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Zoom – the videoconferencing miracle for individuals and businesses

The rise of Zoom

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, teachers, professors, and employers have been on the hunt for a handy tool to share information in real time. Programs such as Skype, Discord, MS Teams, and Adobe Connect were on the market to enable online communication, screen sharing, call recording, and data sharing. However, this competition was beaten by a program created in 2011 in San Jose called Zoom.

Within the first few weeks, Zoom rose to the forefront of programs used for online teaching, conferencing, and a method of review for distance learning exams. Many YouTube channels began using Zoom as a way to connect with famous actors, bringing a bit of nostalgic happiness to our rooms during the dark moments of Lockdown.

Why Zoom?

Compared to other apps, Zoom has a very friendly user interface. With a regular internet connection, it is able to keep a connection with a large group of people (the paid version allows up to 1000 participants at a time), sharing the Face CAMS screen of all the call participants. It allows teachers to control the activity of students during screen sharing.

While other programs often encounter dropouts, stuttering, screen sharing problems if you only have one monitor, and don’t handle high numbers of participants well, Zoom has managed to minimize these problems.

How to do it?

In order to use Zoom as a conference organizer, you must Go to zoom.us and register there. You can also use your Google account (Gmail) or Facebook to register. Then download the app. A “ZoomInstaller” will appear on the location on your computer where you downloaded it, when you double left click on this icon, the application will be installed on the location on your computer of your choice.

Open the app, where you’ll see a simple UI that encourages you to start a new meeting (new meeting) or join an existing meeting (join). All meetings have their own ID and the owner can also set an access password to prevent uninvited guests from joining. Send out the access information for your meetup to attendees via email and voila, the conference can begin!

For conference attendees in Zoom, the job is even easier. Attendees don’t even need to download the app and can connect via the provided link directly from their browser. However, downloading the app is recommended to increase the reliability of the program, moreover, if participants are also prompted to share the screen, they can do so far more quickly by clicking on the green icon in the middle of the bottom bar after connecting to the meeting room. However, this action has to be approved by the organizer, so you don’t have to worry about anyone sharing the screen, at any time.

Zoom Pro vs. Zoom Basic

Of course, Zoom also has a free version, otherwise also called Zoom Basic, and a paid version or Zoom Pro. Both versions are virtually identical, and the features that Zoom Basic lacks are more cosmetic, like the ability for participants to respond in chat using buttons like: repeat, slower, etc.

The biggest difference, then, are the options for the call itself. In Zoom Basic, you can talk on the phone for one hour, but only with one person. When there are multiple participants on a call, there is then a time limit of 40 minutes. Zoom Pro then allows you to have a call for up to 24 hours for a maximum of one hundred participants, so 99 listeners + 1 organizer.

Meetings can be recorded in Zoom, but only the paid version provides the option to store the recorded video directly on the cloud instead of on your computer, up to 1 GB in size. Zoom Pro further offers an improved version of security, consisting of the ability to specify where your call data will be processed, thus allowing you to avoid unwanted servers.

However, you may also miss some features of the program, depending on the capabilities of your computer’s hardware, such as the ability to set an animated background.

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