Pros and Cons
- many high-quality HD cams
- lots of performers online at all times
- slick and easy-to-use interface
- some expensive cams
- no online community
- pre-checked cross sale
There are many reasons why we consider Streamate to be the best live cam site. With their easy-to-use interface (that's mobile-responsive), seamless billing, large number of hot cam performers online at all times, innovative features, niche cams, pornstars and more, this site is a leader among all the live chat sites. And my recent visit has once again confirmed this.
All the babes I checked out were rocking excellent HD streams. Fluid motion and an almost crystal-clear image were the norm. They switched most cams to display in widescreen format in 2013 and the streams take up plenty of screen real estate, so that the babe and her show are truly the focus.
The site's tagline used to be "live amateurs 24/7," but it still seems like a very accurate way to describe Streamate. I checked it out at different times of 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. However, unlike many of its competitors, there's a huge English-speaking performer base, be it from the U.S., Canada or the U.K.
While many appear to perform from a studio, the majority look to be broadcasting live from their bedroom or living room. And while pornstars like Jill Kelly, Devon Michaels and Tara Lynn Foxx are regular performers, most of the men and women available do 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 grannies to teens and coeds. A variety of ethnicities are available, too, as well as couples (lesbian and straight), a mix of sexual orientations (there's gay and transsexual sections) and you will probably even find a few pregnant chicks. The search and filtering options are varied and well designed.
Like pretty much every other live cam site, it's 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 (although the first 30 seconds of each private chat session is free).
There are three pay/chat options. There's private chat where others can potentially join in. There's the exclusive chat where it's only you and the performer and it's always the most expensive choice (obviously). Then there are the 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 that 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 to $10 and they can last from 3 to over 10 minutes. Sometimes the girls will also provide incentive for bigger tips by handing out photos and videos for certain tip amounts and some girls give control of the show over to the highest tipper.
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'll barely get any attention from her. In fact, in most cases, she does what she said she'd do and has very little interaction with the people in the room.
One word of warning, though. There have been reports in the past of several performers just playing pre-recorded feeds. It seems Streamate was aware of the issue, but at the time was not doing anything to stop it. However, this time around, at least one of the pre-recorded girls we were aware of is no longer on the site. I can't say the problem doesn't exist anymore, but maybe they've started to clean it up.
Some tips for spotting these fakes: They're almost always online and don't interact with anyone, or if they do chat it has nothing to do with the ongoing conversation. Luckily, there are not too many of these performers and given how many there are overall, they're a very small percentage.
As far as pricing goes it's pretty varied and it seems like each girl makes up her own price per minute. Based on my research, the average private show is $2.99/minute and an exclusive chat is $3.99 per minute, but remember that there's a lot of variation and you'll find plenty above and below 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 customer support. We can't really comment on that, though, 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.
Over the years they've improved their support for iPhones and iPads. There used to be these workarounds needed for the iPhone, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. As for the iPad, the site streams excellent-quality cam feeds and the interface is very user-friendly and fits the device perfectly. I also browsed the site on an Android phone and have pretty much only good things to say about the experience. They've worked on improving things and it shows. The streams are now HD and fast and they really do look great, with fluid motion. Also, the chat page is much cleaner and everything aligns better.
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 cam experience looks like.