What’s the Idea?
If you’re stuck at home but want to see and talk with people remotely, set up a free Zoom video chat account!
What’s the story
At the moment many of us are at home but luckily there is still a really good way to connect with the outside world – Zoom video-conferencing.
Zoom started as a work application, for people needing to attend virtual meetings and conferences.
But during the Coronavirus lockdowns, it is more and more being used to chat with friends and family, host virtual birthday parties, join online courses, or watch the kids enjoy a virtual playdate!
Fortunately, Zoom is a really convenient, easy-to-use, platform that can bring together as many as 1000 people (or up to 100 if you use the free option).
Most of us will only want to connect with 30 or 40 people at any one time (e.g. for a virtual ‘party’), so the free option should work for most.
It’s an especially good way for older people who might not be very tech-savvy to keep in touch with friends and family.
This is because Zoom is very straightforward to use and it’s easy to sign up.
People should do this because…?
It’s really important to have a way to keep in touch whilst stuck at home.
Zoom offers their basic plan for free including unlimited meetings with up to 100 people.
Normally the free time lasts for up to 40 minutes of conference time but during the Coronavirus lockdowns, Zoom have removed that time limit.
You can also upgrade your Zoom account a further three levels (paid), with each providing an increased level of service and advanced functionality.
It really does depend on each person’s individual requirements.
More information can be found about this on the Zoom website under ‘Plans and Pricing’.
Here is the link – https://zoom.us/pricing
How do you do it?
How to set up a Zoom account on a desktop or laptop:
- Type in zoom.us to your web browser
- Go to the right hand corner and hit the blue button ‘Sign Up For Free’
- Then type in whatever email address you would like to use for your account
- Hit the blue ‘Sign Up’ button
- Confirm that the email you entered is correct and then hit ‘sign up’ (again)
- They will then send a confirmation link to your email address
- Open up another tab in your web browser and check your email
- There should be an email from Zoom – open this email and click on the blue button ‘Activate Account’
- It will bring you to the ‘Welcome to Zoom’ screen. Enter your name and password of your choice
- Hit the orange ‘Continue’ button
- It will then bring you to your Zoom profile
- You can then schedule a meeting, join a meeting or host a meeting.
You can also set up an account on your phone by downloading the ZOOM Cloud Meetings App. The app will then guide you through the set up similar to the above.
Stuff you may need
- Computer, laptop, tablet and/or phone