As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of t... See Full Bio

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Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet. We know that a lot of people don't like the app. We agree that it still needs a lot of work. However, there are so many people that use Facebook that Facebook Messenger just makes sense. The video chat experience works relatively well. Since most of the people you know are on Facebook, it's easier to use this app than to convince everyone to join a new platform. Plus, the new ads rolling out aren't great. It's not perfect, but it's perhaps the most convenient of the video chat apps on this list. At least it's free.
Michael Muchmore is PC Magazine's lead analyst for software and web applications. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine's coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies. Michael cowrote one of the first overviews of web services for a general audience. Before that he worked on PC Magazine's S... See Full Bio

Wired doorbells draw power from two wires that are connected to a transformer that steps down your household power to between 16 to 24 volts. If your home is not equipped with doorbell wiring you can wire it yourself using a plug-in transformer, or have an electrician do the work for you. Either way, some drilling will be required to run wires from the inside of your home to an exterior location.

Many home security systems offer video doorbells as add-on components, but these devices typically do not work on their own and must be connected to a system hub. However, they usually interact with other system components such as door locks, sirens, and lighting. If you want a standalone smart doorbell that will work with other smart devices in your home, look for one that supports the IFTTT (If This Then That) internet service. With IFTTT you can easily create mini programs, called applets, that let IFTTT-enabled devices interact with each other. For example, you can create an applet that tells a Wemo Smart Switch to turn on when a Ring Doorbell is pressed, or have a D-Link siren sound when an August Doorbell Cam senses motion.
CutStory is a video editing app for Instagram stories. It makes it easy to chop a longer video up into the required length for Instagram Stories (15 seconds maximum per clip). This way, you can repurpose longer videos—from your brand’s YouTube library, for example—and create more robust content without having to continually stop and start the camera.
Google Duo is essentially Google's answer to FaceTime. It's also one of the most simple video chat apps available. You simply log in, verify your number, and you're good to go. You can video call other Google Duo users like you're making a normal phone call. It also includes a feature called Knock Knock that lets you see what someone is up to before you answer the video call. The app is cross-platform. That means it works between iOS and Android. Rumor is that a web version is coming for computer support eventually. This is about as easy as it gets for video calling apps. It's really very good.

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