Zoom is undoubtedly one of the most used applications for online meetings in Italy and worldwide. His fame indeed exploded after many countries had to implement strict restrictive measures to contain COVID-19. In fact, with the lockdown and intelligent working for many companies, both small and large, the need arose to organize meetings, lessons, and meetings online, and Zoom has managed to satisfy their needs with the service it makes available.
In recent years, I have tested and tried many other online services that allow you to make video conferences, but for my needs, I have yet to find any other app as complete as Zoom. One of the reasons most users have chosen Zoom is undoubtedly the ease of use and the possibility of accessing it from any device (iOS, Android, Windows, or macOS).
Zoom Meeting Plans And Features
Zoom has a varied offering based on the features you need. Specifically, it offers four different plans:
- Essential: It is Zoom’s free plan. It allows you to join meetings you’ve been invited to and schedule meetings for up to 100 people and up to 40 minutes. During the lockdown, the time limitation was temporarily suspended but was promptly reintroduced shortly afterwards. You also have the option of recording the video conference and saving the MP4 on your computer. If you are a student or are taking a course, this is the type of account for you because it allows you to participate (without limitations) in meetings created by those with a pro license.
- Pro: The Pro account, in addition to the features of the primary version, gives you the possibility of organizing meetings with 200 participants, with a time limit set at 24 hours. In addition, the other features that this type of plan allows you to have are reporting (essential if you need a virtual register with entry and exit times of participants) and 1GB of cloud space to save the meeting recording. The Pro account costs €13.99 per month per host.
- Business: stem) like Moodle, Canvas, etc. The business plan costs €18.99 per month per host.
- Enterprise: The Enterprise plan includes 500 participants and a cloud with unlimited storage. It starts at €18.99 per month, but if you want to activate this type of account, you must contact the Zoom sales department to make your needs known.
The Most Exciting Features Of Zoom Meeting
Among the features of this software, I wanted to dedicate some space to some of them, which I did not mention above and which are available for all types of accounts:
- Video is always in high definition (also depending on the connection speed of the person using it).
- Automatic audio detection of who is speaking
- Ability to activate gallery view
- Customizable background
- Screen sharing
- Breakout rooms, i.e., separate rooms with different members within the same meeting
- Live chat with all participants or private
- “Show of hands” functionality
- Secure SSL encryption
How To Install Zoom
After seeing the prices and main features of Zoom Meeting, let’s see how to install it on your device. As mentioned above, Zoom has an app for every type of device and operating system.
Install Zoom On Your PC
- To install Zoom on a Windows PC, connect to the software download page and click the Download button on the first item in the “Zoom Client for Meetings” list.
- Once you have downloaded the.exe file, open it and proceed according to the instructions indicated by the software. The process will be speedy and straightforward.
- If you’re using a Mac, you’ll download a.pkg file instead. After downloading it, click Continue and allow the app to access the “Downloads” folder. Once this is done, the installation procedure will automatically start. Remember that from a PC, both Windows and Mac, the platform can also be used from a browser.
Install Zoom On Android
- Downloading Zoom on your Android smartphone is very simple. Go to the Play Store, type “Zoom” in the search bar, and install the Zoom Cloud Meetings app.
- Install Zoom on your iPhone or iPad.
- The operation is very similar to that for Android, except that from your iOS device, you will have to launch the App Store and proceed to search for Zoom. The application you need to install in this case, too, is called Zoom Cloud Meetings.
- Once the app is installed on your device, you must register. Click on “Sign up” and enter the data necessary for the application, after which you can easily use the Zoom features.
How To Join A Meeting On Zoom
To participate in a meeting on Zoom, click on the link the organizer sent you via email, WhatsApp, or whatever. If it is the first time you log in from a specific device, you will be asked to enter the name to display in the meeting. Only if the host who scheduled the video conference has activated the “Only authenticated users can join” option will you be asked to enter your credentials to participate in the meeting.
If, however, you do not have the participation link but only the meeting ID, you can click on “Join Meeting” and enter the ID you have available. Now that you are inside, you can use the commands at the bottom of the meeting window:
- Turn the camera on or off.
- View meeting participants.
- View and write in the chat.
- Share your screen (only if the host permits you to do so).
- Record the meeting only if the host allows you to do so.
The way to participate in a meeting is the same for all devices.
How To Schedule A Meeting On Zoom
Do you need to schedule a video conference with your colleagues or friends? No problem!
You can do this with any account, with the above mentioned limitations, if you have a basic license. Log in to Zoom and click on “Schedule a meeting”. You will be asked to enter a meeting name, select the date and time, and choose the meeting settings. In detail, you will be able to:
- Choose whether the meeting is recurring. If so, specify whether the event is daily, weekly, or monthly. If, however, it was a one-off event, do not check the “recurring meeting” option.
- Choose a password for the meeting. Zoom provides you with a preset password, but you can change it.
- Choose whether the host and participants have their cameras turned off by default when they join the meeting.
- Enable the “Join before host” function. This feature will allow participants to enter the meeting before the host. If this option is not checked, the video call will only start after the host is logged in.
- Enable the “Mute participants upon entry” function. By activating this option, all meeting participants will have their microphones turned off when entering the meeting.
- Enable the “Enable waiting room” function. By activating this function, participants will find themselves in a “waiting room” until the host admits them to the meeting.
- Enable the “Record the meeting automatically on the local computer” function. This option lets you automatically start the meeting recording and save it on your PC.
- Enable the “Only authenticated users can join” function (not available with a basic account). With this option, you will force participants to log in to access the meeting.
- Enable the “Breakout Rooms” function (not available with the Basic account). With this option, you can create different “rooms” for other users within the same meeting.
- Choose whether to automatically record the meeting and save it on the PC or the cloud (not available with the Basic account).
- Choose other hosts for the meeting (not available with basic accounts). In this field, you can enter the email addresses of whoever you want to host the meeting.
Now that you have chosen the settings for your online video conference, click “Save As.”. A summary page will open where you can invite the people you want to participate or copy the invitation and send it to whoever you wish to in any way.
Manage An Online Meeting As A Host On Zoom
Once you enter your first meeting as a host, it is good to know what you can do as the “overall leader” of the meeting. You have the possibility of:
- Turn off the microphone for all or only sure participants.
- Turn participants’ cameras off or ask them to turn them on.
- Make sure participants host or co-hosts to enable them to perform certain functions.
- Rename the participants.
- Allow participants to record the meeting.
- Remove participants from the forum or place them in the waiting room.
As you have seen, Zoom is software with many features and is very simple to use. I found it the most complete software, with excellent stability even with many participants. If you are looking for an app that allows you to have online meetings, I recommend you try it.
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