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The nightmare of Zoom Waiting for Host

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OK, I confess, in our organizations, we typically have a single organization zoom account since there are not enough meetings to justify everyone having a paid account. This leads to all kinds of issues because of different defaults, but the short note is that you want Zoom meetings security to be set to the passcode to allow participants to join before the host, so you can set a meeting and non-hosts can join.

This matters because Zoom only allows one client at a time to be logged in and using a meeting so you will sometimes get this message, “your client is logged out” for mysterious reasons I’ve not quite figured out. So the strategy of everyone just using the same zoom account doesn’t work.

If you want this to work right, there are two things you need to do:

  1. Allow participants to join before the host. Ok, the most confusing thing about zoom is that they have Site, Group and per User permissions. So to globally all this, you go to the administrator site (typically this is your one paid account)_ and then go too Account Management > Account Settings > Meeting and then turn on Allow participants to join before host and turn of Waiting Room and also Allow participants to join before host and uncheck allow participants to join before meeting so there is no fixed time.
  2. Then if you have groups, you have to go to User Management > Groups Management > Settings > Meeting and make sure Join before host is enabled if you have created any.
  3. Then finally for each user, you go to Settings > Meeting and make sure join before host is enabled and that participants can join minutes before stating is off.

So with this, you can see if you can create a new meeting from the web portal and then login as someone else on your local machine and see if you can just get into the meeting. One way to tell this is that the URL’s that are getting sent have a pwd entry.

Superhuman and Zoom for quick meetings with unpaid accounts 

OK, I do use Superhuman and they’ve implemented a really useful, K to create a calendar entry and then B will give you an automatic zoom link. One thing to know is that with superhuman by default, the “host must be present” is required. It turns off the passcode so you get a nice simple URL, but it means that you have to be logged into your paid account or assume that the meeting is going to be short.

In Superhuman, you log into a specific account, so if you log in to the paid account then you have to be logged in to that account to start the meeting. Most of the time these will be short meetings, so it makes sense to use a free account for this purpose. So you can check this with a ⌘-K and search for Meeting Link Settings and check that `Automatically add Zoom links to new calendar events is set and the Zoom account is the right one (the unpaid ones). You can fix this by clicking on the greyed Sign out button.

Now when you say create a Calendar with B, you will automatically get a zoom link which is nice!

Slack and Zoom not working right

OK, we could never really get this to work. When you do a /zoom meeting >topic< we would get a code and even though participants can join before host and passcode are set, it still needs the paid user account to start as host. 

And even worse is that when trying to check the Slack to Zoom integration in the App Settings, Slack hangs on that screen, so something has really gone wrong with this.

The workaround is that someone always has to log in as the paid account for this to work which is a real pain.

Make to change to Enhanced Encryption instead of end-to-end with Chromebooks or phones

And, the last thing is that the new default is end-to-end encryption. This means that the clients have to be smart enough to have encryptions keys. So, this means that it won’t work with phones or Chromebooks for instance, so uncheck in those cases, if folks are using mobile clients and PCs, then leave it on end-to-end

And make sure allow participants to join anytime. before start time and uncheck waiting room.

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