WebRTC is a relatively recent web technology found in Chrome, Firefox & Opera that allows direct peer to peer communication between browsers.
It's still fairly unknown by most, so I thought I'd do a bit of a roundup of sites I'm familiar with.
The two big use cases for me are video/audio chat and file transfer, so we'll address them separately:
Not having to install a program or browser plugin is the main advantage to WebRTC based video chat. The functionality is similar on most sites and involves generating a unique URL to send to your participants.
A few have screen sharing functionality.
Here are the ones that I know of:
- Appear.in - My favourite and most used
- GoTo Meeting Free
- Rabbit - Allows sharing of video and other multimedia with the group in the chat
- Live.Pics.io - Voice chat combined with image slideshow and presentation tools
Sending files directly makes sense when they get large enough. Skip the middlemen (dropbox, gdrive, email) and send the data directly to your destination.
- Sharefest - Been around for a while, with straightforward direct file-sharing
- reep.io - Recently launched site with similar functionality to Sharefest
- ShareDrop - Launched as LAN only file-sharing, but now can handle remote connections
- Secretly Meet - Has file sharing, but the focus is on private chat/communication
- portals.io - Location based file-sharing
Unfortunately as far as I know there isn't a site that allows both video chat and file transfer at the same time yet, but that is functionality I'm eagerly awaiting. As a webdev it would be useful to be able to conduct a video chat meeting and be able to share screenshots or site assets all in one place. For now though you can pick a favourite from each list above and use them separately.
If you know of any more, please send them to me.