woman talking with friends on video call celebrate New Year party.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on this year it’s that the coronavirus has affected us all, one way or another.

Even though the virus has been put on a festive government-approved hiatus, many of us will still be celebrating Christmas this year miles away from our loved ones. From key workers stuck in antisocial shift patterns to people with family abroad, many of us will be relying on fast Internet connections to keep in touch.

Big families will have the tough choice of which households to have round made a little easier by sharing the experience with as many people as they want with call sharing apps. Remember at the beginning of the pandemic when Houseparty was the go-to app for calling multiple people? The app suffered a smear campaign that claimed it was hacked and leaked its user’s precious login details. Well, if you are a believer or not it doesn’t really matter. The fact is Zoom is now the go to app for keeping in touch with small to large groups. If your Great Auntie

Mable has been told on Facebook that Houseparty could stop her watching her favourite Christmas classics on Netflix, you’re just going to have to use Zoom like everyone else.

Keeping in touch with older relatives will no doubt provide some hilarity for the family. The strange camera angles, leaving the microphone on at the wrong time and the dreaded audio delay. In fact, the latter can lead you to being kicked from a Zoom meeting with your nearest and dearest.

Happy mom and son talking to santa claus by video chat on a laptop. Woman and boy remotely wishes Merry Christmas

So, to ensure you don’t miss watching the children opening presents or catching the first carving of a turkey far away (it’s such a shame technology is yet to transmit smells) we have some tips to make buffering begone this Christmas.

Firstly, round up the family in your house before joining the scheduled Zoom meeting (don’t worry too much about being on time, everyone is always a bit late). The children may have some new games which means bandwidth-eating online deathmatches. So, make sure all games consoles are switched off and check that no devices are downloading. This includes automatically updating apps so to be safe just turn everything off except the device you are using!

Now, we understand the temptation to show off. Zooming from your newly landscaped garden may cause the envy you desired. However, you have got to be near your router for good signal if you don’t want to outdo your gran for this year’s most irritating participant. We’ve all seen it, that one person in the meeting who is five seconds behind everybody else because of an audio delay on their end. Put your Christmas tree up near the router so you can share the festive feels at lightning-fast speeds!

One last life hack before we leave you on your merry way. Test your mic, speakers and webcam before joining the meeting. It’s a guaranteed anxiety inducing frustration fest if you have to get all techy with all the in-laws watching you. So, before you join the meeting:

  • Play some tunes to test those speakers.
  • Use a built-in webcam app to test your camera.
  • Open Audio Recorder to test your mic.

 Once you have done all that make sure you follow the test prompts in Zoom before you enter the meeting. That way you know that Zoom is working correctly with all your devices. You can even test your device by calling another device in the house before joining the extended family. 

Get these things sorted before the big day so you can enjoy speaking to family frustration free when you’re six sherries deep and brimming with an epic Christmas dinner. That way you can all enjoy a sense of seamless normality to cap off the strangest year we have ever faced.

Merry Christmas from Prestige Telecom Group.


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