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Zoom has flourished in one of the darkest moments for the world and it has replaced every classroom, conference room, public room, and wherever people go for a meeting. People have started using it because you can set up a meeting with people from all over the world in a few simple steps, and it is free. But, can you use it with mobile data or you need Wi-Fi to establish a meeting?
Using WiFi for Zoom is recommended, but it is not essential. You can use your data while having a meeting and perform all the basic activities on Zoom. However, as with everything online, Zoom will respond better if there is a well-established Wi-Fi connection.
In this article, I will explain everything that Zoom requires for a proper setup and how you can save up on data while using it. Despite its simplicity in use, there are things you can do that will contribute to the quality of this online platform.
Table of Contents
If you have used Skype before, then you should not have any problems using Zoom. This platform works similarly, with the only difference that it handles weak Internet connections better. Because of this, people have opted for Zoom rather than Skype.
However, before you use Zoom, you need certain things to make everything work in a pristine way. It is smart to be fully prepared to avoid unpleasant situations, which are quite common with online meetings and conferences.
First, you need to start with the equipment that is required for using Zoom. To attend or host meetings, you will need a computer or a smartphone with a microphone and speakers. Video cameras are recommended, but they are not required, therefore it would be your choice whether or not you use a camera.
Zoom works well both on Windows or Apple computers, as well as Android and iOS smartphones. Therefore, you will not have to worry about the operating system on your device, since Zoom has it all covered.
As the microphone and the speakers are essential for a Zoom meeting, you will need to check that they are working properly.
If you are using a PC and you do not have these features inbuilt, purchase them additionally. However, most computers and smartphones today have speakers and microphones, so you are probably all set with them.
The video on Zoom is not always required, especially when the meeting consists of many participants.
However, sometimes it might be convenient to use a video in the meeting, therefore getting a webcam is highly recommended. If you do not have an inbuilt webcam, you will need to purchase it.
Besides equipment, the next important thing would be the broadband Internet connection. To access a Zoom meeting properly, you would need to connect to a network that works well.
But, this does not mean that your Internet connection has to be at a certain speed because Zoom can work even if you have a slow connection.
After establishing the equipment and the Internet connection, get the Zoom client installed on your computer or smartphone.
As mentioned before, Zoom has clients for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, meaning that you will not have to install any additional programs to get Zoom working on your device.
To install Zoom, you will just have to download it from your browser. The installation process comes with a few simple steps and you are ready. Once you do this, you will have it on your device and you can use it similarly with Skype.
After you have completed this step, sign up for a free Zoom account. Signing up does not require a lot of information, so it will take only a few minutes.
If you want to make this process even easier, you can just sign up with your Google or Facebook account, and everything will be done automatically for you.
This is everything you need to use Zoom and take part in or host a meeting. However, if you need more details and more precise steps for Zoom usage, you can follow the quick guide created by the Context Institute.
As I previously mentioned, Zoom will work both with Wi-Fi and mobile data. Even if you have a really slow connection, you can still manage to do quite every activity on Zoom. However, everything on the Internet works better with a high-quality connection.
Wi-Fi connection would be a better option when using Zoom for long meetings or conferences. But, that does not mean that every Wi-Fi connection would be a better option over mobile data.
Sometimes, the Wi-Fi networks can be slower than your data, therefore opting for data at those moments would be a better choice.
I have researched different Internet speeds and how they work for different activities on Zoom. So, to make a phone call on Zoom and use its features, you will need approximately 3 Mbps Internet speeds.
If you want to make the most of the Zoom features, such as a group call with video in 1080p HD, then you will need a way faster Internet connection.
Basically, what type of connection you need depends on the things you want to achieve by using Zoom. For example, if you want a one-to-one call without video, you will need a speed of around 600 Kbps, for which you can certainly use your mobile data.
Since it is established that you can use both Wi-Fi and data for Zoom, I can now discuss the things you can do to reduce data use while using this platform.
Sometimes, you might be forced to use data for your Zoom call, therefore, you will need to be prepared to take every measure to make the best out of your meeting.
There are three simple things you need to take into consideration – turning your video off, not using HD features, and avoiding sharing the screen for too long. By following these basic steps you can certainly decrease the amount of data used by Zoom and you can improve the quality of your meeting.
When it is not required for you to use your video, then you can simply leave it off. You just click on the option “stop video” at the left corner and you reduce your data usage by at least 30%.
Sometimes, you can join a meeting without even turning on the camera, if the host selects that option.
The Zoom HD features are the ones that might be the ones that mostly slow the Internet connection. High-definition video is great, but it is not really necessary and by disabling this feature in settings you reduce the data usage by approximately 60%.
The “share screen” feature might not be so aggressive to the data usage, but it still weakens your connection. You might consider sharing your screen for shorter times rather than your whole meeting. At some points, this may not be possible, but keep in mind that this can reduce data usage.
If you want to have a proper and quality meeting through Zoom, you need to familiarize yourself with the Internet bandwidth requirements of this online platform.
To avoid any disruptions during a meeting, you have to be aware of how much data you will need for a certain meeting.
For a one-to-one meeting with a video, you will need around 600 Kbps, while for a group meeting that would be around 800 Kbps. The data usage might increase if you use your video in HD, so you might expect some interruptions if your connection is slow.
Therefore, if you need to use Zoom for one hour in a 1:1 meeting, you will spend around 540MB downloading a video, and another 540MB for uploading a video.
So, roughly you will use more than 1GB of data for a one-hour meeting. If you want to decrease the data usage, you can simply do the meeting without video.
If you are concerned about screen-sharing, remember that you might reduce the data usage by sharing your screen for shorter periods during the meeting.
If you do not need your screen shared for the whole meeting, there is no reason to put it out there and use up all of your data.
Familiarizing yourself with the Zoom Internet requirements is essential before setting up a meeting, or participating in one. It is always better to use Wi-Fi while in one, but as you could see, it is also possible to use data and still have a successful meeting.