Webex Meetings and Zoom have comparable pricing plans. They both offer Free plans with similar capabilities. The key difference between the two softwares’ offerings is that Webex Meeting’s Free plan allows users to host meetings of any length, whereas Zoom caps meeting times to 40 minutes per meeting.Feb 3, 2020
Carefully tested Webex Circle
Perth Hash House Harriers Ways to survive isolation.
|Hash Virtual Circle |
Due to our current Hash activities being suspended because of the COVID-19 virus it was decided to attempt out first Virtual Circle. A ‘Clayton’s Circle’ if you will, the circle you are having when you are not having a circle.Most Hash chapters are using Zoom for their virtual circles.
There has been a number concerning articles published about security issue with Zoom so we ‘experimented’ with Cisco WebEx.
Our tests were run exhaustively over about 5 minutes or so and it was deemed to be a success with Bushranger, Gumby (after a few false starts) and Sherlock were able to successfully chat with sound and video. Birdman was in at the start (Birdman is a self proclaimed IT early adopter).
However when the circle started at 6:00 PM we discovered that there was a limit of three concurrent video sessions with our free version of WebEx.
Plan B – use Zoom
Gumby has been commissioned to report on his Zoom experience after joining a Zoom meeting with another chapter at 8:00 PM on Monday 6th April 2020.
GerryCan expressed confidence in Zoom Pro having previously experiencing it in meetings of up to 25 or more people.
We hope to be able to have a more workable solution for next Monday’s circle.
For those who are interested these were the issues that caused us to be wary using Zoom:- Zoom privacy and security issues: Here’s everything that’s wrong (so far) Zoom CEO responds to security and privacy concerns: ‘We had some missteps’
Lets go with Zoom and have a virtual circle next Monday at 6:00 PM.
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I have been looking at various options for a while as well, including for another group. These included trialling:-
- Skype for Business,
- Webex Meet,
- Webex Teams, and
I was initially against Zoom for a variety of reasons, as there were many alternates. However, when I actually read and saw many of the reviews, most issues were regarding Zoom Bombing. No matter which application you use, if you advertise the invitation, anyone can drop into the meeting. This is why I have suggested that we adopt the recommendations that I highlighted. I have spent considerable time researching and trialling the various apps. I suggest that you also read and see the reviews that I have sent, and come back with your concerns. Its not about re-inventing the wheel, but about finding an app that Users are comfortable with (ease, familiarity etc), is seamless (no config or usage issues), provides a social level of security and very importantly, easy to use. As we know, we have some very technically challenged Users who are part of this group and I am trying to find the easiest solution that meets their technical comprehension capability.
During our successful trial last night, I advised all Users of recommendations that I read in the security reviews;
- Always use a new Password and automatically generated Meeting ID Number for each meeting
- Do not post Invitations highlighting Meeting ID Number and Passwords on Public Web Sites or Bulletin Boards
- Only distribute Invitations via end-to-end encrypted applications, ie WhatsApp – to avoid Zoom Bombing
- When joining a meeting, Users first join a virtual Waiting Room and can only be brought into the meeting by the Meeting Organiser – to avoid Zoom Bombing by unknown people
- When joining, Users Microphones are automatically Muted, so they can’t take over the meeting immediately. Users will need to Unmute their microphone
- The Organiser can mute individual Users, if they are becoming loud and attempting to hijack the meeting
- When Users leave, they should terminate the call, log and Shut Down the application, so that cameras and microphones can’t be accessed remotely by unauthorized hackers.
We did see the email from Malaysia and others about China’s domination of the world through Corona Virus and Zoom, but believe that the recommendations of experts should have some integrity. We believe that if these steps are followed, it should reduce the risk of Zoom Bombing and initiating cameras, microphones and accessing bank account details by unauthorized Users. FYI, I have included a few links of reviews etc of Zooms security issues which we reviewed, which I’m sure will reduce some home boredom;