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Why use Zoom?
The platform, whose interface is available in several languages including French, offers the possibility of sharing messages, documents, images, videos, and other types of data with the participants of a discussion group. It also supports some cloud storage services including Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box files for data sharing. The service integrates screen sharing to simplify your work meetings (meetings). Finally, its invitation system offers the possibility of simply joining a videoconference using your contact list.
Here are the main features. But Zoom is much more than that. Indeed, the program offers various products depending on the use you need to make of it. Thanks to it you will be able to modernize your meetings.
Thus Zoom makes it possible to manage meetings and discussions: HD videos, audio, collaboration, and discussion in instant messaging. You can also create meeting rooms and workspaces that will become digital conference rooms, ideal when the users who need to participate are not physically there (telecommuting, employees in another country, etc.). You will also be able to create video webinars (webinars, online) with all the necessary features and can accommodate thousands of participants simultaneously.
Zoom is an ideal product for all businesses and professionals in general. You can use it to carry out distance training by creating virtual classrooms on the cloud, you can improve your exchanges and communications with your customers by giving conferences, etc. Ideal for remote courses for students and high school students.
Your employees may be teleworking or you may have branches abroad, you will still need to hold work meetings. Zoom is therefore the ideal tool for establishing remote communication via the Internet, regardless of the solution adopted.
Signing up for Zoom is free, some services require membership in a paid subscription tailored to your needs. The free version allows for 100 participants for 40 minutes and is unlimited for face-to-face calls. Easy to use and fully secure, it takes collaborative work to a new level.
What’s new in the latest version of Zoom?
Zoom has been able to evolve according to the demand of its customers. Among the latest notable innovations, we first note the possibility that is given of not having to download software to install, but of being able to connect directly via the online service or with browser extensions. Zoom also supports multi-camera for companies that have it, and allows text transcription of recordings. It is now possible to share only part of your screen (to keep the rest private).
In May 2020 Zoom continues to insert security improvements to its interface. Thus we can welcome the automatic arrival of the waiting room (as in Google Meet ) and the obligation to protect the meeting with a password. These two parameters should make it possible to solve the problems of unwanted connections (by malicious people who have stolen the access identifiers to the room). These settings are now in place not only for paid accounts but also for free ones.
February 2021 still sees new options coming to the video conferencing service. Most are related to the use of compatible devices (Zoom Rooms for Touch and Zoom for Home). But not only since Zoom continues to develop its Studio Effects to make videoconferences more fun. You will indeed be able to add to your face a beard, a mustache, make up, etc. To do this, download the effects from Studio Effects.
Since its April 2021 update, Zoom plans to bring together all participants in a videoconference in the same collective immersive setting. This new feature allows the meeting administrator to choose a collective background by activating the new Immersive View mode. All the portraits of the interlocutors will be collected in a virtual meeting room, a classroom or another background of his choice, instead of being displayed in a classic grid.
In August 2021, the new version of Zoom focuses on back to school with its new feature called Focus which is specially designed for distance education. It improves concentration by preventing participants from seeing each other and therefore distracting themselves. Students can only view the video of the organizer and participants selected by the teacher.
September 2021: Zoom offers you a brand new feature: automatic translation.
December 2021: A new feature now allows meeting organizers to see who has joined the meeting and who is absent in the Attendees panel. This new feature is available to hosts who have enabled Google Calendar and Outlook integration. Other options and improvements have been made to Zoom’s poll tool and for online courses.
In March 2022, Zoom is rolling out a new Avatars feature for its Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinar desktop and iOS apps. This feature allows you to replace your appearance with a virtual pet that will mirror your facial expressions and head movements. Zoom already had fun filters and customizable backgrounds, but this changes your whole look.
How do I enable encryption and security on Zoom?
Since version 5, security has been highlighted with, in particular, a new icon that allows faster access to security tools such as locking a meeting and deleting a participant, click on it to display the list of available parameters. Zoom now offers AES 256-bit GCM encryption to enhance the privacy security of its users.
With regard to paid accounts, note the possibility for the administrator to configure the length and composition of the password to connect. Additionally, password protection for shared cloud recordings is now enabled by default for all accounts. Finally, the administrators of paid accounts will have the option of activating or not certain DataCenters to regulate data traffic.
Zoom continues its security developments in November 2020. For example, it is possible for conference hosts and co-hosts to pause the conference while reporting the presence of individuals who have no business there. In addition, Zoom has implemented a system that detects the presence of conference links on public sites and sends a notification to the host to warn him that his link is public. Everything is there to avoid the famous Zoombombing (users who connect to conferences where they have not been invited).
Since the update dated October 26, 2020, it is possible for all Zoom users to activate end-to-end encryption of videoconference exchanges. This option has long been reserved for paid users of video conferencing software.
To do this, log into your Zoom account and click on your avatar at the top right. Then go to the settings, accessible in the left side menu.
Scroll through the different configuration options until you find the setting: End-to-end encrypted meetings (E2E).
To activate the encryption service, a validation code will be sent to you by SMS.
This option adds an additional layer of security but certain features are no longer available, such as the use of telephone lines. It will also be necessary to restart this option on each call.
Which OS is Zoom compatible with?
Zoom is available as a downloadable mobile application compatible with Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) which allows you to join meetings from your mobile device as if you were on a computer.
As far as the computer is concerned, you can download and install Zoom in a dedicated Windows application. For other operating systems, there are two extensions for browsers, one for Mozilla Firefox and one for Google Chrome. With these extensions, you will have access to all Zoom from any system (Linux, Mac, etc.).
You can also log in to your Zoom account directly from the online service, from any system and internet browser.
What are the best alternatives to Zoom?
There are many communication products (software and applications) that allow remote video (video conferencing) and audio (call) group conference meetings. Most are free to download and offer basic features that are enough for most meetings: video, audio, instant messaging, screen sharing, and sometimes file sharing. The ones we offer are all cross-platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, or iOS: iPhone, iPad).
We can thus speak of Microsoft Teams, the remote meeting solution from the Microsoft firm which allows file sharing (photo, image, etc.) and collaborative editing.
At Google, you can use Google Meet, a direct competitor to Zoom. Easy to use access to all users with a Google account (i.e. at least users with an Android mobile device). It allows video conferencing, screen sharing, etc.
In the same corporate meeting-oriented spirit, we can name Slack, which allows file-based collaboration and has a complete meeting tool.
If you want to keep videoconferencing a little simpler, you can go to Skype, and if you want an instant messaging system with secure cross-platform file transfer, you can go to Telegram.
In the context of teleworking, there is a tool that allows you to hold meetings and as a bonus to work remotely on your computer, it is TeamViewer.