Its features are useful and easy to learn with a little training.
finder.com's rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Quick verdict: Zoom's powerful collaboration tools can make it convenient to host virtual meetings or provide education services – as long as you've got the bandwidth and skills to understand its interface.
- Wide variety of pricing plans
- Supports multi-screen sharing and private chat
- Works across several device types
- Can suffer under bad bandwidth conditions
- Only as intuitive as its users
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How is Zoom handling the COVID-19 outbreak?
In response the the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom is currently removing time limits on meetings for schools using the free Basic tier in the US, Japan and Italy. To get access, students or teachers can submit an application on Zoom's website using an email address associated with their school's domain.
Free accounts with unlimited minutes are also available by request for schools in Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania and South Korea.
WATCH: How to schedule a Zoom meeting
- Multi-user interface makes it easy to host meetings and share data
- Can get more complex, which can be confusing
- Capable of delivering quality video to all participants
- Can be choppy depending on broadband speed
- Solid video and audio conferencing tools for just about every usage scenario
Should you buy it?
Zoom has many fans and it's not hard to see why. The barrier to entry is literally nothing, and the service you get for free is astonishingly robust. Some small businesses could get by almost entirely without sending a cent Zoom's way.
Equally, there's plenty of value that larger businesses will find on its paid tiers.
The basic tier is a good place to determine if Zoom is right for your needs compared to services such as Google Hangouts, WebEx and others. But for many, Zoom will likely be more than enough, and at a competitive price.
Pricing and availability
Zoom offers a suite of software applications depending on the size of your business and the scope of your needs. Most will use Zoom for its user-friendly videoconferencing platform, Zoom Meetings, which comes in four different subscription tiers:
The Basic ("Personal Meeting") version of Zoom is free and is surprisingly full featured, with support for up to 100 participants, group collaboration, web-based desktop sharing and local recording of meetings. Note that the free tier only supports meetings of a maximum length of 40 minutes, and you can only have a single host.
The Pro Zoom package runs AUD$20.99 per month, but your meetings can run up to 24 hours. There's the same basic 100-user limit, but with the option to buy add-on packages for up to 500 or 1,000 active participants if needed.
Business and Enterprise
The AUD$27.99 Business tier gives you up to 300 participants, plus cloud-recording transcript options and company branding options. The same pricing applies to the Enterprise tier, which bumps up regular participant numbers to 500.