Zoom and Google Meet have long been considered two of the most popular video conferencing options available today. But which one is better? Well, it all depends on what you need it for.
With the global pandemic keeping everyone at home, video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet have become all the more necessary to enjoy everyday life. From online social gatherings to remote work meetings, these platforms allow for seamless communication, no matter where you have to quarantine.
As you've likely heard, the pandemic has spurred Zoom to a meteoric rise in popularity, adding millions of additional users in just a few short months. Google saw a similar boom after making Meet free to all users, adding millions more users, although not nearly as many as Zoom.
Now you're trying to decide which video conferencing platform is the best for you or your business, and we're here to tell you exactly how Zoom and Google Meet stack up against each other. You can also grab a quick, commitment-free quote for web conferencing software here, joining the thousands of businesses we've helped get set up.
Google Meet vs Zoom: Major Differences
Truthfully, most web conferencing software providers offer the same options when it comes to their platforms. Almost all of them offer screen sharing, unlimited meetings, adjustable layouts, live chat, and integrations with other software.
However, when it comes to Google Meet and Zoom, there are some major differences that should help you decide which software is best for you. Take a look at some of the differences below.
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Perhaps one of the most important metrics when it comes to measuring web conferencing platforms, meeting capacity – whether in terms of time limits, or caps on participants – is vital in deciding which platform is best for you.
For meeting participants, Zoom has the edge – it allows for up to 1,000 meeting participants with its Enterprise+ plan, which is well above Google Meet's 250 meeting participant limit with its Enterprise plan. Then again, there's nothing to separate the free plans, with both allowing 100 meeting participants at no cost.
As for time limits on meetings, you'll enjoy a 60 minute time limit for Google Meet when using the free plan, whereas you'll only get 40 minutes with Zoom's free option. Fortunately, time limits are virtually non-existent when it comes to paid plans, as Zoom offers 30 hours and Google Meet offer 300 hours – both of which will never be reached ever by anyone.
Looking for a web conferencing solution for your business can be stressful, particularly because you likely need to find one that integrates with your other business software. Fortunately, Zoom and Google Meet both offer a wide range of third-party integrations that make life a bit easier.
Google Meet, of course, integrates seamlessly with Google Workplace apps like Calendar and Gmail. However, it also integrates with Microsoft Office 365, so you can truly get the full experience no matter what business software you use. Other integrations include Calendly, Slack, Discord, Nest, Jamboard, and many others.
Zoom is also quite loaded up on third-party integrations, but obviously doesn't have a parent company to lean on. You can still integrate with Google Workplace and Microsoft Office 365, but it's not nearly as robust, which is to be expected. Other integrations include Salesforce, Dropbox, Calendly, and Facebook, among others.
There are some other interesting features offered by both Google Meet and Zoom that might entice you to check them out. Luckily, because they're both competing for your attention, more features are sure to be added – so make sure you check in to see the progress.
Google Meet, for example, offers a great live captioning feature that is truly impressive. Clearly the product of Google software, this live captioning is great for hearing impaired users, as well as those that simply would rather read a meeting than listen to it. Google Meet is one of the few platforms offering this tool, so if it's important to you, you know what to do.
Zoom, on the other hand, offers some very cool features, one of which is virtual backgrounds. You can make custom backgrounds that can be funny, serious, or just downright wild. Google Meet has reportedly started rolling out something similar, but they will slow down your computer substantially, so Zoom is still the better option here.
Best for Business Features: Google Meet
When it comes to business features, we have to give Google Meet the edge over Zoom. The reality is, while Zoom offers great third party integration, the fact that Google Meet can so seamlessly integrate with Gmail, Calendar, and other apps which are likely already in place at your business makes it terribly difficult to topple from the top spot.
In addition to that extreme level of integration, Google Meet offers some great business features. This includes live captioning and recordings saved to Google Drive, which are not only cool, but also practical in a business setting.
Zoom is nothing to scoff at when it comes to business features, though. It offers a wide range of helpful, business-facing options that can make meetings easier, like Multi-Share and Contacts. Still though, it's hard to compete with Google when it comes to business, and video conferencing software is no exception.
Google Meet Features
- Unlimited meetings
- Live captioning during meetings
- Video and audio preview screen
- Adjustable layouts and screen settings
- Meeting host controls, like mute and pin
- Screen sharing for all users
- Real-time chat function during meetings
- G-Suite and Microsoft Office 365 integrations
- Virtual backgrounds
- Calendar integration with Google and Outlook
- Waiting Room security feature
- Multiple screen shares at once with Multi-Share
- Personal meeting room with ID
- Touch-up My Appearance
Best for User Experience: Zoom
Google Meet might be better when it comes to business features, but that's largely because it can be a bit complicated to use for beginners. When it comes to user experience, Zoom takes the cake for being the most truly intuitive video conferencing platform available today.
From setup to in-meeting usage, Zoom is just easy. Joining meetings takes a single click if you have the link, or is as easy as inputting a short meeting code no longer than a phone number. Plus, when in meetings, you can easily change layouts and share your screen, so even novices can get in on the feature action.
Perhaps the only user experience point that Google Meet takes from Zoom is the fact that users have to download the app – whether on mobile or desktop – to use Zoom, whereas Google Meet is available in any browser. Still, that's hardly enough to change our mind that Zoom is intuitive, because it's a simple “download once and forget it” situation.
Who is Google Meet for?
Simply put, Google Meet is for larger companies that need the robust, complete package you can only find with Google. Its laundry list of business features aside, Meet just works better with Google Workplace and Microsoft Office 365, so you don't have to go through a whole process to tracking down meeting codes and privacy PINs.
However, Google Meet is a bit limited when it comes to meeting participants, as the largest plan only offers 250 at most. Subsequently, enterprise level businesses might want to take a look at Zoom's higher tier offerings if that isn't enough.
Who is Zoom for?
Zoom is great for individuals and smaller companies that don't rely too heavily on video conferencing for everyday operations. It's very intuitive, so beginners can get the hang of it almost immediately, and the fun features like virtual backgrounds make it exciting for social gatherings.
From a business standpoint, Zoom is a very respectable option, but wrought integration with Google Workplace is hard to beat. Still, if you don't like how Google Meet feels – or just want to branch out to a more intuitive option – you could do a whole lot worse than Zoom. Plus, with robust enterprise options with way more meeting participants available, really large companies certainly want to take a look at Zoom before opting for Google Meet.
Google Meet vs Zoom: Pricing Compared
Now that you understand more about the differences between Google Meet and Zoom, let's see how they stack up against each other when it comes to price.
If you're looking for a simple video chat option for social events and short meetings, you're in luck. Both Google Meet and Zoom offer a free option with more than enough features to handle whatever you need to do.
Google Meet's free option is decidedly robust, with unparalleled G-Suite integrations, as you can imagine. You can have 100 meeting participants at a time, and it offers the longest meeting limit at 60 minutes. You still get access to screen sharing and live chat, but some other features are reserved exclusively for paid users.
Zoom also offers a pretty impressive free option that is just as intuitive as the paid version. You can also host up to 100 meeting participants, but the time limit is a bit shorter at only 40 minutes. Zoom still offers its basic features in this plan, as well as the virtual backgrounds, but you'll have to pay for other features such as social streaming.
Google Meet Pricing Plans
If you need added features, longer meetings, or more participants, opting for the paid Google Meet option is likely to be your next step. Fortunately, the paid versions of Google Meet are quite affordable, and they really add a lot.
Dubbed Google Workspace, this all-in-one hub gives you access to more than just Google Meet. You'll also get business-focused access to a wide range of Google tools, like Docs, Sheets, Drive, Calendar, Forms, Jamboard, and many others.
Google Workspace comes in four different pricing plans: Starter, Standard, Plus, and Enterprise. Each one allows for up to 300 users, except for the Enterprise plan which is unlimited. Each plan also sets a time limit on meetings of 24 hours.
The Starter plan will cost you $6 per user per month and allows for up to 100 meeting participants, as well as 30 GB of cloud storage for each user. The Standard plan comes in at $12 per user per month and allows for up to 150 meeting participants, as well as 2 TB of cloud storage for each user. Finally, the Plus plan costs $18 per user per month and allows for up to 250 meeting participants, as well as 5 TB of cloud storage for each user.
If you need more than that, you're going to have to opt for the Google Workspace Enterprise package. This offers the same unlimited meeting time, and offers up to 250 meeting participants. You gain the ability to stream directly to social channels, plus you get access to Google's intelligent noise cancelling technology for crystal clear calls.
Public pricing for the Google Workplace Enterprise plan is not available, so you'll have to contact the sales department.
Zoom Pricing Plans
While the Basic plan for Zoom is pretty robust, there's a good chance you might need more for your business, which is where its three affordable paid plans – Pro, Business, and Enterprise – can come in handy.
The Pro plan for Zoom comes in at $14.99 per month per license. It allows up to 9 licenses, and up to 100 meeting participants for a virtually unlimited amount of time (30 hours, which no meeting should even come close to). In addition to the free plan features, you get social streaming, online customer support, 1GB of cloud storage for meeting recordings, and reporting tools.
The Business plan for Zoom comes in at $19.99 per month per license. It requires at least 10 licenses, and allows up to 300 meeting participants. In addition to previous features, you'll also get company branding on meetings, phone support, managed domains, and the ability to label language interpreters in real time.
The Enterprise plan for Zoom also costs $19.99 per month per license, but requires at least 100 licenses, allowing up to 500 meeting participants. In addition to all the features from previous plans, you'll also get access to features like transcription, executive business reviews, and special bundle discounts. Plus, you get a Customer Success Manager assigned to your team to guarantee Zoom is improving your business.
Google Meet vs Zoom: Mobile App
In the modern world, you need to have the best video conferencing app to go along with your software. Fortunately, both Google Meet and Zoom offer high quality mobile experiences that make it easy to communicate with your smartphone. But how do they stack up against each other?
Google Meet App
The Google Meet app is surprisingly bare bones compared to other web conferencing options out there, and even compared to other Google apps – and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
With many web conferencing solutions getting a bit complicated, Google Meet's app offers a surprisingly basic, intuitive layout that, on the home page, allows you to do nothing more than start a new meeting, join a current meeting, view your upcoming meetings, and adjust settings.
Once you're in a meeting, it's even more straightforward. Video and audio buttons appear at the bottom to easily turn them on and off, with a “hang up” button between them. You can also access other settings, allowing you to screen share, turn on captions, and access the live chat.
While Zoom is certainly the more intuitive of the two web conferencing platforms, its app is actually a bit more robust than the Google Meet app.
For one, it offers an assortment of panel options on the home page, including the “Meet & Chat” tab, which allows you to launch, join, and schedule meetings; the “Meetings” tab, which is effectively your calendar; and a contacts page, which you won't find on Google Meet.
Once the meeting is started, the intuitive style is back. The basic layout makes it easy to talk to everyone at once, and you'll be able to stop audio or video with a single click. You'll be able to check out everyone in the meeting as well, giving pin and mute power to hosts. Zoom's app even comes with a Safe Driving Mode, which turns off your video but still allows you to speak over audio.
Is Google Meet Safer than Zoom?
Lots of great features and cool mobile apps is all well and good. But when it comes to video conferencing software, you need to be sure you're as secure as possible. Fortunately, both of these platforms offer solid security features across the board, no matter what you've heard in the past.
You may have heard rumblings of security problems with Zoom at the beginning of the pandemic, and for good reason. Due to the staggering influx of users created by stay-at-home orders and remote work policies around the world, Zoom was inundated with huge security loopholes, allowing for hacks and breaches.
The coda to this saga: an $85 million class action settlement in August 2021, due in part to allegations that Zoom had shared its users' private data with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. Zoom has made security a top priority in the months since the events covered by the case, both improving encryption and adding more features, and as part of the settlement, the company will be adding new training sessions and additional security features.
From rolling out end-to-end-encryption for all users to adding security features for hosts, you can be sure that Zoom is at least as secure as Google Meet, if not more secure, since Google Meet does not offer end-to-end encryption.
Zoom offers end-to-end encryption, while Google Meet doesn't. However, there are lots of other specific security features on each platform that can help you be a bit safer while video chatting with your team.
Google Meet Security Features
- Anti-abuse features (e.g. mute)
- 2-step verification
- Advanced Protection Program Enrollment
- Alert center
Zoom Security Features
- Host controls (e.g. pin, mute)
- Personal meeting ID
- Waiting room for new participants
- Single-sign on
Google Meet and Zoom are both respectable, affordable options when it comes to web conferencing. It's honestly tough to say which one is better, as it depends on what you need it for.
If you're looking for intuitive video conferencing software, Zoom is your best option, hands down. Its ease of use is fundamentally unmatched in the industry, and great features like virtual backgrounds make it ideal for social gatherings and events. Plus, with end-to-end encryption, Zoom has jumped ahead as the more secure option.
If you're looking for a business tool that will work well with your current setup, you can't go wrong with Google Meet. With a wide range of helpful business features and integration with G-Suite and Microsoft Office 365, Google Meet just makes more sense if you are running a business.
It is worth nothing, however, that if you are an enterprise-level organization, Zoom could be a better fit, as it offers more meeting participants in its enterprise package. Still, make sure it works well with your other business software, as Google Meet still has the most integrations.
Remember, if you want to get started with web conferencing software today, grab a quick quote to start communicating with your team more effectively.
Alternatives to Google Meet and Zoom
We've gone through just about every comparison you can make between Google Meet and Zoom, but what if neither is the best fit for your business? If you've gotten all the way through this guide and still don't think Google Meet or Zoom are right for you when it comes to video conferencing software, there's no shame in that! There are plenty of alternatives out there that might be a better fit. In fact, our top video conferencing software choices for businesses are GoTo Meeting and Webex, depending on the size of your business.
Read more: GoTo Meeting vs Zoom
Take a look at some of the alternatives to Google Meet and Zoom below to get a better idea of price points, features, pros, and cons before making a decision.
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How does Google Meet compare to Google Hangouts?
Google Meet is the more robust, formerly business-facing version of Google Hangouts, until the company made it free during the global pandemic. And, in so many words, Google Meet is a lot better than Hangouts.
For one, Google Meet offers a lot more features, including gallery view, screen-sharing, real-time captioning, and up to 100 participants in a single meeting. Plus, it's a bit more intuitive, as Google has focused most of its attention on it lately.
Finally, Google Hangouts will be folded into Google Meet some time next year anyway, so you might as well just get familiar with it now.
Do you need a Google account to use Google Meet?
On the desktop app, you do not need a Google account to use Google Meet. However, the host or someone from the organization will have to specifically allow you into the meeting.
On mobile devices, you will not be able to access Google Meet unless you have a Google or Gmail account.
Is Zoom a security risk?
At the start of the pandemic, the massive influx of Zoom users caused some pretty serious security issues. However, since then, the company has made a stern commitment to make security a priority, launching end-to-end encryption for all users. Suffice to say, no, Zoom is not a security threat… any more.
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