Everyone who has retained their professional responsibilities post Covid-19 has heard of Zoom. Almost all of them have probably used Zoom at least once if not regularly. Zoom provides Video Conferencing services to its users via a cloud-based platform that operates on a peer to peer network. It is now widely used for many aspects of any student or professional’s life. In spite of the company quick success their platform has a lot of serious problems, let’s look at some of them today and discuss alternatives.
A reporter for Tom’s Guide has made a detailed timeline of every single one of the issues that zoom faced and the actions they took to mitigate these. It’s a very long read with many serious and inconsequential issues being discussed. The major issue is that zoom makes it easy for the user’s data to be breached in some way or the other. Another possible problem is that zoom is a Chinese product and is subject to their censorship laws in all countries. Zoom is also vulnerable to hackers due to the nature of a peer to peer connection.
A peer to peer network is an architecture that partitions processes to equally privileged participants. The equal privileges define the security of a call in this case as each participant may have varying levels of security and a breach in one user results in a total breach.
Microsoft released a similar app called Teams in 2017, 6 years after the zoom app was created, neither products were particularly popular until COVID-19. With the recent events, their market has expanded significantly but zoom has already conquered a vast majority of it. But Microsoft keeps improving their product and just recently released a feature update that puts its functionality above zoom. Zoom only allows 100 participants in a free call but Teams now allows up to 300 participants. Zooms free calls are limited to 45 mins but Microsoft allows unlimited free calls. It has already overcome many of the security vulnerabilities that zoom faced. The only thing giving zoom the edge now is its widespread acceptance. Most people don’t worry about security issues as they don’t handle any confidential matters. People are used to zooming now, but that could very easily change with if Microsoft keeps improving their product
If you’re someone who uses Zoom regularly consider trying teams out. A monopoly leads to lazy development and unfriendly consumer practices. If more people switch, Zoom will quickly respond and fix most if not all of its issues.