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Why is my Chromebook dropping out during a Zoom call?

Duet Chromebook

Episode 1716

Pente from Thousand Oaks, CA

Pente's Chromebook has an issue of stalling during a Zoom meeting. Leo says that the Chromebook could be underpowered for video conferencing and as such, have problems keeping up. But it could also be an issue with the Chromebook's radio or network card. You get what you pay for and if the Chromebook is a budget model, it may not be able to handle the bandwidth. You can help by making sure there's no other tab or extension running. 

A higher-priced Chromebook will have a faster processor, more memory, and better quality parts. 

Why Won't My Webcam Work in Zoom?

Zoom

Episode 1713

Joe from Bellflower, CA

Joe does Zoom with his friends, but he can't see his video. Leo says to check the video settings and make sure it has the right camera selected. Make sure the camera is turned on and any shutters are open. Some webcams have one on the lid for privacy. Also, look in the settings to make sure your camera is actually enabled. The camera may be turned off as a security feature. Double-check in another camera app to see if it works to be sure. 

Why does Windows think my screen is larger than it is?

Edge Browser

Episode 1712

Glen from Selmer, Tennessee

Glen is fed up with Windows 10 updates breaking his system or forcing him to use the Edge browser when he'd rather use Chrome. Leo says that Microsoft is doing too much with bi-annual system updates. Lately, his windows are going outside the borders of his screen after he clicked a link in an email. Leo says that there is a default setting for Edge in system preferences that you can disable. So it won't force you to use Edge.

Is Zoom still a security risk?

Zoom

Episode 1704

Alan from North Hollywood, CA

Alan wants to know if Zoom is still a security risk? Leo says he's becoming less and less trusting of Zoom because they are giving law enforcement backdoor access to user accounts, and has canceled the account of an American activist. They have also done little to fix the security issues that have been cropping up, short of just requiring a password. Leo prefers JITSI, an open-source video conferencing solution that's free and you can start your own server for even more privacy. It's very easy to do. 

Can I create other user IDs on Zoom?

Zoom

Episode 1688

Lene from Canada

Lene has a Zoom account for video conferencing at work, and she will be setting up meetings while isolating at home. She's worried, though, about using a personal ID for the meeting and giving that ID to other colleagues for creating meetings. Leo recommends creating a separate user ID and pass that along to your colleagues to create other meetings. Leo also says that each user should have their own IDs. 

What Webcam Should I Buy for Video Conferencing?

Episode 1687

Susan from Fullerton, CA

Susan installed Zoom to handle her physical therapy sessions online. She discovered though, that her computer has no camera or microphone built-in. So what should she get? She doesn't want to spend a lot in a limited amount of time. Leo says if she doesn't have a laptop or a smartphone, then she needs to be looking to buy a webcam. Leo likes Logitech's webcams. The Logitech C922 or C910 is great. They have built-in microphones as well and plug into your USB port.

How can I change the video background while video conferencing?

Open Broadcast Software

Episode 1686

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary wants to know what's a good replacement for his OwlCam. Leo says that the Wirecutter likes the NextBase 522GW. Gary also wants to be able to change his background in Zoom. Leo says there are a ton of cool backgrounds here. But the key is to have a greenscreen and good lighting. Can he do it with Skype? Leo says you can by using OBS and a special plugin. eCam on the Mac will do it virtually.