Zoom is a high-quality video conferencing app that’s great for both business meetings and remote family get-togethers. What makes it even better is that you can download Zoom for free.
A free account will get you unlimited meetings per day, no time limits on one-on-one meetings, and a 40-minute limit on group meetings with up to 100 people.
How to Download Zoom
Zoom is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. There are also web extensions for Chrome and Firefox that you can add for your convenience. You can start using Zoom immediately, without even creating an account.
Follow these steps to download Zoom for your device:
- Click on the Download button on the sidebar to jump directly to the Zoom download page.
- Choose the ZOOM for Meetings option and it will detect your operating system and download the appropriate file. If you want the browser extension, scroll down until you come to the Firefox or Chrome option. Click on that button and follow the directions.
- The ZoomInstaller file will automatically download to your computer. Click to open it and run the installer.
- Once the installation is complete you will be able to Join a Meeting or Sign In to your account.
How to Uninstall Zoom
If you’re returning to work or your boss decided on a different web conferencing platform, you can uninstall Zoom in a few simple steps.
- Type Add or Remove Program in your Windows search bar.
- Scroll down until you see Zoom and click UNINSTALL
- The uninstaller will run and Zoom will be removed in under 2 minutes.
I started using Zoom when I had to work from home during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, even as life went back to normal and I was able to go back to the office, it gave me the freedom to work from home more often.
These days I’m using Zoom in my personal life as well. My extended family likes to get together once a week and catch up, and Zoom is one of the better platforms we’ve used.
Zoom uses 720p video quality (you can increase it to 1080p if you have the business plan) and there’s an option to enable HD.
There are a lot of great features in Zoom that will help you get the most out of your meeting.
- Schedule: You can schedule one-time or recurring meetings, and add them to your calendar.
- Share Your Screen: You can share your entire desktop, phone, or tablet, or share a specific application or browser page.
- Whiteboard: This is one of the Share Screen options. It’s a great tool if you want to illustrate something during your meeting.
- Mute and Unmute Participants: The meeting host can control the excessive talking and background noise by muting any and all participants.
- Record Meetings: If someone missed the meeting, or had to step away for a few minutes, it’s no big deal. You can record all meetings to the cloud or your desktop.
- Chat Room: Chats can either be sent to the entire group or to specific people in the group.
- Waiting Room: If you don’t want people coming late to the meeting or you want to know when people are logging in, activate the Waiting Room. Just note, you will have to grant each person permission to go from the waiting room to the meeting, which can be annoying at times.
Not all the features are geared towards productivity. Some of the features are just there to lighten the mood. You can use the Virtual Background for some laughs or just to hide the mess that’s behind you. It’s not perfect, and sometimes if you move around parts of your body may disappear, so you may want to pick and choose when to turn it on.
In early 2020, Zoom got in a little trouble for claiming to have end-to-end encryption on all video calls, when in fact only the presentations used in the calls had this high encryption levels.
They have since updated the security policies and added new security features, such as enhanced encryption, requiring a password to join a meeting, and the option to lock a meeting.
While it isn’t perfect, it’s hard to find any web conference software, let alone a free one, that does a better job when it comes to security.
Free Alternatives to Zoom
- Skype: Skype is the original free web conferencing platform. Its platform allows for up to 50 participants to join the video conference. Similar to Zoom, Skype allows the host to record the meeting and share their screen.
- Whatsapp: While it wasn’t built as a web conferencing app, Whatsapp has upgraded the video calling features to allow for unlimited meetings with up to 8 participants. It’s more suited for personal use, calling friends and family, but it’s a good solution if you want to speak with a smaller team or group as well.
Is it safe to download Zoom?
I’ve tested Zoom with VirusTotal and it came back 100% clean. It’s important to only download the software from a reliable source and not a third-party website. It’s also important to download the latest updates, which will fix any security flaws or vulnerabilities that are discovered.
Is Zoom Secure?
Zoom meetings are encrypted with 256-bit TLS encryption and presentations that are shared have end-to-end AES 256- bit encryption. It also introduced several security measures to prevent unauthorized users from joining a meeting, such as a password requirement, waiting rooms, or the option to lock a meeting once it begins.
What’s the difference between a premium and a free Zoom account?
For most users, a free Zoom account is good enough. It allows for unlimited one-on-one meetings, up to 100 participants in group meetings, and a 40-minute time limit on group meetings. The premium packages have longer time limits, the ability to customize your personal ID, an admin dashboard, vanity URL, company branding, and more.
Do you need a webcam to use Zoom?
You can participate in a video conference call even if you don’t have a webcam. You’ll be able to share your screen, speak, and watch the other videos. The only limitation is that no one will be able to see your smiling face.Read More