I looked into using Jitsi as an open source alternative to Zoom for conferencing. With everyone worried about Covid19, my martial arts class wants to do meetings online, and my instructor asked me to find a more privacy-respecting video conferencing software. Jitsi is the best one I found, and is much more trustworthy than Zoom in my opinion.
Some interesting things I found about Jitsi:
It’s really simple, it has no ads and looks pretty trustworthy.
It works with Mac and Windows (and Linux, of course) but you can setup your own Jitsi server if you are feeling paranoid. However, the public server that Jitsi provides should be private enough for most people’s purposes. The Jitsi Meet public server is hosted by 8x8, which is a company that has its own line of video conferencing software.
According to the Jitsi Meet privacy blurb:
“8×8 is not in the business of selling personal information to third parties. 8×8 uses this information to deliver the meet.jit.si service, to identify and troubleshoot problems with the meet.jit.si service, and to improve the meet.jit.si service. In addition, 8×8 may use this information to investigate fraud or abuse.”
- Go to meet.jit.si (yes, that is the URL)
- Enter the name you want for the meeting, and you will get a room with that name e.g. meet.jit.si/ASB-TEST
- Send the link to other participants. By clicking the link they will join the meeting on their device’s browser, or the app if they downloaded it.
My findings for best configuration
You must use Chrome for the audio and video to work properly.
To record the screen and save to your device and not Dropbox, type ⌘+⇧+5 (command + shift + 5)
Firefox works fine on Windows 10, but Jitsi will pop up a warning implying: “Use Chrome, idiot”
If you choose Chrome, you need to go to your privacy settings and deny microphone and video permission to all other programs before Jitsi will work for audio and video on Chrome in Windows
Of course, Linux doesn’t have any of the problems mentioned above. It’s just great.
I may investigate how to host a private Jitsi server for us on my Ubuntu desktop. Wouldn’t that be cool?
That’s all I have on Jitsi for now.‹ ›