How to use Zoom for beginners

Zoom is a popular way to run a meeting or have a catch-up when you can’t do it in person – and it’s super easy to use.

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Here's everything you need to know to get going with Zoom meetings when you're working or socialising from home, so you're not wasting time trying to figure it out on your own.

How to download Zoom

On your computer

  1. Visit Zoom's official website and download "Zoom Client for Meetings". You can also do this by clicking our 'Get deal' link below.
  2. Install the app on your computer.
  3. If you want to make an account, visit zoom.us and click the "Sign Up, It's Free" button in the top right corner.
  4. Follow the prompts and activate your account. You will now be able to sign in, which is important for hosting meetings.

On your mobile

  1. Download the iOS or Android Zoom app from your phone's app store.
  2. You can create an account or sign in using a similar process to the computer desktop version above.
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Zoom Video Conferencing

Zoom Video Communications was Named a 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers' Choice for Meeting Solutions.

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How to set up a Zoom meeting

On your computer

  1. Log into your account on the desktop app.
  2. Click the "Host a Meeting" button in the top right and pick from video on, video off or screen share only.
  3. Invite people to the meeting by pressing the "Invite" button at the bottom of the meeting. You can send invitations by email, pasting the URL you get from "Copy URL" into a chat app, or directly inviting your Zoom contacts.

On your mobile

  1. Sign into the Zoom app on your phone.
  2. Click on the orange "New Meeting" icon.
  3. Click on the "Participants" button at the bottom of the meeting to invite people to the meeting in the same way as on desktop.

How to join a meeting using Zoom

You can join a meeting as a guest on desktop or mobile by either of the following methods:

  • With a meeting link. Copy the meeting link into your web browser.
  • With a Meeting ID. Open your Zoom app and click "Join a Meeting". Then enter the Meeting ID into the provided field and press "Join".

How to record a Zoom meeting

You can record a Zoom meeting and save it either to your mobile/computer or to the Zoom cloud if you have a paid account. The host must either record or allow participants to record the meeting.

On your computer

  1. Start the meeting you want to record.
  2. Hit the "Record" button and choose between "Record on this Device" or "Record to the Cloud".
  3. You can pause/end the recording by hitting the "Pause/Stop Recording" button, or by ending the meeting.
  4. Once the meeting is over, Zoom will process the recording and save it for you.
  5. You can change the folder where the recording gets saved and more under "Settings" in the "Recording" tab.

On your mobile

  1. Mobile users may only record to the cloud, so you'll need a paid Zoom account.
  2. Press the "More" button during a meeting and select "Record to Cloud".
  3. Pause/stop the recording under the "More" button.
  4. The recording will be saved to "My Recordings" on your Zoom account.

How to change your Zoom background

On your computer

  1. Go to "Settings" and click "Virtual Background".
  2. Choose from the default backgrounds, or upload your own picture to use as a background with "Choose Virtual Background".

On mobile

  1. During a meeting, press on the "More" button and select "Virtual Background".
  2. Choose a default background, or upload your own picture to use as a background.

6 tips and tricks for using Zoom

Now that you've got the basics down pat, we've got 6 handy tips to keep in mind when you're using Zoom.

  1. Screen sharing is available
    You don't always need to be on video, and screen sharing definitely helps when you're trying to explain some things. You can share your screen with other users via the "Share screen" icon at the bottom of the screen during a meeting, or use Zoom's inbuilt whiteboard.
  2. Mute and hide your video by default
    Not keen on showing your face when you enter a meeting? In "Settings", under "Audio", you can set it so that your microphone is muted by default when you join a meeting. The same thing can be set up for your camera in the "Video" tab of "Settings".
  3. Schedule meetings
    You can easily set up a meeting and invite participants ahead of time with the "Schedule a meeting" function. You can send email invitations and calendar reminders to participants with iCal and Google Calendar.
  4. Use the "Raise Hand" feature
    Zoom can be awkward when there's lots of people in a meeting and you're trying to avoid speaking over another person. Pressing the "Raise Hand" button under the "Participants" tab at the bottom of the meeting can notify the host that you'd like to say something, in a non-disruptive manner.
  5. Try the "beauty filter"
    If you don't feel like you're looking your best, Zoom has a quick fix for you. Under "Video Settings", there's a "Touch Up My Appearance" feature you can enable. This will smooth out your appearance, similar to a selfie filter.
  6. Mute yourself
    When you aren't talking, do your fellow participants a favour and make sure you're muted. No one needs to hear miscellaneous sounds from your microphone when you're not speaking. You can do this manually via the "Mute Microphone" option at the bottom of a meeting, or toggle it on and off quickly using the spacebar.

How much does Zoom cost?

Zoom's basic video conferencing is free to use up to 100 participants with 40-minute meeting limits (one-on-one meetings have no time limit). However, there are paid licences available for those who need them.

  • Pro. $17.49 per month, per user, or $209.90 for the year. Unlimited length group meetings for up to 100 participants, plus streaming to social media and 1GB of cloud space for recordings.
  • Business. $23.33 per month, per user (minimum of 10 licences), or $279.90 per year. All Pro features, plus host up to 300 participants, get recording transcripts, a managed domain and company branding on your Zoom calls.
  • Enterprise. $23.33 per month, per user (minimum of 100 licences) or $279.90 per year. All Business features, plus host up to 500 participants (1,000 with an Enterprise+ plan), unlimited cloud storage and a dedicated account manager.

How much data does Zoom use per hour?

How much data Zoom uses depends on the streaming quality of your video and how many people are involved in the meeting. For one-on-one meetings, you'll use between 500MB and 1.5GB per hour. For group meetings, it's between 800MB and 2.5GB per hour.

What kind of Internet connection do I need for Zoom?

Fortunately, Zoom doesn't require a top-of-the-line Internet connection to function. You'll be able to get away with an NBN 25 or higher Internet connection, although you might want an NBN 50 connection if you're not the only person in the household working from home or you're doing more than one thing online at a time.

Avoid Zoom lags and compare NBN plans below

We're showing NBN 50 plans and faster by default. You can filter the results below by speed to ensure they match your working from home requirements. The more people in your household and the more demanding your online activities, the faster the plan you'll need.

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