There are many reasons why we consider Streamate to be the best live cam site. From the easy-to-use interface, seamless billing, large number of hot cam performers on at all times, innovative features, niche cams, pornstars and more, this site is a leader among all the live chat sites.
The first thing that must be mentioned is the cam quality. Although I did come across some average-quality cams, the majority of the chicks I checked out on Streamate were rocking some excellent HD streams. Fluid motion and an almost crystal-clear image were the norm.
The site's tagline is "live amateurs 24/7" and that seems very accurate. I checked it out at different times during the day and at one point there were over 2,000 performers online. One reason for such a large number is that the performers are located all over the world, so there are always people awake and looking to put on a show.
While many appear to perform from a studio, the majority look to be broadcasting live from their bedroom or living room. While pornstars like Jill Kelly, Devon Michaels and Tara Lynn Foxx are regular performers, most of the men and women available fall into the amateur category. It's not uncommon to see a performer take a phone call or talk to a friend between shows.
Also, the variety is fabulous, from chubby chicks to huge tits to old grannies to teens to coeds. A variety of ethnicities are available too, as well as couples (lesbo and straight) and even a couple of preggo chicks. The search and filter options are varied and well-designed.
Like pretty much every other live cam site, it is free to browse and chat publicly with the performers. This is a good way to check out the quality of the babe's cam and ask her any questions, like what she does and doesn't do in private chat. When you go private is when you pay.
There are three pay/chat options. There is private chat where others can potentially join in. There is the exclusive chat where it is only you and the performer and is always the most expensive choice (obviously). Recently, Streamate added "gold shows," which is an interesting take on the popular My Free Cams idea.
Basically, a cam girl will initiate a "gold show" by saying that she wants to collect, say, $200 in the next 20 minutes. Once she hits this target, anyone who contributed toward this show will be able to view it, so it's just another name for a group cam show. The cost varies from show to show, so it can be anywhere from 1 gold ($1) for a 3-minute show to 10 gold for a 10-minute show.
The girl states in her room what her show will be about, so this is a welcome addition for users who want to spend less money while watching their favorite girls perform. However, given that in a group show you're competing with a bunch of other users (sometimes more than 50), you will barely get any attention from the girl. In fact, in most cases, the girl does what she said she will do and has very little interaction with the people in the room.
One word of warning though, there are several performers who are actually just pre-recorded video feeds. Seems Streamate is aware of the issue, but is not doing anything to stop it. For example, watch out for this performer: MadisonQT. Some tips for spotting these: they're almost always online, the performer doesn't interact or if she does write something, it has nothing to do with the ongoing conversation. Also check their reviews, as it will be obvious she just does her thing in private chat as well. Luckily, there are not too many of these.
As far as pricing goes it is pretty varied and it seems like each chick makes up her own price per minute. Based on my research, the average private price is $2.99/minute and an exclusive chat is $3.99 per minute, but remember that there is lots of variation and you will find plenty lower and higher than those averages. You can find many girls charging only $0.99 per minute, while some of the popular pornstars charge anywhere from $4.99 to $9.99 per minute.
Personally, I find the interface to be one of the easiest to use out of all the cam sites out there. It's efficient, clean, clear and has pretty much all the features you would want on a cam site. It would be nice to have more price transparency, but only a few other sites offer that.
Our users have been mentioning some issues with their customer support. We can't comment on that because in our several years of use, we have not had any billing issues and never needed to contact their support. The great thing about their billing system is that once your credit card is on file, you don't need to reload or buy any credits to use the site. It charges the card with multiple amounts based on your usage. To prevent overspending, you can limit your account to a maximum daily amount.
Recently they've improved their support for iPhone and iPad. They do have a mobile site, but it works only on non-Flash devices. Most cam sites use a Flash player to stream the cams and, as you probably know, Apple doesn't support this on their mobile devices. To get around this Streamate.com has developped an app for the iPhone called B-Line Browser. It's a way for them to get around iPhone's Flash limitation by converting the stream into a format supported by Apple.
This is some technical stuff that's beyond even someone like me who's a techie, but just know that if you install that app, you can use it on your iPhone or iPad. How do I know that browser was developped specifically for Streamate? If you check any other Flash streaming sites, they won't work on this browser, only SM and their affiliates.
I've got to conclude by saying that Streamate is an excellent cam site. Besides the high-quality cams and variety of performers, the prices are generally decent and the various options (many performers have sound and cam2cam options) provide a complete experience. Serious cam-girl fans need an account here and any beginners should start here in order to appreciate what a great experience a cam site can be.
|Cross Sales: 1 pre-checked|
|Total Models: 10,000||Live Models: 1,800||Cam2Cam: Yes|
|HD Cams: Yes||Free Chat: Yes||Notifications: Yes|
|Advanced Search: Yes||Favorites: Yes||Comments: Yes|
|Free photos/videos: Yes||Appealing Design: Yes|
|Independent Biller(s):||Epoch, CCBill|
Pros & Cons
-many excellent-looking cams
-lots of performers online
-some expensive cams
-no credit countdown on cam pages
-still needs better iPhone support
12/28/2011- Stays at 83. -Rabbit
10/27/2011- From 81 to 83: Improved price and new features. -Rabbit
10/11/2011- From 84 to 81: Scores adjusted to new criteria. -A.K.
05/02/2011- Stays at 84. -Wayne
09/09/2010- From 82 to 84: Adjusted to new live cam scoring criteria. -A.K. - Initial review: 7/11/2010