Video conferencing is an increasingly available technology for virtual face-to-face meetings with other people. As we continue to rely on these platforms to stay connected with our colleagues, family, and friends, we here at the San Mateo County Libraries would like to help you explore the options available!
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
Growing in popularity, one particular standout, opens a new window is the software Zoom Video Communications, opens a new window.
If you choose Zoom as your go-to for video calls, check out their instructional videos, opens a new window, as well as several others easily found on YouTube. Some good places to start are these videos on how to join a meeting, opens a new window, hosting a meeting, opens a new window, or a general search for Zoom video conferencing, opens a new window.
The Zoom Client for Meetings, opens a new window software has versions that run on several kinds of devices, opens a new window. Displaying all of a meeting’s participants on your computer screen, the client software is free for participants, other than the host. I’ve installed Zoom on many of my own devices, my Windows laptop, Linux laptop, and Android phone. It’s even the software we use for hosting our virtual One-on-One Tech Appointments, opens a new window!
However, Zoom is still a commercial product and has been criticized for its privacy and security problems. While the company has promised to fix these and did so, opens a new window, it's still important to keep yourself informed, so here are a few articles to get you started.
- Zoom Says Free Users Will Get End-To-End Encryption After All, opens a new window. The Verge.com, June 2020.
- Zoom Security: Dramatic U-Turn Confirms Encryption For Millions, opens a new window. Forbes.com, June 2020.
Alternates to Zoom
In light of its recent security and privacy concerns, you might want to explore Zoom alternatives. However, all online platforms come with a degree of risk – always do your research first!
- Zoom Alternatives: 4 Super-Secure Apps For Private Video Calls, opens a new window. Forbes.com, June 2020.
- The best free apps for video calling, opens a new window. Theverge.com, June 2020.
- What is Zoom? How it works, tips and tricks and best alternatives, opens a new window. Techradar.com, June 2020.
At the end of the day, what’s important is staying safe while video conferencing, whether with Zoom or an alternative. Here are some ways you can make your experience safer, opens a new window.
How have your experiences with video conferencing been? Let us know!