4 Tips for Better Video Calls Tech Tips • June 15, 2020 Connecting via video conference has become a new normal for many of us in our daily lives. Whether you’re meeting online for work or connecting with family and friends, here are four tips to help improve the quality of your video calls. 1. Test your internet connection. To start, check your internet speed. You can do so with Blackfoot’s Speed Test. If there are issues, try rebooting your modem and router or assess your bandwidth usage. To conserve bandwidth, pause all uploads and downloads, disconnect unnecessary devices from your WiFi, and turn off streaming services and other internet usage while you are on the video call. If WiFi is still giving you trouble, you can always use an Ethernet cable with a direct connection to your modem. If your laptop or tablet doesn’t have an Ethernet port, you can purchase an inexpensive USB Ethernet adapter. Did you know that Blackfoot has a Smart Home app that you can use to manage your WiFi connection, devices and more? Learn more » 2. Test your video connection. Don’t wait for the video call to start to find out your software doesn’t work properly – test it beforehand. It’s also best to close all other applications and windows on your computer or device. If you’re appearing on video, make sure you test your camera as well and be aware of your surroundings and what others can see behind you. 3. Use headphones for better audio quality. Bluetooth headphones or earbuds are closer to your mouth, so they deliver better sound than your device’s built-in microphone. If you experience a lag in audio, try using wired headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones are also popular and have the added benefit of helping you focus by cancelling out external sounds. 4. Use your charger. Video conference calls can drain a laptop battery quickly. Make sure your device is plugged in and powered up ahead of time so you don’t have to step away during the call. If you’re connecting from a remote location and don’t have access to a power outlet, don’t forget to bring a portable charger.