic client now uses default screen-reader text-to-speech
- AGC, denoise and echo cancellation for stereo codecs
- Czech language file for Classic client


Not the best looking program available, but one that gets the job done and goes far beyond the capabilities of many other comparable tools.