oilman Ė sorry for slotting in on your forum here but I canít think of anyplace better :)
Weíre in need of some non e-mail solution for long-distance connections with a remote office limited by a standard analogue dial-up at 14,4k. A satphone connection isnít justifiable but video-conferencing or even Voice over IP would do the job. Some simple bits of hardware and software must be around.
Does anybody here have experience with this sort of thing? Maybe some guys in the gaming sector?
Is the voice part of your communications really necessary? If not then definitely go with something simple like ICQ, Messenger, etc. We use ICQ for simple communication between office employees. There is a chat function for more than one person communication.
NetMeeting will let you do one-to-one video/voice conferencing. CUseeMe will let you have multiple video/voice connections, but the software is not free. Both of these options work better with more bandwidth.
If you're limited to 14.4k then ICQ or MSN Messenger might suffice. To make it a little more secure you might want to try encrypting your communications with PGP. I haven't tried these, but there's PGP-ICQ [samopal.org] for ICQ and a plug-in for MSN Messenger [commandcode.com].
I've not been involved with developments in chat and internet telephony clients for over a year, but the original voice version that was popular was PowWow, followed closely by FireTalk. Both had a better reputation amoung the chat addicts than any other client software.