Zoom is a communications-based app that has become an essential part of our working and personal life especially since the pandemic began. Zoom has become the number one choice for many working groups including tech start-ups and government branches. It is also used just to chat between friends and family. Zoom allows people to video-conference or audio-conference as well as host live chats and screen share information with chat members.
With Zoom you don’t need to set up an account to host or attend a meeting as you do with similar communication apps like Skype. Zoom is downloadable for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems meaning it is viable for use for anyone, anywhere and is free to an extent. There are four plans with Zoom that are available:
How do you download Zoom for your Laptop?
Downloading and installing Zoom on your windows laptop is simple. Firstly, you should open your internet browser, Chrome, Firefox, safari, whichever browser you use daily.
Next, you should type into the search bar of your browser, or copy and paste the following link, https://zoom.us/download. Now, scroll down the page to find ‘Zoom Client for Meetings.’ And click on the ‘Download’ option to begin downloading your installer. Once the installer is downloaded you can use the following process to complete your installation of Zoom on your laptop.
- The Zoom app will start to download to your laptop.
- Once the file completes, click the Zoominstaller.exe file to open it and begin the installation.
- The ‘Zoom Cloud Meetings’ app window will pop up.
- Sign in using your email address, there is also a Single Sign-On option if you already have details for Zoom.
- If you want to register you can use details from Facebook and Google to do so.
- Once you are signed in you can join an existing meeting if you have an invite already, you can schedule a new meeting or view upcoming messages.
- To join a scheduled meeting, select the ‘Join’ option and enter the ‘meeting ID’ or the meeting link you were given in the invite sent to you by the host.
- You can connect to the call on mute and/or turn off your video feed as it is optional. If you require video or audio at any point you can click on the corresponding icons in the chat to allow the feed for others to see and hear.
If you have any issues with the installation, delete the packages you downloaded for the installer and re-download them from the website. You may have selected one for a different operating system by accident.
What plans are available on Zoom?
Zoom Basic: This is the most popular plan on the app because it is free, you can host unlimited meetings, one on one so is ideal for hosting interviews and talking to family members. You can also host a conference that can have up to three attendees, however, there is a time limit on the length of video call you are allowed for free in this option. It is up to 40 minutes but you can restart the call at any time to start the timer over.
Zoom Pro: This plan allows you to host meetings with a few people such as a small team if you are working on a project. You can keep recorded meetings in the cloud and allow the host to create IDs for team members. The time allowance for this plan is up to 24 hours.
Zoom Business: This is a plan that is great for midsized businesses allowing up to ten hosts where needed. You also get a transcript of your meetings and company branding when you invite people to join a meeting with Zoom.
Zoom Enterprise: You wouldn’t really use this plan unless you have a large business because it allows a minimum of one hundred people to host but has an absolute ton of features you don’t get with the other plans that are available on Zoom. You can have up to five hundred people on one call making it an excellent platform to host a business seminar or something like what you would see with Ted Talks.
In conclusion, Zoom is easy to use and this is one of the reasons it has become so popular especially in 2020/2021 where the need for this type of communication is essential because of social distancing requirements and lockdowns all over the world. Zoom has a lot of features that I have not gone through here but you should definitely navigate through the app and see what they have to offer. As far as communications go, it is safe, reliable, and one of the best available on the market, especially because it is a relative newcomer to the world of video conferencing.