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Zoom (also known as Zoom Cloud Meetings) is a cross-platform, cloud video conferencing tool. It allows users to remotely connect via PC or phone and participate in video conferences, webinars, online teaching courses and more. Whilst Zoom is designed with businesses in mind, this is actually a very good app for group video calls between friends, as you are able to see multiple users at the same time.
What is Zoom and what is it for?
Zoom is a piece of software designed to organize and attend remote meetings from a desktop computer or mobile device. Its popularity has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with millions of people around the globe being forced to telework and attend virtual classes. After many hours of virtual meetings, many users have admitted suffering a phenomenon called Zoom fatigue. Although Zoom is absolutely bigger in the professional field, it is also very suitable for having video calls with friends and family.
What are the key features of Zoom?
- Easy joining: Entering a meeting or inviting participants is a piece of cake. You can do so through an invitation link, meeting ID or even by dialing a number, for the ones connecting to the conference through a traditional phone.
- Crisp clear calls: The audio and video quality during a Zoom meeting is exceptionally high. Mainly for this reason, Zoom is the market leader when it comes to video conferencing applications.
- Third-party apps: Zoom perfectly integrates with other productivity tools, such as Outlook, Google Calendar and Slack.
- Additional features: Some extra features that stand out include the possibility of recording meetings, exchanging files, chatting and using virtual backgrounds.
How to install and use Zoom on your PC?
You can download Zoom by clicking on the download button on the top of this page. Run the ZoomInstaller.exe file and follow the instructions on the screen. If you want to simply participate in a call you were invited to, you do not need to create a Zoom account. Many people praise Zoom for its easy accessibility. On the other hand, if you plan to host a meeting or want to have access to advanced features, you will indeed have to log in to Zoom. Creating a Zoom account is uncomplicated, and if you wish you can do so through a Google or Facebook account in order to save time.
Is it free?
Yes, Zoom is free for everyone intending to use the tool personally or on a light professional level. With Zoom Basic you can enjoy unlimited one-to-one meetings with a 30-hour time limit per meeting. You can also have free group meetings, although these are limited to 40 minutes per session. If you want access to advanced features and unlimited call duration then you will need to purchase one of the below-mentioned Zoom subscriptions:
Is Zoom safe?
So what about using Zoom, is that completely free of risks? Due to its extremely rapid growth over the past couple of years Zoom became the target of hackers, giving rise to a spam practice called Zoombombing. Since then, the Zoom development team has made many efforts to improve the encryption of conversations and thus protect the privacy of users. To avoid any type of risks we recommend you to follow the best practices mentioned in our better Zoom security article.