Free Chat at 321Chat.Com

Best Chat Software For A Website

Published: / Updated: March 8th, 2017

We've reviewed most chat room software packages and scripts that allow you to add a chat to your site. Here you can compare price structure, software language, support for hosting and see if the software is actively being improved.

Chat Software Feature Table

Features of chat software packages
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
123 Flash Chat
Flash Coms
RumbleTalk
ChatWing
Chat Blazer
AVChat
CamCom
Just Blab
phpFreeChat
eStream
DigiChat        
ParaChat

Our Rankings:

Chat Software Basics:

What you need to know to run a chat site
  • "Media Servers" - Most good Webcam chats require them and it is something you will need to pay for.
    WebRTC, Red5, Wowza & AMS are the most popular. But some chats like CamComsChat and RumbleTalk use P2P protocols to allow 1:1 webcams without a media server.
  • Learn about types of chats: PHP, Java, Flash, IRC, HTML chats.
  • The younger your demographic and larger your site, the more concerned you need to be about security.
    DDoS attacks bring down websites and teen and young-adults tend to cause the most problems. If this is your target demographic, invest in DDoS protection
  • Mobile Is important: No longer can mobile traffic be an afterthought.
  • Chats are not cash cows, for many large chat sites, it's simply not worth the headache. Read our article: Where have all the chat rooms gone?

321Chat.Com is currently using 123FlashChat but the continuing need to patch the software is making us weight our options. We are looking at software packages on this page as well as a privately developed option which should be available to us in the near future. Our two biggest concerns are security and scalability which must be in balance with its aesthetic and mobile readiness.

Chat Software Reviews

123 Flash Chat

 

123 Flash Chat Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
123 Flash Chat

Up Arrow 123FlashChat.Com (Closed) But The Software Lives On

123 Flash Chat closed in October 2016. It was and may still well be the most popular chat software package used by webmasters. While there is no longer any official support for this application, Webmaster who purchased licensed versions of the chat still have full access to its use. This means you can probably find the software available for download but more likely you are going to want to rent its use from a larger chat site because of known exploits in the software which must be patched.

Because some the software code has been obfuscated it is impossible to make some changes and difficult to make others. You can replace the default Avatars but can not add extras. With some work you can add extra Emojis but its easier to replace what is there.

The HTML5 version of the software allows users to type in the chat room and private message with anyone. Unfortunately, as is the case with many mobile chats, you can-not use your mobile device's camera.

Chat Exploits & Hacks

While 123flashchat.com was still a functioning company there were several exploit or "hacks" that allowed people to redirect users to other websites and gain access to some administrative privileges. Since 123 Flash Chat's closing more have been discovered and only a few websites have continued to patch the software and kept it as a viable option for people who want to run a chat site.

    Pros

  • Best desktop chat
  • Webcams broadcast 1:many & 1:1
  • Can handle over 1000+ concurrent users
  • Many administrative powers

    Cons

  • No 123FlashChat support for hacks & exploits
  • Limited modifications - Emojis/Avatars
  • No mobile webcams:

123 Flash Chat Review:

123 Flash chat is one of the best desktop chat around... IF the company providing you access to the software is capable of patching both existing and future exploits. The HTML5 version makes it mobile friendly but there are better options if mobile is your primary audience or if providing webcam access to them is important. There are a number of cons to using 123FlashChat and the biggest is its need to be patched but it has proven to be a work horse and has no problem operating with well over 1000 concurrent users.

FlashComs

 

Flash Coms Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
FlashComs

Up Arrow FlashComs.Com

FlashComs is very much like 123 Flash Chat. It has a beautiful user interface. Allows webcams to be streamed to the entire room or to individuals. The chat works just about perfectly on desktop and there are many features and profile settings that make this a very attractive platform.

The one thing we knock them for is not fully recoding their software to run as a HTML5 webpage. With the web moving towards HTML5 and away from Flash™ applications (due to compatibility issues), FlashComs should have taken note from 123FlashChat and made a fully functional HTML5 version of their software. What they have for mobile devices, is a scaled back version of their chat.

    Pros

  • Can handle 100s of chatters
  • Great looking interface
  • Willing to customize anything (for a price)

    Cons

  • Flash software is not ideal.
  • HTML5 is a light version for mobile
  • No Webcams on mobile


FlashComs Chat Review:

FlashComs is a great chat option, we give it stellar marks for its desktop chat but were less impressed with its mobile platform. We're unsure why it has not taken over as the natural successor to 123 Flash Chat. 321Chat.Com is not using them purly because their desktop chat is Flash™ based.

Pricing | Demo

Rumble Talk

 

Rumble Talk Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
RumbleTalk

Up Arrow RumbleTalk.Com

RumbleTalk is a HTML5 based chat that offers a great interface with many features, including 1:1 webcam chat with anyone in the room (In Beta). Like ChatWing, RumbleTalk is an excellent mobile option and their decision to integrate webcams give them the clear advantage with desktop users.

We also like how social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are integrated. Not only can people login with their social accounts but they can easily and conveniently share posts and invite friends.

One thing we didn't like was that only one private messages can be viewed on the screen at a time. Multiple private message windows can be open but there is no option to resize them so you only get to see one message at a time. Probably a good thing for mobile but not so great for desktop.

 

    Cons

  • No 1:Many Broadcasting of Webcams
  • View PMs One At A Time



Rumble Talk Review:

Rumble Talk should be a top option when selecting a chat for your website. They have a great mobile platform and their integration of webcams improves the desktop experience. We like this chat product in many ways and just wish they would offer media-server hosting and allow 1:many video connections.

Pricing | Demo

ChatWing

 

Chat Wing Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
ChatWing

Up Arrow ChatWing.Com - Excellent on Mobile

Chat Wing has been around since about 2003 working hard to build a responsive, mobile ready chat platform with custom App development and distribution. We like this company a lot. ChatWing has developers working to stay ahead of the curve rather than waiting for something to go wrong. Chatwing has all the features you'd expect from a quality chat site except for one glaring omission... No webcams. We understand it costs bandwidth / money to host and broadcast live cams to an entire room but a chat without webcams on a desktop computer is a bit of a let down.

Free to Reasonably Priced

ChatWing offers a great service at a low price and free is a great place to start. "Lite Chatbox" is their free option that allows unlimited users! Webmasters can upgrade for additional features like social login, customization and branding options. The first paid option starts at about $11 and the price differential between ChatWing and its competitors only grows with additional features and room size.

Strong on Mobile

Mobile is where ChatWing thrives. The room looks great on all phone and tablet displays. Avatars are reasonably sized and text is clear and easy to read. Features like font color, user list, emojis and file transfer options are tucked away yet accessible.

You Get an APP!

ChatWing is the only company we have seen that allows you to have your own branded chat pap ready for The App Store and Google Play. You can even monetize it with In-App Purchases. Upload you're own logo set your title and description and you're good to go.

    Pros

  • Strong Mobile Design
  • Custom App Development

    Cons

  • No Webcams



Chat Wing Review:

ChatWing feels more like an amazing mobile chat App than a chat site for desktop users. The minimalist design allows the chat run smoothly and keeps the screen nu-ubstructed by tools and options that are rarely used. However desktop chatters expect webcams in some form. Ideally you would want the ability to broadcast your cam to the entire room. Alternatively you should be able to have 1 on 1 cam sessions.

Pricing | Demo (You Have to Register)

Chat Blazer

 

Chat Blazer Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
Chat Blazer

Up Arrow ChatBlazer.Com

Chat Blazer checks almost all the buttons. It looks great, is mobile ready and offers webcam capability for desktop users. The only real criticism is that you're starting at $120/month for a webcam enabled chat. If you have a popular and profitable site this site is worth a look but might be a bit much for a new site or one with limited funds..

    Pros

  • Well Designed
  • Works Well on mobile
  • 1:1 Webcams

    Cons

  • No 1:Many Broadcasting of Webcams
  • Pricey



Chat Blazer Review:

Chat Blazer offers a quality chat site with tuns of features. It is well designed and maintained. Unfortunately we have never seen a website with a significant number of chatters using Chat Blazer which makes us wonder if it's the price or it's capability holding it back.

Pricing | Demo | Features

AV Chat

 

AVchat Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
AVchat.net

Up Arrow AVChat.Net

AVChat is a Flash™ based chat software that is well designed and actively worked on. Recently AVChat added mobile support to their room; something all Flash chats should but do not offer. They also seem to be checking all the boxes on chat room features: Emoticons/Emojis, file sharing, report users, video posts, record video streams, unlimited group video chat, and social media integration. There is even a Pay Per View (PPV) add-on which allows you to make money.

    Pros

  • Webcams 1:1 & 1:many
  • Extra features available such as (gifts)
  • Actively Worked on

    Cons

  • Have not seen it under have use




AVChat Review:

We love AVchat. It has a tun of features, offers webcams in multiple formats and is mobile friendly. We even like the 1 time payment pricing structure. We just wish it had a full feature HTML version and that we could see it with a heavy user load.

Pricing | Demo

CamComChat

 

CamCom Chat Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
CamCom

Up Arrow CamComChat.Com

CamCom Chat is good chat at an excellent value. It uses Flash, PHP and a peer to peer transfer protocol to offer a great desktop chat experience. CamComChat offers Webmasters the ability to add a webcam chat to their site without paying a monthly bill for the hosting of a media-server; this is how CamComs stands out from its competitors. However its dependence on Flash™ means it can not work for anyone on a mobile device. Perhaps they will add a fall-back option in the future but it likely would not include webcam capability.

CamComChat offers several additional add-ons including a Pay Per Minute package that allows you to charge users for cam time. This could be used for customer support, consultations or private 1:1 video chats. The money is deposited directly into your PayPal account.

    Pros

  • Webcams Without a Media Server
  • Nice user interface
  • 1:1 Webcams
  • Money Making Add-Ons

    Cons

  • No 1:Many Broadcasting of Webcams
  • No Fall-back to accommodate mobile




CamCom Chat Review:

Aside from not offering 1:many webcams CamCom Chat has a lot to offer a desktop chatter. But we would like to see them add an HTML option to allow mobile access.

Pricing | Demo

Blab!

 

Blab Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
BlaB!

Up Arrow JustBlab.Com

BlaB! is a free PHP and AJAX chat that use a database like MySQL, SQLite or PostgreSQL. BlaB! which used to go by "Simple Chat", has been around since 2002 and has been downloaded more than 200,000 time (according to their website).

    Pros

  • Looks good for a simple chat
  • Actively worked on since 2002
  • Reasonable number of features

    Cons

  • No hosting option (you have to install it on your server)




BlaB! Review:

Blab! is a simple chat, but it's an awesome simple chat. ParaChat charges for a service which offers little more than BlaB! and doesn't look as nice. The one downside to BlaB! is that you must install it; no copy and paste option here.

PHP Free Chat

 

PHP Free Chat Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
PHPFreeChat

Up Arrow PHPFreeChat.Net (Abandoned)

phpFreeChat, was first released in January of 2006. It was worked on constantly and produced new versions and featured every year until about 2012, which was the last time their GitHub page had been touched. Jun of 2014 was the last post on the phpFreeChat Twitter account. The website was updated with a clean and professional design just a few years ago but all work on this project appears to have ended very shortly there after.

 

V.1 is Better than V.2

There is a demo page for two version of the chat but the v1 Demo seems to have many more features. v2's Demo page looks cleaner but doesn't work properly. If not for the screenshots of v2 we would have thought they removed features.

    Pros

  • No Database Required For Install
  • Many Features in V.1 for a basic chat.

    Cons

  • No Hosting - must be installed
  • No support - project abandoned


PHP Free Chat Review:

phpFreeChat offers a great option for anyone looking for a simple free chat to add to their website. You have to install the chat but it not requiring a Database makes that an easier process. We haven't designated this chat "Closed" because we have hope they will return and update their software again. It was updated for so long, its a shame to see it abandoned.

eStream Chat

 

eStreamChat Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
eStreamChat

Up Arrow eStreamChat.Com (Not Updated)

eStream is a free PHP and AJAX chat script with a clean design that works reasonably well. We did notice that the features page says chatters can use webcams but we found no such option in the actual chat demo.

eStreamChat works just fine on mobile but there are a couple issues which make its use on mobile a bit annoying. The screen does not zoom properly and appears tiny on mobile and you must push the send button with your finger rather than hitting enter.

What we found most puzzling is that everything about eStreamChat popped up over night and was never again touched. They uploaded the source code to their GitHub page, set up Facebook, Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn all in 2012 and were never again used.

    Pros

  • Clean design
  • Easy to install

    Cons

  • No Cams (but on feature list)



eStreamChat Review:

Despite not being heard from since 2012 eStream Chat seems is a great option for anyone looking to add a free basic chat to their website. There are minor issues with the mobile chat that hamper its use and are likely to never be fixed.

Demo

DigiChat

 

DigiChat Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
DigiChat        

Up Arrow Digi-Net.Com (Closed)

DigiNet Technologies Closed about 10 years ago but the software was still a popular option just 5 years ago. The big shift away from digichat occurred when web browsers like Chrome stopped supporting Java Applets which is necessary for DigiChat to run. With support for exploits left to Webmasters and freelance coders the extra task of corralling users to particular browsers and changing settings proved too much for the software to remain a popular option.

Even though the last version DigiChat released was called "AV" for Audio/Video it never worked properly, DigiChat offered little support and closed down soon after its release.

    Pros

  • Great desktop Interface



    Cons

  • Needs Java
  • No Webcams
  • Known exploits which need to be patched
  • Chat-server uses increasing amounts of ram.


DigiChat Review:

It was a great chat for a long period of time but the world has moved on. It would not be wise to use DigiChat as your primary chat room software.

Para Chat

 

Para Chat Screenshot
Name Free Fee Monthly Host Java Flash HTML / PHP Updated
Para Chat

Up Arrow ParaChat.Com

ParaChat is one of the longest functioning chat software providers around. Founded in 1996 it has been serving webmasters for a very long time. That being said... ParaChat's free version is one of the more basic chat software packages you can get with the paid versions not offering much more. Upon load the visitor is given the choice of loading the chat with Java, Flash or HTML. It's nice to have the options but ParaChat's HTML version pales in comparison to even their modest Flash chat.

ParaChat also you (a small amount) if you want simple features like multiple administrators, permission levels and a user count.

    Pros

  • Copy & Paste to start using
  • Free & Monthly payment options

    Cons

  • As basic as it gets
  • View PMs One At A Time


Para Chat Review:

Para chat is about as basic a chat as you can get but you can add it to your website with a simple copy and paste. View the demo and see if the the additional features are something you need.

Pricing | Demo

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