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How to do videoconferencing

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How to do videoconferencing: For reasons of study and / or work, were you asked to set up a videoconference and, not being particularly familiar with technological means, did you immediately panic because you don’t know “where to put your hands”? Don’t worry, I’m here to help you.

If you want, in the next paragraphs of this guide, I can therefore explain how to make a videoconference using some of the most famous videocalling platforms on the square. They are all usable for free (at least in their respective basic versions) and are very simple to use.

So, what are you doing still standing there? Strength and courage: make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to concentrate on reading the next lines and, more importantly, try to implement the “tips” that I will give you, so as not to have problems in completing your technological “enterprise” today. I wish you good reading and have fun!

Index

How to video conference with Meet

If you are looking for information on how to videoconference with Meet , the video conferencing solution from Google, in the next paragraphs you will find everything you need.

Let’s start by saying that, basically, Google Meet has always been a free and accessible platform for everyone, but the creation of new rooms and the addition of new participants were functions reserved for companies and were paid.

From May 2020 , however, Google has decided to make these features available to all and, at the time of writing, it is possible to carry out video conferences of  60 minutes , with a maximum number of 100 participants . Companies, on the other hand, can make video conferences without time limits and manage up to  250 participants .

Having clarified that, let me explain how to use Google Meet on mobile and desktop. Just one thing before you start: to make video conferences with Google Meet you simply need to have a Google account. If you haven’t created one yet, read the guide where I explain how to do it.

Smartphones and tablets

To use Google Meet from smartphones and tablets , install and start its official app for Android or iOS / iPadOS , click on the Continue button and grant it all the permissions it needs to work properly.

On the main screen of the app, then tap the Login button and log in to your Google account (if you don’t see the button in question, you have obviously been logged in automatically). To create a new conference, then tap the (+) New Meeting button .

As you can see, in the Add others box that appears on the screen there is the link to send to the people you want to invite to the conference (the link in question is also visible by pressing on the card (i) located on the right). To share the information needed to join the meeting, you can copy and paste it into a chat or press the Share button to send it via messaging app, social network, etc.

To participate as a guest in a meeting on Google Meet, however, you must press the Meeting Code button , type in the appropriate text field the code that was provided to you by the person who organized the videoconference and press the Join meeting button . Once this is done, you just have to wait for the meeting creator to accept you inside the room.

Whether you have created a meeting or are taking part in a conference created by another person, know that if necessary you can deactivate the microphone and the video camera: just press on the microphone or camera symbol (if you don’t see them, tap in an “empty” spot on the screen). To leave the conference, however, press the button depicting the  red handset .

For more information on how Google Meet works, I refer you to reading the in-depth study that I have entirely dedicated to the videoconferencing platform of the Mountain View giant.

Computer

Google Meet desktop

If you prefer to use Google Meet from a computer , know that you do not need to download any additional software on your PC, as the service can be used directly from the web on the following browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari.

To proceed, therefore, go to the main page of Google Meet, click on the Login link (top right) and log in to your Google account (if you have not already done so). Then click the Start a meeting button  and allow Google Meet to access your PC’s webcam and microphone.

Then click on the Join button and, on the page that opens, click on the Copy info for participation button , so as to copy the link to share with the people to send to the conference. If you want, you can also click on the Add people button and send the invitation via email to the users in question.

To take part in a meeting that has already started, however, you must enter the  meeting code in the appropriate text field and then click on the Join button located on the right. Did you get an  invitation link ? In this case, just click on the latter, then on the Join button located on the right and that’s it.

Whether you are the creator of the meeting or a participant, you can disable the microphone and the webcam if necessary, by moving the mouse pointer and clicking on the microphone and / or camera icon located at the bottom. By clicking on the button depicting the red handset , however, you can abandon the videocall.

Finally, I point out that Google Meet is also available in Gmail . You can find it in the left sidebar by simply accessing your inbox from your browser.

If you would like some more information on how Google Meet works, take a look at the guide I have dedicated to the “Big G” service.

How to videoconference with Zoom

If you want to videoconference with Zoom , a platform used a lot also in the business and school environment (as well as by private users), know that the service can be used for free after registration (only necessary for those who start the conference, participants can access it via a link and , therefore, they do not necessarily have to register).

However, I would like to point out that the free version of Zoom has limitations: it allows you to make unlimited video calls only between two participants and allows you to make group video conferences for a maximum of 40 minutes . To break down these limitations, you need to subscribe to one of the paid plans, starting from 13.99 euros / month .

Smartphones and tablets

Zoom Meeting

To use Zoom on smartphones and tablets , if you have not already done so, install and start its official app for Android or iOS / iPadOS , then tap on the Sign Up item at the bottom left and register using your email address: to do this, fill in the Email , First Name and Last Name fields with your data, check the I agree to the Terms of Service box and tap the Next button at the top right.

Then open the message you received at the email address with which you decided to register and tap on the  Activate account link in the message, so as to validate the email and activate your account. Then, on the opened Web page, enter the password you want to set to protect your account in the Password and  Confirm Password fields and go on.

Now, go back to the Zoom app, tap the Sign In item (bottom right), fill in the Email and Password fields with your login credentials and press the Sign In button to log in. If you want you can also log in using your Google account , your Facebook account or the so-called  SSO (a domain that can be purchased, only for business users).

Now you are ready to start your first video conference with Zoom: then press the orange  New Meeting button located at the top left and, if necessary, move the switch located next to the word  Video On to ON and then press the  Start button a Meeting . If you haven’t already, give the app access to the camera and microphone.

Now that the conference has started, you can invite other people to take part: just tap the Participants button (if you don’t see it, tap an “empty” spot on the screen) and, in the menu that opens, press the  Invite seat button At bottom.

Select, therefore, one of the invitation methods among those available (eg. Messenger , Gmail , Outlook , etc.) or, if you prefer, copy the conference link, by pressing the Copy URL button , and send it as you see fit (eg via SMS , on  WhatsApp , etc.). To accept the participants in the conference, tap the Admit button that appears on the screen (an operation that must be repeated for all users who enter the room as they enter).

Have you been invited to a Zoom conference? To take part, after installing and starting the service app, press the link that was sent to you, provide your name in the appropriate text field and tap the Continue button . Then accept the conditions of use of the platform by tapping on the wording  I Agree present in the opened box and grant the app the necessary permissions to function. Finally, tap the Join with video button and wait for the host to include you in the room.

When the conference has started, if necessary, you can activate / deactivate your microphone using the  Mute / Unmute button  (bottom left) and activate / deactivate the camera using the  Stop Video / Start Video button (bottom left). To close the conference (which can only be done by the host, i.e. the person who started it), instead, you must press the End item and confirm the operation by pressing the End Meeting item in the menu that opens on the screen. To leave a conference in which you have taken part, however, you need to tap on the  Leave item  located at the top right and confirm the operation by pressing the Leave Meeting item .

For more information on how to use Zoom Meeting, I refer you to reading the guide that I have dedicated entirely to the service.

Computer

Desktop Zoom

To proceed from a  computer , you must first install the official Zoom client. To do this, go to its  download page and click on the blue  Download button at the top, under the heading  Zoom Client for Meetings .

Subsequently, if you are using  Windows , open the .exe file you obtained and click on the Yes button . If you use a Mac , on the other hand, open the .pkg package obtained, click on the Continue button , grant the program permission to access the Downloads folder  and click on the  OK button in the opened box.

Click, therefore, on the Sign In button and, if you have not yet done so, register: click on the Sign Up Free button and complete the registration with your email  (the steps to follow are almost identical to those I explained to you in  the chapter previous , so I will avoid repeating them unnecessarily). Once you have registered, log into your Zoom account by filling in the Email and Password text fields , and then click the  Sign In button . If you want, you can also log in with your Google account or your  Facebook account , by clicking on the appropriate buttons.

After registering and logging into your Zoom account, click on the Continue button , then on the  New Meeting button at the top left and grant the program permission to access your PC’s webcam and microphone. Next, click on the  Join With Computer Audio button .

At this point, the conference has started and you are ready to invite other users to join. To do this, click on the Participants button and, in the window that appears on the right, click first on the Invite button and then on the Email tab   (top right).

Now, you just have to choose how to send the invitation (eg.  Gmail , Yahoo Mail , etc.) or, if you prefer, click on the  Copy URL item  at the bottom left and send the link to participate in the video conference as usual. you prefer (eg WhatsApp Web , Telegram Web , Facebook Messenger , etc.). To allow users you invite to join the conference, click on the Admit button located next to their name (in the Participants window on the right). The operation in question must be repeated every time other users ask to enter the room.

If instead of creating a conference on Zoom you have been invited to take part in a video call of others, all you have to do is click on the link that was sent to you by the person who organized the call and agree to open the Zoom client. Next, click the Join with video button and wait for the host to include you in the room.

Once the conference has started, according to your needs, you can use the buttons located at the bottom to activate / deactivate the microphone ( Mute / Unmute ) and activate / deactivate the webcam ( Stop Video / Start Video ). To close the conference (which only the host can do), however, you must click on the End Meeting item and confirm the operation by clicking on the End Meeting for All item in the box that appears on the screen. To leave a conference in which you have taken part, however, you need to click on the  Leave Meeting item located at the bottom right and confirm the operation by clicking on the Leave Meeting item in the opened box.

I would also like to tell you that Zoom is also available as a web application, which can be used on  Chrome (by accessing its  main page ) or as an extension for Chrome and Firefox . If you wish to have further explanations on how to use Zoom Meeting, take a look at the in-depth study that I have entirely dedicated to this well-known videoconferencing platform.

How to videoconference with Skype

In an article on how to make free videoconferencing , we cannot fail to mention Skype : “historic” video calling service owned by Microsoft that allows you to start videoconferences even without making any registration, directly from the browser (both from mobile and from desktop) .

Basically it is free, but I remind you of the possibility of purchasing credits with which to make calls to use to “traditional” mobile and landline numbers (as I explained to you in this other guide).

Smartphones and tablets

Skype

If you prefer to use Skype from  smartphones and tablets , install the service app on your Android or  iOS / iPadOS device , tap the  Start button , press the word  Sign in or create account , enter your Skype account data in the Skype, phone fields or email and Password and press the  Login button . If you do not yet have an account, tap on the item  Click to create one and register by following the instructions you see on the screen (perhaps helping you with this guide of mine).

Subsequently, presses the voice  Calls , located at the bottom and tap on the camera symbol  placed in correspondence with the name of the contact you intend to video call to start the call. If a user is not among your contacts, press the Contacts button at the bottom right, tap the little man symbol and search for the user to add to contacts.

Once the video call has started, to take part in it, the person will simply have to answer the invitation on their device. If you want to add other participants, press the  (+) button at the bottom, press Add people , select another contact from the list that appears on the screen and then press the  Add button .

Once the call has started, you can manage your microphone and your video camera using the appropriate buttons at the bottom. To leave the conference, however, you have to tap on the button depicting the red handset .

For more information on using Skype, I refer you to the guide in I have deepened how to use Skype on PC.

Computer

Skype Web

If you prefer to act as a computer , you may find it practical to use Skype without an account, working directly from one of the supported browsers, namely Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge . To use this, go to  this webpage and click the Create a Free Meeting button .

By doing so, the creation of a room will start and you will be provided with the link to it, which you will need to share with the people you wish to join the conference. Then click on the Start call button , grant the service access to the PC webcam and microphone and that’s it.

The people you send the link to can join by clicking on it and join as guests (with a guest account valid for 24 hours) or log in with their  Skype account . Once the conference has started, you will be able to take advantage of the various functions included in Skype and control your microphone , camera , screen sharing, etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. To leave the conference, however, you will have to click on the button depicting the red handset .

If you are interested in using the full desktop version of Skype (i.e. the classic client to be installed locally), I refer you to the in-depth discussion in which I explain in detail how to use Skype on PC.

How to video conference with Teams

Microsoft Teams registration

Now let’s talk about Teams , another Microsoft platform focused on productivity and the exchange of documents between colleagues (as easily understood by its name).

Basically it can be used free of charge. However, I would like to point out the possibility of subscribing to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), to take advantage of additional functions, starting from 4.20 euros / month + VAT for each user (with annual billing). More info here .

Before explaining how the service works, I recommend that you first create a Microsoft Teams account. To do this, go to  the official Microsoft Teams website , click on the Sign up for free button , enter your email address in the appropriate text field and click on the Next button  (if you already have a Microsoft account, you can use the same email associated with this ‘last).

In the new page opened, check the box  For work (if you opt for the item For friends and relatives , in fact, you will be advised to use Skype ) and click on the  Next button . If you have decided to make use of the Microsoft account , you will need to provide the password of the latter in the appropriate text field and then click on the  Login button .

To conclude, provide the data relating to your  name , surname , company name and country or geographical area , click on the  Configure Teams button  and wait for the configuration to be completed. Once this is done, you are ready to take advantage of Microsoft Teams by following the directions below.

Smartphones and tablets

Microsoft Teams

If you prefer to act as a smartphone and tablet , install and start the Microsoft Teams app on your Android or iOS / iPadOS device , press the Sign in button and log in to the Microsoft Teams account you configured just now: to do so, fill in the field text email and password and then press the Login button to continue.

Once logged in, select the name of your company , tap on the Next item (twice in a row) and then press the OK button . In the screen that opens, make sure your name is correct, press the Next button and then tap the Invite others button , to invite other users to the team.

Then enter the email address of the person to invite in the appropriate text field, press the (+) button and repeat the operation with the email addresses of the other people to invite. Finally, tap the (✓) button located at the top right to continue.

Once this is done, presses the Calls button located at the bottom, presses the handset symbol located at the bottom right, type the name of the person you want to contact in the text field To :, press the camera icon placed in correspondence with the name of your interest and grant the app the permissions it needs to function properly.

At this point, the video call will start and you simply have to wait for the participants to join.

Computer

Microsoft Teams desktop

To use Teams on a computer , connect to the official website of the program  and download the application client: to do so, click on the Download buttons for the desktop and Download Teams and wait for the program installation file to download.

When the download is complete, open the  .exe file and wait for the automatic installation of the program to complete. At this point, enter the email address associated with your Microsoft account (the same one you used earlier to sign up for Teams) in the Login address field , press the Login button , enter your password in the appropriate field and click again on the Login button , to login.

On Mac , on the other hand, open the .pkg package obtained, click on the Continue button (twice in a row) and then  click on the Install button . Enter, therefore, the password  of your user account on macOS, press the  Install software button and, finally, click on the  Close and Move buttons .

After installing and starting Teams, click on the Login button  and log in to the Microsoft Teams account you configured earlier: to proceed in this way, fill in the email and password text fields and then click on the  Login button to continue. Once logged in, click on your company name and then on the Continue buttons  (twice in a row) and OK .

Subsequently, click on the Calls tab located on the left and, if you have not already done so, add new contacts to your team: to do so, select the Contacts item , click on the Add contact button  and fill in the form relating to the contact to include in the team.

To start the video call, then, after selecting the  Calls tab  in the menu located on the left, click on the Call button , type the names of the contacts you want to call and click on the camera icon at the bottom. Now you just have to wait for the participants you invited to the call to answer and take part in it.

I remind you that, if you want, you can use Microsoft Teams directly in your browser, by accessing the service from its  official website . More info here.

How to video conference with FaceTime

If you’re a lover of Apple products, chances are you’re interested in learning  how to do a FaceTime video conference . Before explaining how to do this, know that this is feasible as long as you have a device updated to  iOS 12.1.4 or  macOS Mojave 10.14.3 (or later versions of the respective OS). In this case, in fact, FaceTime will be able to support unlimited video conferences up to a maximum of 32 people .

It is possible to take part in FaceTime video conferences not only from Apple devices, but also through the  Web  version of the platform, available for  Chrome and  Edge  and also accessible from Windows PCs and Android devices. From the Web version, however, it is only possible to take part in a videoconference that is already open, as it is not possible to start one from the browser.

Smartphones and tablets

FaceTime Web

If you want to open a FaceTime videoconference from  smartphones and tablets,  you must first activate the service on the iPhone / iPad and make a group video call using its official app (already installed on your device).

Therefore, go to the  settings of your Apple device, pressing the gray icon with gears  located on the Home screen or in the App Library, tap on the wording  FaceTime and, if necessary, move  the switch displayed on the screen to ON  .

To start the video conference, then, open FaceTime , tap the New FaceTime call button  located at the top right, enter the name , email address or telephone number of the people to contact in the appropriate text field or press the  (+ ) to select them from the address book. Subsequently, after selecting the users to be included in the videoconference, press the FaceTime button .

If you are using a device updated to iOS 15 (or later) you can invite other users to take part in the videocall via browser. To do this, you need to send them a link, which can also be opened on Android and Windows using Chrome and Edge.

Per procedere in tal senso, premi sul bottone Crea link, che si trova nella schermata principale di FaceTime, condividilo tramite Mail, WhatsApp, etc. e attendi che le persone prendano parte alla videocall. Per riuscirci, devono pigiare sul link, digitare il proprio nome nel campo di testo presente nella pagina Web aperta con Chrome/Edge e pigiare sui pulsanti Continua e Partecipa.

A questo punto vedrai comparire un banner sul tuo dispositivo: fai tap sulla dicitura [N] persona/e in attesa presente nella notifica comparsa a schermo e poi premi sul pulsante (✓) per accettare le richieste di partecipazione. Maggiori info qui.

Computer

FaceTime

Per quanto riguarda l’uso di FaceTime da computer, sappi che dall’applicazione per Mac è possibile avviare una videoconferenza, oltre che prendervi parte qualora si riceva un invito a farlo; da PC Windows, invece, si può soltanto partecipare a una videocall dietro invito di un altro utente, utilizzando il link inviato da quest’ultimo e aprendolo con Chrome oppure Edge.

Per avviare una videoconferenza FaceTime, dopo aver aperto l’applicazione sul tuo Mac, scrivi il nome, l’indirizzo e-mail o il numero di cellulare delle persone da contattare nel campo di testo collocato in alto a sinistra, fai clic sul pulsante Video situato nella barra laterale posta sulla sinistra per avviare la videoconferenza e il gioco è fatto.

If you want to take part in a conference from a Windows PC, instead, click on the  link  you received, taking care to open it with  Chrome or Edge , write your name in the text field you see on the web page that opened, click on the Continue buttons and Join  and wait for the host to let you in. More info here.