Zoom vs Google Meet: Video conferencing apps for businesses compared

Is Zoom safer than FaceTime and What's App? Mozilla thinks so

Google Meet is slowly becoming a force in the world of video conferencing, but how does it compare to Zoom, currently the most popular platform out there?

Video conferencing has never been more important than it is now. With governments imposing lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, most social and business interactions are now being done online, specifically through video conferencing platforms. 

In the early stages of the pandemic, Zoom had experienced a meteoric rise to fame. In fact, its usage grew from 10 million to 200 million overnight. However, security and privacy issues soon plagued the service, and a number of people have become somewhat apprehensive about using the platform. 

Taking advantage of Zoom’s misfortunes, Google, all of a sudden, decided to rebrand its Hangouts Meet video-conferencing tool to simply Google Meet and is slowly adding more and more users each day, around two million to be exact. 

Now, with three key players in the world of video conferencing (the other being Skype), it’s interesting to know just how does Google’s rebranded Meet app compare to Zoom? 

Features

Despite the security issues that were brought to life due to its popularity, Zoom still has a better offering, video conferencing-wise. The app’s free tier allows a host to set a meeting of up to 100 participants and a limit of 40 minutes while its premium tier offers small, medium, and large enterprises of up to 1000 participants depending on the plan and a minimum of 50 hosts. 

The Zoom app offers high definition video and audio capabilities as well as tools that promote collaboration like screen-sharing and co-annotation. Furthermore, it is able to record the meetings for later review as well as generate transcripts. Zoom also has a chat feature that could be perfect for question and answer sessions. 

As for Google Meet, its free tier offers up to 25 participants in a video call. Premium offers include video calls of up to 250 participants with live streaming support for up to 100,000 viewers in a single domain. Meetings can also be recorded and then saved on Google Drive. Luckily, Google has made its premium features free to use until September 30. 

What makes Google Meet great, however, is that it allows for integration with other tools within the G Suite lineup: Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Chat, among others. The G Suite itself was created to cater to business needs. 

Security and Privacy

The popularity of Zoom had brought forth issues with security and privacy. Zoom bombing, or the act of infiltrating a Zoom meeting, has become a trend for hackers, user information is being shared on Facebook, and it has become a conduit for malware. 

However, in light of these security vulnerabilities, Zoom has made some strides when it comes to making their services safer and more private. There is now a “Security” option that gives a host more control over the meeting, such as blocking a participant or locking a meeting. Waiting Rooms have now become a default allowing hosts to manually let a participant into the meeting, and meeting IDs are no longer displayed on the title toolbar. 

With Google Meet, however, infiltration is a little more difficult as meeting IDs uses a 25-character string, which restricts uninvited people from guessing the IDs. Furthermore, it has secure encryption. According to Google, “all data in Meet is encrypted in transit by default between the client and Google for video meetings on a web browser, on the Meet Android and Apple iOS apps, and in meeting rooms with Google meeting room hardware.”

Pricing

While both platforms offer their basic features for free, people have to pay for premium features.

For Zoom, the premium features start at $14.99/month with the Pro Plan. It allows meetings of up to 24 hours with personal meeting IDs. That is followed by the Business Plan, which starts at $19.99/month and offers a minimum of 10 hosts, 300 participants, and various administrative features. 

The Enterprise Plan’s price depends on what a business needs. It can support up to 500 to 1000 participants, other advanced features, and unlimited cloud storage. 

For Google Meet, it actually comes in a package. In order to access Google Meet, one must first purchase the Basic version of G Suite, which costs $6/month. It offers video calls of up to 100 participants, while its Business plan allows up to 150 participants. The Enterprise plan would allow participants of up to 250 and various advanced features such as recording and live streaming. 

 

Images courtesy of Gabriel Benois, Elle Cartier, and Allie Smith/Unsplash

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