List of webcam chat sites by alphabetical order:
List of sites under Webcam Sites A-F:
Taking a look at this site again I understand 18live better than I did on the first review. Basically this is just one of a network of sites, I'll list the alternative names at the bottom of the review, much in the same manner as the LiveCamNetwork. In both cases there is a company who runs the webcam site servers and rents out capacity to people who want to have their own webcam site.
The critical similarity in my eyes is that in both cases the main company manages a group of hosts which can then be shared by any webmaster using their system. This results in a "new" webcam site being able to instantly offer online hosts -- but does make it hard-to-impossible for such sites to distinguish themselves from any other webcam site using the same service.
Of course this is in a way just another level from the use of studios -- where more than one website ends up having the same hosts online because they use the same studio -- but in a more extreme way because the online hosts list is identical between the sites.
Now in theory a webmaster using such a service can try to distinguish his or her site by adding their own models, special offers, pricing plans and various add-ons. Theoretically at least. In practice I have yet see it happen successfully.
Seeing as each site is basically the same as all the others I'll just pick one at random -- this one 18live.com -- and look into it for the details. That may mean I miss some small details of the other variations, and if you know of anything please do follow up in the forum comments on this review. Thanks.
As soon as you reach the site you can see online hosts in a variety of simple categories "Party", "Single" and "Wild" -- not a clear indication of the difference but perhaps it doesn't matter with 5 to 6 hosts online you can check each one out.
Hosts can sign up on the site, which so far has only a few girls online with a mix mostly of Asian studio girls.
To time for group nude or private chat you will have to get credits which are sensibly one to one with dollars. So $40 gets you 40 credits. You can buy in blocks of 40, or 60 - there are no discounts for buying large quantities -- something that strangely most cam sites still don't seem to get.
Go into the off-line models view and you can see that they have a lot of girls, and a few guys, registered. Each one is listed as being a member of one of the versions of their site -- so CaliforniaSexLive or LiveXtreme might be under the thumb.
Clicking on the pic gets you a blow-up, mostly rather grainy, pic and if you are lucky the basic bio details. Perhaps in recognition that most girls don't bother to fill in much they don't even allocate much space to the usual "Turns Ons" and other bio items. There are no galleries, that I could find anyway.
Each one has private or possibly, optionally, free chat buttons -- and very clearly the per-minute price is stated. They were all one dollar a minute when I looked which makes them a whole whopping 1 cent more than the 0.99 over at TheDailyPeek, but I like the fact that the prices are listed so clearly beside the hosts name/thumb until that other site. Hosts *can* charge different amounts, but 1 dollar a minute seems the norm here.
From what I wrote before (I admit I can't recall the detail directly) they used to do an ifriends $1 join to "verify your age", but it seems that is no longer the case -- I didn't even have to give an email address or do any other signup to get into video chat.
What I *did* have to do was authorize an ActiveX control. That hasn't changed -- it even seems to be the same version -- and I know a lot of either careful surfers or technically minded will not like this. I'm not that worried -- my antivirus and anti spyware software will protect me (I hope!) -- of course these days you have XP SP2 or Vista then it's going to get blocked and you'll have to click on the little yellow bar to get it installed.
Your firewall is also going to complain of course: But that's ok, it's sort of expected that a cam software is going to need to connect to the internet!
Then what you get on your screen is a really independent windows application, not something in a browser window. That's quite a surprise and a little disconcerting.
There is two way sound enabled by default -- as well as a full screen button which takes you to a full screen, but doesn't warn you that you'll have to press escape to get back to normal view so remember that you learnt that here! A small blue cross in the bottom right of the pic zooms in the pic to a more reasonable quarter screen size.
The Add Credits button correctly took me to an agreement page -- with some nice things like "The Customer will never talk to a model in a harsh or rude manner EVER" and "no deal making for a model to show nudity in Free Chat " -- all sensible stuff.
So to add credits of course you need to create an account and it is quite demanding with full name and address details required. You get a confirmation email right away with the magic link you have to click. With an active account the Add Credit button now takes you to Verotel -- the only payment option as there is no more Paycom -- where I can add $40 or $60 via Master, Vista, JCB or Dinners -- no AmericanExpress though just like TheDailyPeep as it is the same payment handler.
Some hosts have as well as "Private" the option of "VIP chat" which seems basically the same thing -- I don't see the difference. In the past there were price differences listed for private a VIP but I don't see that now.
When I first reviewed this site I spent some time with "AttractiveButt" who had a thumb which suggested he was quite a hunky guy. When I got in he looked a little disheveled -- but did have a nice butt it's true! He was Russian and I don't think spoke English, I could hear the sound of a translator in the background -- they need to watch out for that if they are going to do audio.
The video and audio were clear, and the picture remained sharp even after going full screen. it's not quite streaming, there is a very slight jerkiness, but I'm being picky here. It's a lot better than the typical webcam chat on many sites, and the zoom is better than say Imlive. Overall the quality is probably similar to what you get from AmsterdamLive. This is not actual streaming webcam video though. The software doesn't seem to have changed one bit in years.
Overall it's a good chatting experience -- but the only real downside I saw was that there were only a few choices of hosts. ! Even though I was chatting in the middle of the night US time at the same Cum TV / CAMS.com has over a thousand girls in free chat.
So switching over for a moment into the models perspective, I think I can see why there are not that many models at this site. At least not line -- they say they have 600+ registered, but registered doesn't mean available does it!?
When you join up as a host there is a pretty typical user interface, first you have to complete a model release which is thankfully short but which you have to sign, scan and upload. The agreement you are signing is actually with fantasyxtreme. You will need to provide a Photo copy of passport.
Unlike a lot of sites there is a reasonably clear sign up page which explains the terms and conditions, and the payout, for the models. Basically it's 40% which is not bad, except there are a few catches.
Payment is only by Western Union, no checks, no epassporte -- only WU -- and then there is a minimum of $125. So you'll have to do almost an hour and a half of privates before you get your first payment. Then WU will deduct about $25 from your earnings as a fee. So basically you "earn" $125 but only receive $100. Or to put it another way you work for an hour and 20 minutes, then get paid $100 - that works out to $1.25/minute earnings.
As well as your own earning if you introduce new viewers, via the link that is provided for you, then you get 10% of their earnings when the go private with other girls as well.
If you have any more information about 18live, please drop me a note in the webcam forum, thanks.