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When I log into zoom from a brand new computer (from a network which has had security compromised in some known ways), zoom attempts to connect to many IP addresses. Is this some VPN capability zoom has to protect my IP address, or is it possible there is some internet security problem causing zoom to connect to these seemingly random numeric IP addresses?
These should not be random IPs. Zoom publishes its IPs ranges.
Depending on where you are located, where your account is provisioned, how you are authenticating, and what Zoom features you are using will determine what IPs Zoom is connecting to.
A standard Zoom login/meeting session will certainly call out to a few different servers/IPs. Like for login, negotiation, updates, and media transport. If you have any Zoom Apps installed, these may do a similar thing themselves. Zoom will also need to make DNS lookups to resolve server names to IPs.
If you have a troublesome connection, Zoom may also roam to different servers to get a better connection.
If you have firewall restrictions in place, Zoom may also be trying to negotiate different protocols to get connected - especially when trying to join a meeting.
So it should not be random. You can certainly check any IPs you are seeing against the Zoom list below.
If you are seeing large amounts of connections, or connections outside these IP scopes, this may indicate a problem of some other kind.
If you are on a site or in an organization with any on-premise Zoom infrastructure, then the circumstances would be different.
It probably would not hurt to make sure your client is up to date.
Hope this helps.