As coronavirus keeps people indoors, we're all flocking to video chat services to stay in touch with colleagues, friends and family. Zoom's video chat software has been surging in popularity. It's not new — the company was founded in 2011 — but it's new to a lot of people.
Zoom is free as long as you keep calls to under 40 minutes and fewer than 100 participants. Or, you can upgrade to an entry-level $14.99 monthly plan which lets you host up to 100 people for up to 24 hours. Additional people, rooms and cloud recording options cost more.
Fortunately, it's easy to become a Zoom pro even with the free tier. I'll show you how.
Now you're all set to begin in case someone sends you a link to join a video conference. But you might also want to host your own call.
Zoom lets you improve how you appear to others. You can change the background wallpaper, for example, if you want to hide the messy home office you're sitting in. Here's how to do that.
There are some keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate Zoom quicker. Here's how to find them:
You can run a Zoom call from the web if you aren't able to download the app on a computer you don't own.
Finally, you'll want to prevent people from sharing content that could ruin your Zoom conversation — a type of hijacking that has been dubbed ZoomBombing. You probably don't need to worry about this if you're with people who normally behave, but if you're hosting a call with strangers, you should take a few precautions. Here are some of Zoom's recommended anti-ZoomBomb protocols:
Correction: This story was updated to reflect the correct number of people who can participate in a free video call.