There are a number of video conferencing options, including my favorite, Google Hangouts. Unfortunately, many of the programs are either too cost prohibitive, or too limited in the number of participants they can host. That’s where Zoom comes in.
I first discovered Zoom at ABA Techshow, where I spoke with one of Zoom’s marketing managers.
Zoom interested me because of its ability to utilize mobile video conferencing options, and because Zoom is one of the few video conferencing providers with an Android app.
Zoom Cloud HD Video Meetings (free) is a well-designed app with a number of features to extend the video conferencing experience.
I love that you can connect the app with your Google account or sign in with your Zoom username and password.
There’s really nothing phenomenal or unique about the app – you can host, join or schedule a meeting- so the uniqueness of the program comes from the pricing.
Get this: video conferences for up to 25 participants are free. There is a 40 minute time limitation, but if you’re going to meet longer than that, it’s best to work out other arrangements. Of course, you can sign up for the $9.99 per month plan that gives you an unlimited meeting time.
I also love the fact that all meetings are full HD audio and video, which fully improves the meeting experience. Obviously, your internet speed will determine the overall quality of the conference, so if the audio and video sucks it’s your fault, not theirs.
If you have some non-Zoom participants, they’ll rejoice because each Zoom conference includes a telephone sign-in option.
Finally, and perhaps Zoom’s most important feature, is the fact that Zoom conferences are fully secure. This means that all of the connections between clients and Zoom’s servers get protected with 128 bit AES encryption.
That’s why choosing and using Zoom’s free plan isn’t too bad. Really, you’re not missing out on too much. here’s a look at the 6 areas where the free plan differs from the paid features:
Obviously, if you’re doing a lot of conferencing, pay for the product. Personally, I think Zoom’s offering too many options in their free plan, but I suspect you might even find an inexpensive paid solution in one of Zoom’s a la carte or Enterprise options.
Zoom really is a great solution for saving expenses on meetings and travel. Overall, I give Zoom 5 of 5 stars.