Travel is a challenge right now, and many families aren’t comfortable hosting large groups of people. Here are some tips for going virtual this Thanksgiving.
ATLANTA — (November 17, 2020) – The holidays are a special time for many families, but due to travel restrictions and general safety concerns related to the pandemic, many families may be considering a “Virtual Thanksgiving”.
For those who plan to connect virtually with friends and family this holiday season, here are five tech tips to help ensure your gathering is a success.
- Pick a platform like Zoom, Facetime, or WhatsApp and then agree on a “virtual host” who can organize the event. A structured event can help prevent technical glitches or other blunders. Set a time period of an hour or so to manage everyone’s expectations.
- Consider planning your menu together or find a recipe that everyone can share. Maybe everyone cooks the same thing or brings something different to the virtual table. Set time to have your guests talk about their recipes.
- Check your WiFi signal strength where you plan to spend most of the virtual Thanksgiving. Kitchens with stainless steel appliances, microwaves, and other devices can create dead zones, so test it ahead of time. You can check the WiFi speed to your device using www.speedtest.xfinity.com.
- Determine if you need a network extender. Xfinity just released its new xFi pod 2.0 that is designed for houses with a lot of square footage. This is a good way to ensure a strong signal between a kitchen or a dining room that may be far from your gateway.
- Think about external cameras and microphones for your event. HD cameras will offer more mobility and higher video quality than a phone. Microphones can ensure family members sitting further away from the computer can be heard. You may also want to consider a small tripod, or simply stand, if your camera or microphone don’t have a built-in sturdy mounting unit.