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About PINs, Hosts and Guests

For added security, you can set up your Pexip Infinity Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums with PIN numbers. You can use the same PIN for all participants, or you can use PINs to differentiate between Hosts and Guests. When a participant dials the alias of a Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium that has a PIN, they are presented with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) screen where they are asked to enter the PIN number. They must enter the correct PIN before they can join the conference.

This topic covers:

Using the same PIN for all participants

All participants in a conference that uses a single PIN will have the same Host privileges. (To create a PIN-protected conference where participants have different levels of privileges, see Using PINs to differentiate between Hosts and Guests.)

Participants have 3 attempts to enter a correct PIN. After the third unsuccessful attempt, they will hear a message advising them that the PIN is invalid, and their call will be disconnected.

All PIN entry attempts, successful and unsuccessful, are logged in the administrator log.

To set a PIN number on a Virtual Meeting Room:

  1. Go to Service configuration > Virtual Meeting Rooms.
  2. Select the Virtual Meeting Room.
  3. In the Host PIN field, enter the PIN number to be used.
  4. In the Allow Guests drop-down list, select No.

Note that:

  • PINs must use the digits 0-9 only.
  • PINs may optionally end with #.
  • PINs must be between 4–20 digits long, including any #.

Using PINs to differentiate between Hosts and Guests

You can set up your Pexip Infinity Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums so that they are "Hosted". Hosted Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums have two different types of participants: Hosts and Guests. Hosts and Guests both dial the same alias in order to join the conference, however:

  • Only those participants who enter the Host PIN will have privileges to control the conference; everyone else is a Guest and can only view the conference.
  • If a conference is locked, Hosts will still be able to join but Guests will be held at a waiting screen.
  • For conferences that use Virtual Auditoriums, the administrator can select different layouts for the Host view and Guest view. For more information, see Selecting the layout seen by participants.

Guest privileges

  • If any Guests join the conference before a Host has arrived, they will be shown a holding image and hear a message advising them that they are waiting for the conference Host.
  • A minute or so after the last Host has left, any remaining Guests will be automatically disconnected. During this time, Virtual Auditorium Guests will be able to see other Guests in the selected layout. (Note that administrators can change the length of time before Guests will be disconnected by going to Platform configuration > Global settings > Guests-only timeout.)

In addition, if the conference is held in a Virtual Auditorium:

Host privileges

  • Normally, Guests cannot join a conference until the first Host has joined. This does not apply if the Host is control-only, so control-only Hosts can elect to start the conference manually, thus allowing Guests to join.

  • If the first participant to join the conference is a Host, they will be shown a holding image until another Host or Guest joins the conference.
  • If the conference has a Host PIN, participants who enter the Host PIN will be able to join a conference even if it is locked.
  • The presence of a Host in a conference may prevent that conference from being automatically terminated.
  • A minute or so after the last Host has left, any remaining Guests will be automatically disconnected. (Note that administrators can change the length of time before Guests will be disconnected by going to Platform configuration > Global settings > Guests-only timeout.)
  • Hosts can use Infinity Connect clients to:
    • disconnect participants from the conference
    • add participants to the conference
    • mute and unmute an individual participant, or all Guest participants simultaneously
    • lock and unlock a conference, and to allow individual participants in to a locked conference
    • change the role of other participants in the conference
    • control another participant's camera
    • send DTMF tones to other participants in the conference.

If the conference is taking place in a Virtual Auditorium:

  • The Pexip Infinity administrator may configure the Virtual Auditorium so that Hosts see other participants in a different layout to that seen by Guests. For more information, see Selecting the layout seen by participants.

Host and Guest PINs

You can create two types of Hosted conference:

  • the Host must enter a PIN but Guests do not, or
  • both Hosts and Guests must enter a PIN.

Participants have 3 attempts to enter a correct PIN. After the third unsuccessful attempt, they will hear a message advising them that the PIN is invalid, and their call will be disconnected.

All PIN entry attempts, successful and unsuccessful, are logged in the administrator log.

Creating a Hosted Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium

To create a Hosted Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium:

  1. Go to either:
    • Service configuration > Virtual Meeting Rooms
    • Service configuration > Virtual Auditoriums.
  2. Select the Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium.
  3. In the Host PIN field, enter the PIN number to be used by the Hosts.
  4. In the Allow Guests drop-down list, select Yes.
  5. If you want to require Guests to enter a PIN, in the Guest PIN field, enter the PIN number to be used.
    If you leave this field blank, anyone who dials the alias of the Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium will be able to access the conference as a Guest. However, the conference will not start until the first Host has joined and in the meantime all Guests will continue to be shown the holding screen.

Note that:

  • Host PINs and Guest PINs must be different.
  • PINs must use the digits 0-9 only.
  • PINs may optionally end with #.
  • PINs must be between 4–20 digits long, including any #.
  • If the Host PIN ends in # and a Guest PIN is used, the Guest PIN must also end with #.
  • If # is not used, Host PINs and Guest PINs must have the same number of digits.
  • You cannot configure a Guest PIN unless you have already configured a Host PIN.

Using # at the end of a PIN

PINs can optionally end with a # (known either as the pound or hash character). Using a terminal #:

  • Allows administrators to set different length PINs for Hosts and Guests.
  • Allows users who have accidentally entered too many or too few digits (particularly those using audio-only, who have no on-screen indication of the number of digits required) to return to the start of the PIN entry process by entering #.

The Administrator interface will prevent you from entering a Host PIN that ends with # and a Guest PIN that does not (or vice versa).

For conferences where a terminal # is used, Pexip Infinity will automatically use the appropriate audio file, asking participants to "please enter the conference PIN number followed by the pound key". Preconfigured themes allow you to change the use of "pound key" to "hash key".

For Infinity Connect clients, the terminal # is optional when entering a PIN.

Examples

  • If you want to use a terminal # on a VMR with a Host PIN of 1234 and a Guest PIN of 567890:
    • in the Host PIN field enter 1234#
    • in the Guest PIN field enter 567890#.

    Now when anyone calls the VMR they will hear the message "please enter the conference PIN number followed by the pound key".

  • If you do not want to use a terminal # on a VMR with a Host PIN of 1234 and no Guest PIN:
    • in the Host PIN field enter 1234
    • leave the Guest PIN field blank.

    Now when anyone calls the VMR they will hear the message "please enter the conference PIN number".

How to combine Host PINs and Guest PINs for differing levels of security

The table below shows how to use Host PINs and Guest PINs to achieve various levels of security for your Virtual Meeting Rooms and Virtual Auditoriums:

Access Roles Host PIN Allow Guests Guest PIN
Anyone - no PIN required All participants have the same Host privileges. Leave blank Select No Leave blank
All participants must enter the same PIN All participants have the same Host privileges. Enter the PIN Select No Leave blank
Hosts must enter a PIN but Guest do not

Participants who enter the PIN have Host privileges. The conference will not begin until they have joined, and will finish a minute or so after the last Host leaves.

All other participants have Guest privileges and do not need to enter a PIN. They will see a holding screen until the first Host joins.

Enter the PIN Select Yes Leave blank
Hosts and Guests must enter different PINs

Participants who enter the Host PIN have Host privileges. The conference will not begin until they have joined, and will finish a minute or so after the last Host leaves.

Participants who enter the Guest PIN have Guest privileges and will see a holding screen until the first Host joins.

Enter the PIN
(must be different from the Guest PIN)
Select Yes Enter the PIN*
(must be different from the Host PIN)

* If you configure a Guest PIN, you must also configure a Host PIN.

Changing a participant's role from Guest to Host (and vice versa)

Infinity Connect users who have a role of Host can change the role of other participants in the conference. This is useful, for example, if a Host needs to leave the conference; they can promote one of the Guests to a role of Host so that the conference will continue after they disconnect.

You can also use this feature to allow a participant who is waiting at the PIN entry screen to join the conference as Host or Guest without entering a PIN. Such users will appear in the roster with a role of Unknown. (Note that this does not apply to participants using Infinity Connect clients, as they use a different PIN entry process.)

To change a participant's role, select the participant and then select the role you wish to assign them:

You cannot change your own role to Guest.

Including the PIN in the dial string to bypass the PIN entry screen

SIP and H.323 endpoints and Lync / Skype for Business clients that dial into PIN-protected conferences can bypass the PIN entry screen by including the PIN in the dialed alias.

This makes it more convenient, for example, when bookmarking PIN-protected conferences.

They can do this by including the relevant PIN (either the Host PIN or the Guest PIN as appropriate) in their dial string when dialing the Virtual Meeting Room or Virtual Auditorium. The dial string should be in the format: <vmr_alias>**<PIN>@<domain>.

For example, if the alias of the Virtual Meeting Room is meet.alice@example.com and the PIN is 1234, then the endpoint can dial meet.alice**1234@example.com to go straight into the VMR.

Note that H.323 devices can also use the dial format <vmr_alias>#<PIN>@<domain>.

If there is a # configured at the end of the PIN e.g. 1234#, then that # is not required in the dial string.