Zoom is available in four different editions, ranging from free to Enterprise. The free version is quite robust, supporting Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You can hold unlimited meetings with as many as 50 participants, but only up to 40 minutes at a stretch. One-to-one meetings have no time limitations.
The freebie offers web conferencing with screen sharing, private and group chat, instant or scheduled meetings, and meeting via a personal room or meeting ID number. Video conferencing is also part of the package, with high-definition video and voice, telephone call-in, and a view of the active speaker.
To use Zoom, click on the Sign Up Free button on the pricing page and set up your account. You can then start a meeting right off the bat or check out your account information to see if you want to change anything. You can also sign up for a live training webinar to learn how to use Zoom.
To get started, log in at the Zoom home page and click on one of three options: Schedule a Meeting, Join a Meeting, or Host a Meeting. You’ll then be prompted to download and install the Zoom Launcher file when it’s time for your meeting.
You’ll find a host of options for your meeting. You can opt to use video conferencing or just screen sharing, choose computer audio or a conference call, require a meeting password, and decide if you want to record the meeting. You can invite others to join your meeting via regular email, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail. After all the participants have joined, you can then share your screen or kick off the video conference.
A toolbar at the bottom of the screen offers buttons to mute the sound, stop the video, invite more participants, share your screen, chat with someone, and record the meeting. You’ll find a host of other options and features in Zoom, so attending one of the live training webinars is the best way to dive in.