How To Have a LAN Video Chat

Can you have a LAN video chat without using the internet? Is there video chat software that only uses internal networks? These are questions I was asked the other day on a tech forum and I struggled to find the answer. As I love a challenge, I decided to find out.

How To Have a LAN Video Chat

Traditional video chat apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and so on all use the internet as they are either mobile or internet-dependent. If you want to chat on an internal network without leaving, your choices become limited. There are a few apps out there that enable you to have a LAN (Local Area Network – internal network) video chat without using the internet but there aren’t many.

LAN video chat

First, let us quickly cover what a LAN video chat actually is. A typical video chat using WhatsApp will happen across the internet. Your traffic will go to the WhatsApp server and be routed to the person you’re chatting to over the internet using the VoIP protocol. The same for Skype, Facebook Messenger, Facetime and most other video chatting apps.

LAN chat remains within the network. That means computers within your home, office, college or wherever talking to each other without leaving the local network. These apps may still use the VoIP protocol but will be internally routed. This may be because the company has a metered internet connection, is a secure site with no internet access or may not want to video chat over the internet. The why is less important than the how.

I found a couple of products that look as though they can do the job.

SSuite FaceCom Portal

SSuite FaceCom Portal is part of a much larger suite of free software that includes office apps, chats apps, database programs, security tools and a bunch of other programs. I must admit I had never heard of the company before but I read some positive things about what they do and make. One of their specialties is apparently LAN software.

SSuite FaceCom Portal is one of these. It’s a chat app that works purely on a LAN or over the internet as required. It isn’t as sophisticated as Skype or WhatsApp or as high resolution but it does get the job done. It is a Windows app but has a Mac and Linux version too. The app looks and feels very basic but it works well. I had a quick test in the office and it was able to pick up my webcam and set up a call in seconds.

Apache OpenMeetings

Apache OpenMeetings was suggested to me when I was asking people about LAN video chat. It is part of the wider Apache project and can handle video over LAN as well as over the internet. The project is open source and managed by a team of talented volunteers much like the web server project. It is still updated and apparently works very well.

The challenge with Apache OpenMeetings is that it requires quite a bit of configuration and setup. The documentation on the Apache OpenMeetings website is good but it doesn’t look like something the average home user could, or would set up themselves. For smaller businesses or enterprises with an IT admin though, this could be just what you’re looking for.


Friends is an open source version of Slack designed to let small teams communicate. It works over the internet or LAN and was designed specifically to work even if there is no internet connection present. The challenge here is that is takes a bit of configuration to set up. The benefit is that it is open source, free and will work over a LAN.

It requires Node.js, the npm JavaScript package manager to be installed and a GitHub login to use. Aside from that, Friends seems to have all the characteristics of a LAN chat program that works on most systems. That is as long as you can configure it. I couldn’t test this program myself but the website has some decent instructions and GitHub is a goldmine of expertise so if you do get stuck there is usually someone around who can help.


Rocket.Chat is my final suggestion for LAN video chatting. It is another open source program that will work with or without an internet connection. For LAN-only chat, you will need to configure your own server but the documentation is pretty good and the website walks you through setup quite well.

Rocket.Chat is another app set up to be an open source version of Slack so has many similar characteristics. Again, I couldn’t set this up myself but reviews and comments are mainly positive so I think it worth recommending here.

2 thoughts on “How To Have a LAN Video Chat”

Peter Evons says:
Your kidding right? Title: “How To Have A LAN Video Chat”
You gave zero options for “How To Have A LAN Video Chat”
You stated that only IT people would be able to “Have A LAN Video Chat” with these words.
Why do you do this? What makes you do this?
joe says:
What you expected? Uck
joe says:
What yo excepted?

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