App Of The Week
David Haywards checks out a superb VoIP solution
Communicate with other gamers, with TeamSpeak
I’ve only recently bought myself a headset. Although I review plenty of them, I’ve never really committed to buying one for my own personal use.
For the last few weekends, my kids and I have been playing some online and LAN games, ranging from the ancient Delta Force – a game that I can actually win at – to the more modern CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege and the Borderlands trio of games.
Both my kids have headsets, something we bought them a while ago to stop them from shouting requests at each other from their bedrooms when playing together on Minecraft. Admittedly, it just ends up with them shouting at each other while on their headsets. So I thought I’d join in, since I don’t want to have to shout from my bedroom.
I didn’t know what they used to communicate with each other while on their headsets, so when my son installed TeamSpeak 3, I was pleasantly surprised.
More Than Just Gaming
I was expecting some minimalistic, pretty basic web-based chat app, but TeamSpeak 3 is quite the opposite.
This is a remarkable tool that allows you to join or create chat servers and channels, with varying permissions and privileges to any of the users who join in the conversation. You can easily, within a few clicks, set up a server channel that can accommodate a couple of users, through to something that can handle hundreds of participants from around the world.
There’s AES encryption, public-private key authentication, Android and iOS versions and even file transfer options available. You can set up a company TeamSpeak server, for example, and allocate different conference rooms under the company name, granting access to the entire staff or just individuals to each separate room.
The audio is excellent, using the Opus audio codec, VoIP which also features Mono
Sound Expansion with mono to stereo, mono to centre speaker, mono to surround, and various profiles that can be easily switched to when needed. Additionally, you can set push-to-talk, continuous transmission or voice activation detection for the microphone, while altering the environmental sound levels so the listener doesn’t pick up a keyboard, for instance.
Tons Of Options
The user interface is, to begin with, quite sparse. Yet within are a ton of options that most users will probably never touch.
For the sake of my little setup it works a charm, and it’s free. If you want to go beyond 32 users, you’ll need to look at the licensing options, but for the average home user it’s ideal. Incidentally, there’s also an option for installing various plug-ins, including one for a G15 Logitech keyboard LCD.
I admit I may be a bit behind the times when it comes to modern VoIP, especially in the gaming world. TeamSpeak 3, though, is something that’s really impressed me and not just from a gaming perspective.
I’m pretty sure there are plenty of small businesses that could benefit from a voice and chat service such as this.
The clean UI hides a complex VoIP setup There’s plenty of options to get your teeth into