ZOOM? or Google Hangouts or ?

75cent bleacher seat

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I've been tasked to establish telephone/computer conferencing, I have zero experience with this. What I am looking for is something that is user(access) friendly....compatible with a computer and telephone simultaneously....allows for a max of 50 people to join in...meeting time of 40 minutes minimum...relatively inexpensive, say $15.00mo....muting feature...one where I don't have to be the only facilitator...and anything I might have missed...HELP!

Pops
 

Scoops Bolling

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Google Hangouts can handle all of that, and I believe it should effectively be free so long as you have a G-Suite account. That also allows you to create the call in a Google Calendar event so people can simply click through to dial-in (or click the link to join by computer). They say it can handle up to 150 people, although I've never been on a Hangouts call with more than 10 to 15, but I've never had reason to. Zoom handles all of the above as well and the pro plan runs about $15 a month. I've also used https://www.freeconferencecall.com/ in the past without any difficulties, and it should also cover your bases.

Beyond muting and ease of access, is there any other criteria? Most of these services, as someone who uses them pretty much daily, are effectively equal unless you're planning on using video and screen sharing and other bells and whistles. If all you need is a conference call, any of them will do the trick.
 

Fratboy

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What does screen sharing allow for? Does it display who is speaking at the very moment? Is Skype an option?

thanks for the reply
Screen sharing allows for any participant to display their screen (or window) to the rest of the people on the call. The sharer can also grant permission for another caller to control their screen. Screen sharing is very useful when conducting group reviews, training, etc. It should be a part of any package you're researching.
 

Scoops Bolling

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What does screen sharing allow for? Does it display who is speaking at the very moment? Is Skype an option?

thanks for the reply
Screen sharing doesn't show who is speaking, it's to show what's on your computer's screen. So if someone needs to go over a presentation or some other visual, they can share their screen to show their computer screen, and go through it. It's an optional thing, usually a button you press. I think there is some ability for the person running the meeting, depending on the software, to choose who can show their screen or what shows, but don't quote me on that as it's outside the bounds of my normal use of such a thing.

Skype isn't really suited for this, to my knowledge it's really meant for one on one, like Facetime.
 

Seels

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Is screen sharing on google hangouts too? I teach and want my kids doing presentations in the least painful way possible.
 

Bongorific

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I used zoom this week for the first time. Figuring out that I could change my background so it looked like I was broadcasting from the Fenway Park press box was the highlight of my week.
 

Koufax

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Did you have to use a green screen?
 

oumbi

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At my university and other schools, Zoom is quickly becoming the preferred method for conferences. The most people I have seen use it at once is 100+, and it was fine. Basically, the person speaking is centered and their pix is the largest. On top, in a long row, are the pix of everyone else. I haven't see 150 people, but maybe it can do it.

Zoom allows sharing of desktop (which is handy), texting to everyone or "privately" to individuals, mute (in large groups ask everyone to mute unless they want to speak so as to limit background noises, turn off video, and you can set up meetings/invitations to appear on your calendar.

Best of all for me and my severe tech limitations, Zoom really is easy to use. The control buttons are all on the bottom of the screen and fade away when you don't do anything. To get them back, simply move the mouse. Simple = good for me.
 

jercra

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If you already have Office 365 then you already have MS Teams. It does everything you want and is essentially the corporate version of Skype (ok, not really, but for but the purposes of this discssion it is).
 

tonyandpals

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Skype isn't really suited for this, to my knowledge it's really meant for one on one, like Facetime.
Not sure of the difference between Skype and Skype for Business, but we just cut over from Skype4B for Business 2015 to MS Teams. We regularly had calls of 50 to 100+ people on Skype4B. The transition to MS Teams has been pretty easy since we've been using all the other pieces of Office 365 already. I just don't like the fact that you can't break out your chats from the teams window. So if I am in a meeting, and I have another chat going, I have to minimize the meeting to see the chat, rather than pop it out.
 

TallerThanPedroia

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Did you have to use a green screen?
Having used it now once, I am an expert, so: you don't, though I think having an uncomplicated IRL background would help. It sort of guesses how far you are from the camera and then everything farther away gets replaced by the background. So if you lean back too fast your head might disappear.
 

75cent bleacher seat

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I tried to establish an account with G Suite but became frustrated with after going part way through the process I was required to purchase a domain name which became an exercise itself, blah blah.

Let me start over...here's what I'm looking for...

easy access...call a number and enter an access code...privacy is a must with no recording capability....for those with a computer viewing others or the host is a plus....

thanks,
Pops
 

NDBoston

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I tried to establish an account with G Suite but became frustrated with after going part way through the process I was required to purchase a domain name which became an exercise itself, blah blah.

Let me start over...here's what I'm looking for...

easy access...call a number and enter an access code...privacy is a must with no recording capability....for those with a computer viewing others or the host is a plus....

thanks,
Pops

Buy a Zoom Pro license for $15 a month per host (cheaper if annual) and you get a number to dial into but 90% of Zoom users connect through VoIP because of the way the product is architected. It won't be a shit show like Skye, Webex, GoTo Meeting, etc. Just have earbuds or some sort of headset. TRUST ME

You can disable recording from the admin level so nobody can record and control a number of settings. It comes with 58 dial-in countries as a part of the subscription cost , but again, YOU DONT NEED THEM. More details on admin controls are here. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200305483-Admin-Management

We are also doing live training every day here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360029527911

Good luck!
 

graffam198

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Not sure of the difference between Skype and Skype for Business, but we just cut over from Skype4B for Business 2015 to MS Teams. We regularly had calls of 50 to 100+ people on Skype4B. The transition to MS Teams has been pretty easy since we've been using all the other pieces of Office 365 already. I just don't like the fact that you can't break out your chats from the teams window. So if I am in a meeting, and I have another chat going, I have to minimize the meeting to see the chat, rather than pop it out.
Have you tried double clicking on the chat in the chat pane? Or, clip the elipses, select pop out chat:

29285
 

graffam198

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Looks like we're on a different version than you (365?). Ours has the elipses, but no option to pop it it. Double clicking is a no go as well. Thank you for the suggestion though.
Hmmm. Yeah, I am an employee so I might be running the beta version before mass release. If it is any conciliation, it's coming!
 

jimv

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My university is using Zoom for classes, meetings, student 1-1s, etc. So far, so good. Setting up a test run with another user was a great way to get a bit more comfortable with the software before hosting a real event.

Also, when hosting I've been told its a good idea to setup the meeting so attendees aren't allowed to share their desktops. Otherwise outsiders may crash your meeting and share inappropriate things
 

NDBoston

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My university is using Zoom for classes, meetings, student 1-1s, etc. So far, so good. Setting up a test run with another user was a great way to get a bit more comfortable with the software before hosting a real event.

Also, when hosting I've been told its a good idea to setup the meeting so attendees aren't allowed to share their desktops. Otherwise outsiders may crash your meeting and share inappropriate things
some other good tips can be found here

 

garlan5

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I use my boys open fortnite mic and my daughters constant tiktok and facetime videoing as a platform to talk to everyone. Though its mostly 7-11 year olds listening to dad scream clean that mess up
 

jimv

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Tips from university IT to prevent "zoombombing" -

3 simple, non-disruptive precautions to setting up safe and secure Zoom meetings:
Disallow removed participants from entering. This is the default setting for all university users, but please double-check your individual settings.​
Disable Join Before Host setting. This requires students to wait for the host to arrive before the meeting starts.*​
Lock the Meeting. Once all students have joined or 10 mins into the class, set (Participants > Lock Meeting), to prevent any new participants from joining the meeting while in-progress.​
 

NDBoston

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DJnVa

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I don't know what that means. How is that malware?
Next tweet:

Using malware techniques seems part of Zoom's DNA. Recently Zoom was caught secretly installing web servers on users' machines that allowed any website to forcibly join a user to a Zoom call, with their camera on, without consent.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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This is BAD. Apple should kick this off the App Store until they rewrite the code.
If I understand correctly, macOS users don’t get this app from an App Store. Mac users download an installer from the Zoom website that has this, ah, controversial code in it.

Do you want Apple to kick the iOS app out of the store because there’s code like this in the Mac installer? What if there’s naughty code in the Windows version’s installer? The Linux version’s installer?
 

NDBoston

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Please read the whole article. We have released fixes for the things mentioned. It's been an insane 3 weeks and everyone at Zoom is working literally nonstop to keep the platform running. We won't stop keeping that experience safe as well. This isn't marketing spin. The people at this company care and it starts at the top. Thanks for reading.
 
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NDBoston

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FYI- Fixes seems to be in 4.6.9 that's coming out today. So not yet available for download but coming shortly.
 

Seels

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So my school has mandated we use hangouts. The problem is that meets doesn't allow for whoever is presenting to also present sound on video. Any one know a work around for this? Google isn't especially helpful here.
 

NDBoston

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So my school has mandated we use hangouts. The problem is that meets doesn't allow for whoever is presenting to also present sound on video. Any one know a work around for this? Google isn't especially helpful here.
Hangouts or Meets can't really do that that I'm aware of.
 

canderson

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If I understand correctly, macOS users don’t get this app from an App Store. Mac users download an installer from the Zoom website that has this, ah, controversial code in it.

Do you want Apple to kick the iOS app out of the store because there’s code like this in the Mac installer? What if there’s naughty code in the Windows version’s installer? The Linux version’s installer?
I meant iOS, my bad. And yes if they know about any installer they should flag the URL (they can do this with non App Store apps, so I’m sure they can this way). It’s a resolved issue now so all’s well that ends well.
 

canderson

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Please read the whole article. We have released fixes for the things mentioned. It's been an insane 3 weeks and everyone at Zoom is working literally nonstop to keep the platform running. We won't stop keeping that experience safe as well. This isn't marketing spin. The people at this company care and it starts at the top. Thanks for reading.

Steve
Zoom is by the easiest to use, thanks for working hard to patch any vulnerabilities!
 

Bigpupp

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So my school has mandated we use hangouts. The problem is that meets doesn't allow for whoever is presenting to also present sound on video. Any one know a work around for this? Google isn't especially helpful here.
There's no workaround for this other than putting your mic next to a speaker.

Another problem right now is that nicknamed Hangouts/Meets aren't being closed after the last person leaves the room and remain active as long as you have the link. Not the biggest issue in the world, but would allow kids to hop on an unsupervised video chat after the teacher leaves the room.
 

Seels

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There's no workaround for this other than putting your mic next to a speaker.

Another problem right now is that nicknamed Hangouts/Meets aren't being closed after the last person leaves the room and remain active as long as you have the link. Not the biggest issue in the world, but would allow kids to hop on an unsupervised video chat after the teacher leaves the room.
Yea---that sucks, cause my mic is a pair of $8 headphones. Lame. I asked my IT guy to figure this out as not having video really fucks over my classes. I could find a workaround for two of them, annoying as it is, but really can't for another.

I did notice the meets lingering video thing -- two of the kids in my class stayed after in one talking to each other. I didn't think anything of it as social distancing means friendships probably aren't happening as much.
 

Don Bradman

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Please read the whole article. We have released fixes for the things mentioned. It's been an insane 3 weeks and everyone at Zoom is working literally nonstop to keep the platform running. We won't stop keeping that experience safe as well. This isn't marketing spin. The people at this company care and it starts at the top. Thanks for reading.
The large federal agency that I work for has banned all employees' use of Zoom until further notice. This is a big problem since we need to virtually attend meetings hosted by other federal and non-federal agencies who still use Zoom.
 

Bigpupp

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The large federal agency that I work for has banned all employees' use of Zoom until further notice. This is a big problem since we need to virtually attend meetings hosted by other federal and non-federal agencies who still use Zoom.
Our school district has banned zoom right now as well.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Security guru Bruce Schneier on Security and Privacy Implications of Zoom

(TLDR: ugly)

Privacy first: Zoom spies on its users for personal profit. It seems to have cleaned this up somewhat since everyone started paying attention, but it still does it.
"Depends what you mean by 'sell.'" "...most of our users would see us as selling..." "...as that practice is commonly understood." That paragraph was carefully worded by lawyers to permit them to do pretty much whatever they want with your information while pretending otherwise
Zoom's encryption is awful. First, the company claims that it offers end-to-end encryption, but it doesn't. It only provides link encryption, which means everything is unencrypted on the company's servers.
I'm okay with AES-128, but using ECB (electronic codebook) mode indicates that there is no one at the company who knows anything about cryptography.
Zoom is a security and privacy disaster, but until now had managed to avoid public accountability because it was relatively obscure. Now that it's in the spotlight, it's all coming out. On 4/2, the company said it would freeze all feature development and focus on security and privacy. Let's see if that's anything more than a PR move.
 

InsideTheParker

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I was invited to join a family seder that will use Zoom, and I checked here and feel rather negatively about it now. It's certainly absurd to suggest that bad guys will be interested in a seder, but the thought of possibly something getting something unwelcome on my cellphone or providing a window to Facebook, which I studiously avoid, gives me pause.
 

DJnVa

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Did the update change the thing that allowed private messages sent during meetings from showing up in the log afterwards?
 

DJnVa

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Zoom, the videoconferencing app that has become wildly popular during the coronavirus crisis, admitted that it had “mistakenly” routed some user data through China, marking the latest in a string of mis-steps to cast doubt on the security of the platform.