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Group test: what's the best communications software?

The best communications software you can install

PC Advisor reviews the best communications software you can install.

5. Skype for iPhone

If you're looking for a solid mobile VoIP service for your iPhone, we can easily recommend Skype. Sure, rival services such as Truphone have some features that Skype for iPhone lacks - such as the ability to chat via third-party IM services such as AIM and Yahoo Messenger. But, to us, call quality is what matters. And Skype wins that battle easily.

4. Google Voice

Google Voice has so many features that we've barely scratched the surface of what it can do. Is it worth trying? Absolutely. Since it's free, you've got nothing to lose by giving it a whirl.

3. Laplink Gold for Windows 7

Although Laplink Gold for Windows 7 does an excellent job, there is the question of price - is it worth the £59 price, given the number of free Web services and software that performs similar tasks? LogMeIn, for example, makes it easy to take remote control of one of your computers over a network or the internet, and free service-and-software combos such as Windows Live Sync and SugarSync Free do an excellent job of synchronizing files. If you're looking for an all-in-one solution and are willing to spend some, consider giving Laplink Gold for Windows 7 a try. But you may find that the free services are all that you need.

2. Skype 4

With a VoIP program such as Skype, improved voice and video quality trumps dubious interface changes any day. So we are moving to Skype 4.0. That said, some Skype users might want to skip this upgrade. If you're content with the call quality of your current version of Skype, you're happy with its look and feel, and you'd miss Skype's public chats (the new version doesn't let you add new ones), consider staying with the version you have. And of course there are competing services, such as ooVoo, to consider.

1. Join.me

Join.me is an absolute, cast-iron winner. As a staggeringly simple and effective way to work collaboratively, we've seen nothing better than Join.me.

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