What is Zoom and How Does It Work? Pro Tips and Tricks

Zoom is a popular video meeting tool that helps people connect online when they can’t meet in person. It’s great for work and also for social gatherings. Whether you’re part of a small team or a big one, or just want to chat with friends and family during holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, Zoom is a go-to solution to stay in touch and keep things going smoothly.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is an online video meeting service that helps you connect with others, either through video, audio-only, or text chats. It even allows you to save these meetings for later viewing. Zoom’s popularity soared in 2020, with a remarkable 227% growth, building upon the significant presence it had already established among Fortune 500 companies in 2019.

In conversations about Zoom, you’ll often hear about “Zoom Meetings” and “Zoom Rooms.” A “Zoom Meeting” is simply an online gathering you host using Zoom, where participants can join in using their webcams or phones. On the other hand, a “Zoom Room” refers to the physical equipment set up in conference rooms that let big companies organize and start Zoom Meetings.

For larger companies, Zoom Rooms are an excellent choice, but they do come with an additional subscription cost beyond the regular Zoom subscription.

Zoom is equipped with a plethora of valuable features:

How Zoom Works: Select Your Plan

Zoom is a versatile platform that lets you start with one-on-one chat sessions and expand to larger group calls, training sessions, webinars for both internal and external audiences, and even global video meetings with a whopping 1,000 participants, with 49 on-screen videos simultaneously.

The free plan includes unlimited one-on-one meetings, but group sessions are limited to 40 minutes and 100 participants. If you’re looking for more, paid plans kick off at just $9.99 per month per host.

When it comes to Zoom’s pricing, there are four primary tiers, excluding the Zoom Room subscription:

These are all designed for personal subscribers, but business users can explore additional options:

To download Zoom, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Zoom’s Official Website: Open your web browser and go to Zoom’s official website at zoom.us.
  2. Sign Up or Sign In: If you have a Zoom account, sign in. If not, you can sign up for a free account by clicking “Sign Up, It’s Free” or selecting “Sign In” if you already have an account.
  3. Download Zoom Client: After signing in, click on the “Download” link at the top of the page.
  4. Choose Your Platform: On the download page, select the appropriate download link for your operating system. Zoom is available for Windows, macOS, and mobile devices.
  5. Download and Install: Once you’ve chosen your platform, click the download button and follow the on-screen instructions to install Zoom.
  6. Launch Zoom: After the installation is complete, you can launch Zoom and sign in with your account to start using the app for video meetings and more.

That’s it! You’ve successfully downloaded and installed Zoom on your device.

Zoom Outlook Plugin: Simplifying Your Scheduling

Apart from the different Zoom app options, Zoom offers an additional way to enhance your scheduling experience. Enter the Zoom Outlook plugin, a handy tool tailored to seamlessly integrate with your Microsoft Outlook client or serve as an Add-in for Outlook on the web.

This nifty plugin effortlessly places a Zoom button right into your familiar Outlook toolbar, streamlining the process of initiating or scheduling a Zoom meeting with just a single click. It’s all about making your virtual meetings more accessible and efficient.

Zoom Browser Extensions: Enhancing Your Web Experience

If you’re all about convenience, here’s a nifty solution for initiating or planning Zoom meetings with ease – browser extensions. Whether you’re a Chrome enthusiast or prefer Firefox, Zoom has got you covered with its dedicated Chrome extension and Firefox add-on. These handy tools allow you to seamlessly schedule Zoom meetings right from Google Calendar.

Just a quick click on the Zoom button, and you’re all set to start an instant meeting or plan one for a later time. Plus, all the meeting details are sent via Google Calendar, ensuring that participants can effortlessly join the discussion, making your virtual gatherings smoother than ever.

Utilizing Zoom in Your Web Browser

Running Zoom in your web browser is a flexible option, whether you don’t have any apps installed or just like the convenience of your browser. Even if you already use Zoom apps, the browser route is available to you. When you click a Zoom link on your desktop, it triggers a speedy browser tab to open and launch the Zoom app on your device.

If you encounter issues with your app, it’s out of date, or you’re facing login troubles, you can easily bypass the app and go directly through your browser. All it takes is to close the app and return to your browser. You’ll spot a helpful dialog that offers you the choice to join your meeting through your web browser. It’s a straightforward solution to ensure your Zoom experience remains hassle-free.

Bringing Zoom to Your Television

You can enjoy Zoom on your television, making those video calls come to life on the big screen. To explore the many methods for setting up Zoom on your TV, we’ve put together an informative guide that you’ll find valuable. It’s a great resource to help you get started with Zoom in the comfort of your living room, creating a larger-than-life video chat experience.

What’s the contrast between Zoom’s paid and free versions?

Zoom offers different options for free and paid users, and here’s what you can expect from each:

Free Users

If you’re using the free version of Zoom, you can download the app to your computer or phone and join any meeting with the provided meeting ID. Before joining a meeting, you have the flexibility to turn off your audio or video. You can also create a free Zoom account, which allows you to initiate new meetings, set up scheduled meetings, join existing ones, share your screen, add new contacts, and more.

Paid Users

For those with a Pro, Business, or Enterprise account, you can sign up and install Zoom on your computer, using your work email. This enables you to connect Zoom with your calendar, making it easy to schedule Zoom meetings and invite participants from afar.

If you’re in the process of setting up a Zoom Room, you’ll need a computer to coordinate and run Zoom Meetings, along with a tablet for attendees to launch the meetings. Additionally, you’ll require a microphone, camera, speaker, at least one HDTV monitor to display remote meeting participants and an HDMI cable for screen sharing on a display. A reliable internet connection is also crucial.

To complete the setup, download “Zoom Rooms for Conference Room” on the in-room computer and “Zoom Room Controller” on the meeting room’s tablet. You can also synchronize these rooms with your company’s shared calendar so that employees can easily check the availability of meeting rooms. It’s all about making the meeting experience as smooth as possible.

Zoom’s Security Concerns and Improvements

Earlier in 2020, there were worries about the security of Zoom, especially with unwanted guests crashing in on meetings, known as Zoombombers. To address these concerns and make users feel more secure, Zoom took some steps. For example, they removed the meeting ID from the call’s title bar. This way, if users shared screenshots online, it wouldn’t expose the meeting to potential misuse. The company also rolled out several updates to enhance security.

One of the default security updates was requiring a password for Zoom meetings. They also introduced virtual waiting rooms, ensuring that only invited participants could join the call, making it more secure for everyone.

Zoom now offers security tools that are easy to use while your meetings are in progress. You can manage and secure your meetings with just a few clicks. These tools let you do things like locking the meeting once it starts so that no new people can join, removing participants from the call, muting participants, and disabling private chat.

In June 2023, Zoom made additional improvements to enhance user privacy. This included features like EEA-based Data Storage, a European Support Team, Data Subject Access Requests, a Marketing Preference Center, Audit Log Tracking, and more visible data retention. These additions, combined with the existing security measures, make Zoom a reasonably secure application.

Reporting Participants for Inappropriate Behavior

You now can report participants who are causing problems or simply not welcome on your call. If someone is being disruptive, you can remove them from the call. Furthermore, you can take it a step further by sending a report to the Zoom Trust and Safety team. They’ll address any misuse of the system and take necessary actions.

This ensures that troublesome participants are not only removed from your current call but are also prevented from causing disruptions in future calls.

To make a report, simply click on the meeting’s security button and select the report option. It’s an effective way to maintain peace and order during your Zoom meetings.

What is OnZoom?

Back in October 2020, Zoom introduced OnZoom, a platform that has since entered the public beta phase. OnZoom is an innovative online events hub and marketplace designed for paid Zoom users. It empowers individuals and businesses to create, host, and even make money from a wide array of events, from fitness classes and concerts to stand-up comedy, improv shows, and music lessons.

As the world grappled with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many entrepreneurs, small businesses, and organizations had to find new ways to reach and serve their customers. Zoom recognized the need and launched OnZoom to simplify this transition, offering a streamlined experience for event organizers. To explore how OnZoom works, you can visit their website at onzoom.com.

It’s a promising platform that brings events to life in the virtual space, connecting people in creative and engaging ways.

What Are Zoom Apps (Zapps)?

Back in October 2020, Zoom introduced something exciting called Zappos. These were essentially apps that both free and paid Zoom users could access within the Zoom platform. It’s like having your app store right where you need it the most – within a Zoom meeting, chat, webinar, phone call, or even your contacts directory.

Zoom explained that Zapps were there to boost productivity and create more engaging experiences during your virtual interactions. Although Zoom initially used the term “Zapps,” they have now transitioned to simply calling them “Zoom Apps.”

Zoom partnered with several big names, including Atlassian, Asana, Box, Dropbox, Slack, and many more. These partnerships brought a wide range of Zoom Apps to the table. For example, you could use the Dropbox Zoom App to easily share documents you’ve been working on. If you need to conduct a poll during your Zoom meeting, you could turn to the Slido Zoom App. And for managing team projects, the Asana Zapp has you covered.

If you’re curious and want to see these Zoom Apps in action, you can head over to zoom.com/en/zoom-apps/. There, you’ll find demo videos and access to Zoom’s app marketplace, where you can discover and acquire apps designed to enhance your Zoom experience. It’s all about making your virtual meetings and collaborations more efficient and engaging.

What Does Zoom Intelligent Director Do?

In the ever-evolving world of Zoom, a fresh feature made its debut in June 2023, aimed at making meetings smoother for both remote and in-office workers. Now, in Zoom Rooms, when you’re having hybrid meetings where some are physically present and others join virtually, the power of AI and multiple cameras comes into play.

This clever combination ensures that the camera captures the best angle of participants in the physical room. The result? Remote participants get a clear and inclusive view of everyone present in the room, bridging the gap between the in-person and virtual experience.

This feature is tailor-made for medium to large-sized meeting spaces, making it an ideal fit for larger companies. It comes in handy for those instances where not everyone can be physically present at the office. With Zoom’s continuous innovations, they are striving to enhance the meeting experience for everyone, no matter where they are located.

What Does Zoom Scheduler Do?

Similar to Google Hangouts, Zoom has introduced a handy feature called Scheduler. With Scheduler, users can effortlessly slot in meetings on their calendars at a time that suits both parties. If you’re the meeting host, you have the flexibility to set up available time slots, enabling potential clients or participants to select a convenient meeting time.

Scheduler offers the option to create recurring schedules for regular meetings or customize availability for one-time gatherings.

It caters to both one-on-one meetings and larger group meetings, allowing you to specify how many people can join each slot. While it comes at a premium cost of $5.99 per month, for those who frequently use Zoom, this tool is well worth the investment. It streamlines the scheduling process, making your meetings more efficient and organized.

What Does Zoom AI Companion Do?

In the bustling world of Zoom, a new AI feature made its debut in August 2023, known as Zoom AI Companion. This clever tool harnesses generative AI, similar to the popular Chat GPT service, to enhance collaboration and boost productivity right from within the Zoom platform.

It’s seamlessly integrated into all facets of Zoom, from Meetings and Team Chat to Phone, Email, and Whiteboard. One of its impressive abilities is to accelerate the process of reviewing meetings by creating concise summaries.

This way, participants can quickly catch up on what they missed, without causing any interruptions to the group.

For a deeper dive into Zoom’s AI Companion, you can explore our comprehensive guide, providing a more in-depth understanding of this innovative tool. Zoom is continually evolving and expanding the presence of the AI Companion in various parts of the platform, ensuring that your Zoom experience remains efficient and effective.

Zoom Hacks: Setting Up Recurring Meetings

With Zoom, the process of scheduling recurring meetings is a breeze. You get to configure your desired call settings just once, and they’ll be right there every time you plan a meeting. Plus, you can use the same URL for joining calls consistently. If you’re using the Zoom mobile app, the steps are straightforward. Log in, hit the schedule button, tap on the Repeat option, and then pick your preferred recurrence pattern.

Whether it’s daily, weekly, or another choice, Zoom’s got you covered. And if you’re looking for more detailed guidance on scheduling meetings and exploring all the meeting settings, Zoom’s FAQ on scheduling meetings has you covered. It’s all about making your meeting planning as efficient as possible.

How to Capture Your Zoom Meetings as Videos

With Zoom, you can transform your calls into video recordings, but there’s a little catch – you need permission to make it happen. The person hosting the meeting, usually referred to as the “meeting host,” has the power to give the green light for recording. It’s a wise move to ensure that your account settings are aligned with this feature before diving into action.

To make sure you’re ready to record, follow these straightforward steps:

It’s also good to know that Zoom administrators possess the authority to activate recording for different scopes – they can do it for everyone, specific users, or groups. You can find further instructions on recording settings in this regard. When you’re all set to record a Zoom meeting, you’ll need to make a decision: save it locally or in the cloud. Opting for “Local” means you’ll keep the video file on your computer or another storage destination. Meanwhile, “Cloud” is exclusively available for paid subscribers and stores your video in Zoom’s cloud storage.

However, for the recording feature to work, you’ll need Zoom on macOS, Windows, or Linux. If you choose to “Record to the Cloud,” Zoom will capture the video, audio, and chat text and store them securely in its cloud.

When your Zoom call kicks off, you’ll notice a recording option at the bottom of your screen. Clicking on it opens up the choice to record locally or in the cloud. If you can’t find this option, be sure to check your settings in the web app (located under My Meeting Settings) or request your account admin to enable it. The recorded files can later be downloaded to your computer or conveniently streamed from a web browser.

Throughout the meeting, you’ll be able to track who else is recording, and all participants will receive a notification when the meeting starts being recorded. Once your call concludes, Zoom will take care of the rest, automatically converting the recording into a handy MP4 video file.

Capturing Zoom Meetings on Your Mobile Device

Recording Zoom meetings and calls on your mobile device is a handy capability. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this can only be done through cloud recordings, which require a paid Zoom subscription. Additionally, be mindful of the limited cloud storage, as it may restrict the number of meetings you can record when using the mobile app.

To record a Zoom call using your mobile, simply follow these user-friendly steps:

Sharing and Annotating on Your Mobile Device

Sharing and adding notes during a meeting from your mobile device is a breeze. You can easily share files right from your phone within the meeting and even utilize the whiteboard feature by jotting down comments using your fingertip.

Plus, when you want to make annotations while viewing a screen shared by someone else, just follow these steps: Click on View Options at the top of the Zoom window, then select Annotate. A handy toolbar will pop up, offering a range of annotation options like text, drawing, arrows, and more for your convenience. This makes collaboration and communication in your Zoom meetings smoother and more interactive.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Zoom

Navigating Zoom meetings has never been easier with handy keyboard shortcuts. You can effortlessly access a range of features and tweak settings with these time-saving keystrokes.

Here are some of our top picks:

These keyboard shortcuts are your ticket to a smoother Zoom meeting experience, putting the power of control at your fingertips.

Read more: How to block someone on iMessage

Sharing YouTube Videos in Zoom Made Easy

You’ve got a neat trick up your sleeve with Zoom – the ability to seamlessly share YouTube videos during your presentations. The process is surprisingly straightforward. Just have the YouTube video you want to showcase ready in your web browser. When you’re ready to share it, click on the “share screen” option, and select your web browser from the available choices.

There’s one more essential step: make sure to tick the “share computer sound” option within that box. This ensures that every participant in your Zoom call can both hear and see the YouTube video. For a more in-depth guide, you can explore the detailed instructions available right here. It’s a fantastic way to enhance your presentations with engaging video content.

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