Using Your Webcam with Chat Networks
Probably the most popular video chat network is Skype, so we’ll use this as an example on how to use your Gateway laptop webcam to chat with friends and family in other locations.
Begin by visiting www.skype.com and signing up to their service. This is free for webcam chats, although if you wish to make calls to landline or mobile phones a fee will need to be paid. Full details on signing up and installing the Skype software can be found in the article How Does Skype Work?.
With the software installed on your computer, you will first need to add the contact you want to video chat with – open Skype and go to Contacts > Add a Contact…, where you can add their email address, name or Skype name. When the contact confirms these details will then be able to call them.
Before doing this, close any other applications that you might have open that use your laptop’s webcam, and in Skype open Tools > Options. Under Video Settings, confirm that the webcam is selected and working, and click Save when you’re done. Note that in this screen you can also select privacy options for your camera use. (Also, don’t forget to check your Audio Settings; your laptop will probably have a built-in microphone which will need to be tested before proceeding).
Back in the main Skype window, right-click the contact you wish to speak to, select Video Call and in a few moments time you should be waving and chatting away!
Skype is a powerful online communications tool, and with the steps outlined here you should be able to setup a video chat with a friend or relative in just a few minutes.