The Zoom video conference app works for Android, iOS, PC and Mac. The app offers a basic free plan that hosts up to 100 participants. There are also options for small and medium business teams ($15-$20 a month per host) and large enterprises for $20 a month per host with a 50-host minimum. You can adjust meeting times, and select multiple hosts. Up to 1,000 users can participate in a single Zoom video call, and 49 videos can appear on the screen at once.
The app has HD video and audio capabilities, collaboration tools like simultaneous screen-sharing and co-annotation, and the ability to record meetings and generate transcripts. Outlook, Gmail and iCal support scheduling and starting meetings. In Gmail, for example, just click the calendar icon, then click the time of your meeting, then click the link under Join Zoom Meeting. If the host scheduled it, there might also be call-in options.
Read more: 13 Zoom video chat tips, tricks and hidden features
If your mic and camera are off, Zoom has the option to communicate via chat (the interface looks a bit like Slack). This feature can also be helpful if it's a massive all-hands meeting and the opportunity for questions is available.
It's free to sign up with Zoom -- you can either manually create an account with an email or sign in with Google or Facebook.
If you use Zoom, it's important to take into consideration the security issues that have come to light since its rapid rise in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. Privacy experts have expressed concerns over the video-conferencing software's privacy risks and hacking vulnerabilities, as well as zoombombing (where uninvited attendees break into and disrupt meetings). The New York City Department of Education recently told teachers to stop using Zoom in favor of Microsoft Teams while security threats are addressed by the company.
However, if you're still using the platform, there are some steps you can take to protect your meetings, like using a per-meeting ID and enabling the "Waiting Room" feature so you can see who is attempting to join a meeting before allowing access.