Dabl at Home
Best Tech for Virtual Thanksgiving Celebrations
Not quite sure what all this video conferencing stuff is about? We break it down so you can learn the best platform to connect with your loved ones.
This holiday season connect with your entire family over video conference. We’ve got five options that allow you to invite everyone, near and far, to join in and celebrate the 2020-way.
Zoom - Best For Families Who Like to Get Creative
If there is one word that has entered our vernacular this year, it’s Zoom. The simple software allows one-to-one video conferencing or large group meetings. You can start a zoom session from your web browser, download the app on your computer or onto your phone.
Zoom has a free option that will allow you up to 40 minutes per session. To sign up, visit zoom.us. Once signed in, there will be a “schedule meeting option.” Using your friends’ and families’ emails, you can invite them to your “meeting.”
Some other great features of Zoom include the ability to mute yourself, so that one person can be clearly heard at a time, and, adding your own virtual background. If you search on the web for “Zoom virtual background” tons of images will pop up. Simply download the image to your computer and then upload it as your virtual background when you first join the meeting. You may be stuck inside, but your Zoom background transports you to a beach, a cozy cabin, or anywhere else you can imagine! Check out this custom Thanksgiving-themed DABL background here!
Google Meet - Best for Families Who All Use Gmail
Google does it all! If you and most of your family have gmail accounts, this platform may be great for you. Go to the dotted square in the top right corner of your gmail screen to access your google apps. Google Meet is already there! Don’t have a Gmail account? Just head to meet.google.com to sign up for an account. You can easily use your Google calendar to send out a meeting invite.
We particularly like that if your place is in disarray (pre-Thanksgiving cooking, present wrapping remnants), you can turn on a background blur so other people can’t see what’s behind you!
FaceTime - Best For Families Addicted to Their iPhones
If your entire crew has Apple iPhones, iPads or Mac computers, FaceTime is an easy app that is automatically installed on your device when you purchase it. FaceTime allows you to conference up to 32 people (including yourself) and has tools so you can choose who you want to view on the screen.
Once on FaceTime with one person, you can simply add more to join. Keep in mind, if it’s not working for you, you may not have the most up-to-date Mac software needed. You can’t schedule these in advance, so if you’re more of the spontaneous bunch, FaceTime will work for you! It’s also useful for families with relatives in other countries. FaceTime allows you to make long-distance calls not subject to long-distance rates.
Meet Now on Skype - Best For Families Who Want to Be Together All Day
Skype was around before video conferencing was commonplace, and this system has improved over the years. While you can still download the app, Skype now also allows you to create a free meeting directly from their website. Fun features include the ability to raise your hand and live subtitles (if grandpa has a hard time hearing).
You can invite up to 50 people and your calls can last up to 24 hours. So if you want to just leave Skype on while you celebrate remotely, you can!
FreeConference - Best For Families Who Aren’t The Most Tech-Savvy
This tool doesn’t require any downloads or much setup. You simply visit their website https://www.freeconference.com to sign up, and then it will lead you through the simple meeting. FreeConference offers standard, free dial-in numbers that will be sent out to everyone in your party.
If you happen to have a family member who doesn’t have a computer, this will allow them an easy way to dial in from their phone.