Google Meet vs Zoom: what’s the best video conferencing pal?

Since the covid pandemic began, we have witnessed a boom in video conference meetings that have only normalised this way of working as a team and interacting with our colleagues and network of contacts. 

Video conferences were already more than usual and a very recurring option when it comes to meeting at work, but seeing ourselves forced to make them part of our day to day, the expectations and demands that we had with the video conferencing tools have motivated us to submit them to comparison and evaluate which of them is more convenient. Working lifestyle has changed forever and the online gathering to work is here to stay, so it is time to analyse the tools that we can lean on and help you choose your favourite. 

When it comes to video conferencing, there is a reign shared between Google Meet and Zoom. Through this article you will discover the benefits and strengths of each one to discover which is your best online meeting pal.

General Glance.

After taking a look at their features, we learnt that both Google Meet and Zoom offer a broad range of video conferencing features, including, for example, chat, meeting recording and transcript, screen and app sharing, participant spotlight and virtual backgrounds. 

Capacity wise, Google Meet limits you to a maximum of 500 participants while Zoom allows you to organise meetings that add up to 1000 participants. So if you need to organise meetings and massive events online, we could say that zoom would be your best ally.

About time limits on group meetings for their free plans, we learnt that Zoom allows free users to host meetings up to 40 mins long while Google Meet allows you up to one hour group meetings length. So if you are looking to have extensive meetings without haste, Google Meet would work better for you. 

Regarding breakout rooms and meeting recording, Zoom enables them within all its plans while they are only available within Google Meet paid plans. - It should also be mentioned that both platforms require paid plans for polling. So if you don’t need to go for a paid Google Meet plan, Zoom would be the best bet. 

When it comes to storage, Google Meet offers way more storage than Zoom. Paid Google Meet users count on 30 GB to unlimited cloud storage on Google Drive. Moreover, with Google Meet, also free users get 15 GB of storage. 

Instead, Free Zoom users do not get cloud storage, and paid users only count on 1 GB per user on Zoom’s Pro and Business plans. It should also be mentioned that Zoom Enterprise clients receive unlimited cloud storage.

The built-in tools are offered for live closed captions by Google Meet and, you must lean on a third-party app for closed captions when using Zoom. 

Moreover, Google Meet provides intelligent noise cancellation features on their paid plans range and Zoom only offers such a feature for Zoom’s desktop users for Windows and macOS.

Finally, as extra features,  Zoom added built-in appearance and lighting filters with every plan; and in case of Google Meet, these features are available through a downloadable Google Chrome extension. In addition, Whiteboards and waiting rooms are standard with every Zoom plan but you will need Chrome extensions with Google Meet.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, there are some chunky differences to be considered - Free vs Paid versions options: 

Google Meet

  • On the one hand,Google Meet (also known as Google Hangouts) is available for free as a stand-alone app. Moreover, Google Meet is enabled by the Google Workspace bundle of business and personal productivity tools. 
  • On the other hand, Google Workspace (also known as Google Suite) comes with top Google software,such as Gmail, Chat, Calendar, Docs, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites. A significant advantage of going with a paid Google Workspace plan is that every app offered works seamlessly together.
  • Google video conferring solution includes Google Meet for free and, Google Workspace in four different plans: Google Workspace Business Starter for $6 per user per month, Google Workspace Business Standard for $12 per user per month, Google Workspace Business Plus for $18 per user per month and, Google Workspace Enterprise for a custom pricing

Zoom

  • Regarding Zoom, we can say that Zoom Basic is the star plan offered by Zoom, certainly because it’s free. And, as well as Google, Zoom offers different paid plans in addition to its Zoom basic free option.

The Zoom paid plans are: Zoom Pro for $14.99 per user per month, Zoom Business for $19.00 per month per user and Zoom enterprise for $19.99 per month per user. 

Moreover, The Zoom Large Meeting Add-On, which allows you to expand meeting capacity up to 1,000 participants, is available with all paid plans. Finally, Additional cloud storage can be purchased with Zoom; storage plans start at $40 per month.

User Friendliness

Google Meet, regarding user friendliness, it is among the most user-friendly video conferencing platforms available today. You only need a Google account to set up and host Google Meet sessions. Once you have an account, you’re a click from Google Workspace toolbar away to start or schedule a meeting.

Moreover, Participants only need to click on the meeting link provided by the host to join a meeting. You don’t need to install any software, and either a Google account to attend a meeting via a web browser. Mobile users only need to download the Google Meet app to join meetings; and count on Google or Gmail accounts to participate in meetings via mobile devices.

When it comes to Zoom, we can say that its popularity is given mainly due to its reputation for being easy to use. To host a Zoom meeting, you’ll only need a Zoom account and you will be able to start a Zoom meeting instantly or schedule one for a later time or any other day. 

Also, If you’re using a desktop device, you can join a Zoom meeting through your browser. However, we recommend downloading the Zoom Meetings as it offers a better user experience. Moreover, mobile users must download the Zoom Meeting app to join a meeting from their devices.

Finally, through Zoom, a meeting host can opt to add authentication profile restrictions to a meeting, in which case participants will need a Zoom account to attend.

Security

Another key aspect to take into consideration is the security both video conferring solutions would offer to you: 

Google Meet

  •  Solid reputation for system security.
  • Two-step verification
  • Encryption in transit and at rest
  • Advanced protection program enrollment. 
  • Enterprise clients receive added security features, including a security alert centre, security dashboards, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Drive, access transparency and endpoint management.

Zoom

  • TLS encryption and AES-256 encryption for real-time content. 
  • End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is optional but highly recommended.
  • As a security alert, we can say about Zoom that Security breaches have occurred to Zoom since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Some disruptions of meetings, or ‘Zoombombing’. However, it would be also fair to mention that Zoom took these issues seriously and implemented a large number of solutions to boost security, such as offering E2EE to every user (previously, E2EE was not available to free users). Moreover, waiting rooms for attendees and password protection for meetings have also made for more secure Zoom sessions.

Conclusions

  • Remote work is nowadays normalised and the most popular work model.
  • It is important to get to know the video conferencing solutions that we’re using to keep our working flow on point. 
  • Make sure that you understand your remote work needs and implement the best solution to develop it. 
  • Zoom offers more features, has a solid reputation for ease-of-use and can accommodate considerably more participants than Google Meet.
  • Google Meet is a good, user-friendly video conferencing platform for small meetings and for those already using Google Workspace software.

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