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A company wants to interview my neighbour. They say they will do it via IP based video conferencing (and said she must go to a reliance webworld center - which apparently has that facility in our country India).

What exactly is IP based conferencing? Is it possible to do it from home? (We have webcam) What software is required? (both Windows/Linux suggestions will do).

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IP videoconferencing in the business world typically consists of dedicated videoconferencing equipment which operates purely over the internet (as opposed to early technology videoconferencing which operated over public or dedicated phone lines). It is entirely possible to do it from home if you have a broadband internet connection, a dedicated external IP address (required in many cases) and equipment that is compatible with the person you are trying to connect with. While there are some common standards out there and the problem is nowhere near as bad as it once was, there are some lingering issues with compatibility between equipment.

Most webcams, however, aren't going to work because they lack the necessary software to make the connection and will not provide the level of stability and quality needed. The dedicated equipment and/or software is typically quite expensive. The company likely gave directly to go to the center because they knew it was already set up and would work. A company is not going to be patient with an interviewee if you spend the first 10 or 15 minutes trying to establish the connection.

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It depends largely on the equipment, software, and its component standards whether or not it can be done at home. If they are using industry standard SIP, a soft phone client that supports video conferencing should be all that is needed. If they're using something like Skype, or another proprietary system, then a compatible system will need to be used. Sadly Video over IP is still a bit "wild west" when it comes to standards, and not everyone conforms to SIP yet.

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Yes you could do it from home, if you buy the supported kit with camera and microphone. There are a couple of Cisco products, but they are quite expensive and I think there is one Linksys one. If she needs to go somewhere to do it, that means they already have a video conferencing terminal setup with cameras and screen and everything.

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