Video Conferencing - The Safe Alternative to Meetings

We all know we are supposed to be social distancing, we all also know a phone call is no replacement for a face to face chat.

The obvious compromise in the current Coronavirus pandemic is to video call your contacts, all the interaction of a face to face meeting without any of the potential medical implications.

There are various ways you can video call, if you’re a whiz with FaceTime then by all means use that. The simplest, quickest to set up and most importantly free option we’ll run through for the uninitiated is Google Hangouts.

How to Use Google Hangouts

You can send and receive messages, calls and video calls with one person or multiple people (up to 25) from any device that’s connected to the internet, all you need is a Google account (which is free).

Start a Video Call from a Computer

1. On your computer, go to or open Hangouts in Gmail. If you have the Hangouts Chrome extension, Hangouts will open in a new window.

2. You will need to Sign In to your Google account using the blue button in the top left, don’t worry if you don’t have one - you can set one up for free and use your existing email address.

3. Once you’re logged into a Google account and you’re on you’ll see a welcome in the centre of the screen, click the Video Call button below.   

4. You’ll be asked to let Hangouts use your camera and microphone; you need to Allow this.

5. When you see the Invite People box, add the email addresses of the people you would like to video call with and press Invite.

Alternatively, you can press Copy the Link to Share and paste the link into whichever platform you usually communicate, for example, Outlook emails.

6. Hopefully those that you’ve invited will join you in your video call.

7. Once you’re done, click End Call.

If you have issues connecting then Google Support has all the potential missed settings your computer might not have set up correctly detailed online. If you’re struggling give us a call or send us an email and we can help you.

Of course, alternatively, there is Zoom, which has become very popular during 2020. Which is better, you may ask? There are points to both sides when put against each other. If you'd like us to do a write up on Google Hangouts vs Zoom, be sure to let us know!

Posted by Becky Cockman on March 18th 2020

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