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How to set up Discord

To stay in touch, we’re all looking for secure video chat programs that work well. The best solution may be one long used by gamers, Discord.


If there’s one group that knows how to hang out online, it’s gamers. So it only makes sense that if we’re looking for the best ways to get group chats together, we follow their lead. And these days, the gamer-certified chat platform is Discord. After laughing at us for being clueless n00bs, the gamers at Ting gave us the lowdown on what it is, how it works, and why it’s awesome. Here’s how to set up Discord and how to set up a Discord server.

What is Discord?

Discord is a multi-featured, free (there’s that magic word) chat application that supports text, video and audio chat. Anyone familiar with IRC will recognize the “servers with separate channels” motif. It’s been called "Slack for gamers" due to the similarities there as well. Unlike the enterprise-minded Slack, however, you won’t need to buy a subscription to enable features like group video chats. 

The same things that make Discord great for gamers make it perfect for becoming a home for your friends across the world to pop in and chat. Like IRC or Slack, you can set up an infinite number of text chat channels, set to topics of your choosing. However, you can also set up specific voice chat channels. That means you and your fellow culinary-minded friends can talk cheesecake recipes in the Good Eats channel, while the gamers discuss strategy in the Overwatch channel. Then at 9pm, you can all get together in the Nightly Dinner Party channel. Awesome, no?

Importantly, you and your friends can feel secure in your private server chat–an important consideration with privacy concerns like those with Zoom, for instance. Discord chats aren’t end-to-end encrypted, and we’d suggest you take the regular precautions of not sharing sensitive information. However, chances of malicious individuals hacking into your chats are low, and Discord has proven to keep their hands/eyes off chats unless serious issues like threats of violence, etc. are reported.

How to set up a Discord server

There are thousands of Discord servers out there if you’re just looking to browse or join an existing community. However, if you want to create a server just for you and your friends, it’s surprisingly easy.

After downloading the app and signing up, you’ll see your server selection options on the left of the screen. To create a new server, click the plus sign. Choose ‘Create a Server’ and then choose a server name and unique picture (don’t skip the second part, trust us). Click create and boom, you’ve got a Discord server. You can check out Ting’s own Discord server as a snazzy example.

Creating channels and starting the party

This part is even easier. To create Discord channels, just click the plus sign next to the text channel or voice channel headers. When you’re ready to invite your friends, just hover over the desired channel and click Create Instant Invite. You’ll get a link to send to your friends that allows them to join the server. Heads up: anyone you invite will have access to any open channel on your server. So if the open channel #loserville is for trash-talking your bud Billy, know that he can come in and find out you all think he’s just the worst even if he wasn’t invited to that specific channel. 

Why Jackbox on Discord is awesome

If you’re not familiar with Jackbox, these wonderful human beings have been developing some of the best, usually irreverent, party games for years. Jackbox.TV is your portal to hours of fun with a variety of trivia, word association, and guessing games among others. By going to the website, you and your friends can connect and get the hilarity started. However, it’s way more fun when you can see and yell at your crew. With Discord, you and nine of your friends can enjoy video chat and screen sharing. Good ol’ Discord actually detects the game being played and offers a one-click method for sharing your screen within the channel. That way, Billy will never win a game since you’ll all see his obvious tells. Man, Billy is just the worst.

By the way, what is Ting?

Who, us? Well, Ting is a unique mobile carrier designed to save you money. Instead of bulky plans with expensive ad-ons, you only pay for what you use with Ting. Use less? You’ll pay less. At the same time, you get coast-to-coast coverage of three major networks, top-rated customer support, and will never be locked into a contract or even plan. Learn more about how Ting works and why it’s perfect for gamers, the self-employed, and anyone else that is usually connected to a Wi-Fi network. 

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