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Zoom Frequently Asked Questions

Zoom is Pacific's official system for online, video-based meetings.

Table of Contents



Features and Options



Security & Compliance


Q: What is the difference between a free account and a paid host account?

A: For free accounts, meetings with more than 2 participants (including yourself) will be limited to 40 minutes. There is no limit on group meetings. For paid host accounts, there is no time limit on any meetings.

Q: How do I obtain a free Zoom account?

A: Sign up with your PUNet ID and password at

Q: How do I obtain a paid host account?

A: Limited numbers of licenses are available for faculty who are teaching online and for faculty and staff who are using Zoom for administrative (non-teaching) purposes. If you are a faculty member teaching online, contact CETCI (the Center for Educational Technology and Curricular Support). UIS-funded administrative licenses are distributed by the Technology Helpdesk at the direction of the dean or director of each school, division, department or VP area. If you wish to obtain a host account but no UIS-funded licenses are available, your department can purchase a license at an ongoing cost of $50 per year per license. Request department-funded licenses by emailing

Q: Does the host have to be present for a meeting?

A: No. You can choose the “Enable join before host” option when scheduling the meeting. This will allow any participant with the meeting ID to join at any time. There are two problems with selecting this option. The first is that a meeting without a Host does not have someone who can do things like allow participants to record or mute participants who are producing unwanted sounds. The second is that participants can join and start the meeting at any time, which may conflict with other meetings (see the question “Zoom says my meeting can’t start because the Host already has another meeting in progress. What should I do?” below).

Q: Can I give other users host privileges in advance of a meeting?

A: Yes, but only if they have paid host accounts. Enter their email addresses in the Alternative Hosts section while scheduling your meetings.

Q: If I am the host, and am connected to a meeting, can I leave a meeting without ending the meeting for everyone else?

A: Yes. When you go to leave the meeting, Zoom will prompt you to pass host privileges to another participant. You can pass host privileges to any other participant in a live meeting (they do not have to have a paid host account) and then can leave the meeting. If you rejoin the meeting at a later time, you will have the option to regain your host status.

Q: Can a Zoom host license be shared between multiple people?

A: No. This would be a violation of Zoom licensing.


Q: What devices can people use to connect to a meeting?

A: Meeting participants (including hosts) can connect using the Zoom app on Windows or Mac computers, iOS devices (e.g. iPads, iPhones) and Android devices. If the meeting settings allow it, participants can also dial in via phone.

Q: Can I connect to a meeting via a Videoteleconferencing (VTC) unit?

A: Yes, videoteleconferencing (VTC) devices using the .h232 protocol (such as the Polycom devices available in some Pacific University meeting rooms) can also connect to Zoom meetings. See Zoom's help article on the subject for more. However, only one VTC device, across all Pacific University Zoom meetings, can connect to a Zoom meeting at any given time. VTC devices also cannot connect to meetings hosted by free accounts.

Q: Can I borrow a webcam or microphone for use with a Zoom meeting?

A: Yes, the Forest Grove and Hillsboro Helpdesk locations have Zoom-compatible webcams (with built-in microphones) that can be checked out at no cost to students, faculty and staff. You can also reserve a microphone in advance for an upcoming meeting.

Q: Do you have a recommended webcam?

A: For single-person participation in a Zoom meeting, the built-in webcam and microphone in a laptop, phone or tablet is usually sufficient. For small meeting rooms, Zoom recommends the Logitech c930e webcam and MXL AC404 USB Conference Microphone both of which are Mac and PC compatible. If purchasing these, UIS also recommends purchasing USB extender cables.

Q: What meeting room spaces exist to facilitate Zoom meetings?

A: On the Forest Grove campus, the MPR, Berglund 200 and Tran 207 are set up as a Zoom Rooms. A Zoom Room can connect to an existing meeting, but can also host meetings (without a log in to a paid host account being necessary). Zoom is incorporated into the room’s sound system, speakers and pan-tilt-zoom camera. To connect to a meeting in the MPR, check out the MPR Zoom Room control iPad from the Helpdesk.

Other rooms are Zoom friendly, with room cameras and microphones available from the podium computers. This includes ITF 132 and HPC 165 (as of 7/1/19) on the Hillsboro campus, and Marsh 216 on the Forest Grove. Zoom can also be run from the Mondopad display in ITF 128 (small meeting room) and will take advantage of the Mondopad's camera and microphone.

For other classrooms with smart podiums, you can log into Zoom via the podium computer, but generally have to attach a USB webcam and microphone to the podium PC.

Meeting rooms and classrooms with AV systems allow users to connect a laptop to the room’s AV system or (with appropriate adapters) a tablet or phone. You can thus connect to a Zoom meeting in one of these rooms via your laptop, tablet or phone, or if you do not have an appropriate device you can borrow a laptop from the Forest Grove Helpdesk or the Hillsboro Library.

For more information on the AV capabilities of different rooms see our page on Classroom & Meeting Room Technology.

Features and Options

Q: Can I use Zoom for webinars?

A: A normal host account can be used for webinar-like meetings (many participants viewing one presenter). There is also an optional Webinar feature that can be added to any Host account for a price of $40/month which gives additional capabilities specifically suited to webinars. For more on the webinar feature, see

Q: Can I allow people to “call me” at any time in Zoom?

A: Yes. Giving people your Personal Meeting ID (found in your Account Profile) will allow them to join a meeting with you at any time. You could potentially keep the Zoom app connected to that meeting at all times. If you are not connected to that meeting, an email will be sent to you informing you that someone is waiting in your personal meeting room.

Q: How many people can connect to my Zoom meeting?

A: Up to 300.

Q: Can I use Zoom for a phone teleconference?

A: Yes. So long as you keep the Audio setting as Both (default) or Telephone, any and all participants can dial in via phone, including the host. If your meeting requires a host to be present, be sure to look up and enter your Host Key (found in your Zoom account settings:


Q: A participant can’t be heard or can’t hear others. What should I do?

A: Ask the participant to make sure the microphone is not muted (this would show up in the Zoom app as a red bar across the microphone icon). Ask participant to click on the upward-facing arrow to the right of the Microphone icon and try choosing different devices for microphone (if you can’t hear the participant) or speaker (if they can’t hear you). If that fails, ask user to dial in via phone.

Q: Zoom says my meeting can’t start because the Host already has another meeting in progress. What should I do?

A: Zoom host licenses can only have one meeting going at any given time. If one meeting is going, another meeting, even one scheduled to start at that time, will not begin. This can happen if a previous meeting has gone long. It can also happen if the Host has selected the “Enable join before host” option on another meeting and a participant/invitee in that meeting has decided to join that meeting outside of the meeting’s scheduled start and end times. The only solution is for the Host to log into and end the conflicting meeting.


Q: What are the best practices for a participant connecting to a Zoom meeting?

A: We recommend a user connect 15 minutes in advance of the meeting and use the built-in tools to test his or her speakers or microphone. We suggest the use of headphones for Zoom meetings.

Security & Compliance

Q: Can Zoom be used to discuss confidential or secure information?

A: Zoom is encrypted and can generally be used to discuss confidential information. However, our primary instance of Zoom does not meet the qualifications to discuss PHI (Protected Health Information) in meetings. If you want to use Zoom for PHI, please contact us.

See Also

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