If 2020 has done anything, it has made the average person much more familiar with video conferencing programs. Google Meet and Zoom have been heavily used this year, but there is still no clear consensus on which program is the better choice.
Features and details
Zoom and Google Meet serve the same basic function, but Zoom is a comprehensive and full-featured platform. Google Meet has simplified features that make it useful for basic functions. This distinction becomes even more apparent when you look beyond the free versions of each program to the paid tiers.
Both Google Meet and Zoom are free to use, with optional premium tiers for users who need more features and functionality.
Google Meet has two paid options: Google Workplace Essentials and Google Workspace Enterprise. Google Workspace Essentials costs $8 per month, while Google Workspace Enterprise is priced on a case-by-case basis — and honestly, it’s not something the average user needs.
Zoom has four prices in addition to the free plan: Pro, Business, Zoom United Business, and Enterprise. These plans are billed annually, with Zoom Pro starting at $149.90 per year, Zoom Business at $199.90 per year, Zoom United Business at $300 per year, and Zoom Enterprise starting at $199 $.90 per year.
The free versions of Google Meet and Zoom allow users to host meetings with up to 100 participants. Paid versions of each program increase the number of participants in each meeting.
Zoom Pro still only allows 100 participants, but Zoom Business increases the number to 300. Zoom Enterprise allows 500 participants and Zoom Enterprise + allows up to 1,000.
On the other hand, Google Workspace Essentials allows up to 150 participants, while Google Workspace Enterprise allows up to 250. Google does not have the option to allow a large number of participants in the same way that Zoom does.
Zoom is famous for its 40-minute meetings. They’ve become something of a standout over the course of the past year, but 40 minutes is all the free plan allows. However, the paid versions of Zoom will lengthen the meeting slightly.
Zoom Pro allows meetings to last up to 30 hours. This is the maximum amount of time that Zoom allows, regardless of level.
Google Meet allows meetings to last up to one hour for the free plan and up to 300 hours if you choose the paid version. On a price-over-time basis, Google Meet is the better value. Meetings can last 10 times longer on Google Meet than on Zoom, although there’s debate as to whether anyone needs a 300-hour meeting.
It’s also important to note that both Zoom and Google Meet allow for an unlimited number of meetings, even on the free plan. This means you can hold a meeting after a meeting if you don’t want to pay, so you can lengthen your meeting for as long as you want.
Free Zoom package allows users record meetings to their hard drive, while premium tiers allow users to save locally or up to 1GB to the cloud. Zoom Enterprise offers unlimited cloud storage.
Google Meet doesn’t allow local recording on the free plan, but Google Workspace Essentials allows users to save recordings to Google Drive.
Zoom is built as a dedicated video conferencing platform, while Google Meet is part of a larger set of services. As a result, Zoom has a more comprehensive feature set than Google Meet.
Zoom allows users to integrate with other services, including Skype for Business, Facebook Workplace, and Salesforce. It also integrates with Google services like Google Calendar and Google Drive. On the other hand, Google Meet integrates with all Google services and some others like Skype for Business.
Zoom users can take polls, collaborate on virtual whiteboards, and more. All of these features make it the more objectively powerful platform, but not necessarily the best choice.
One area that must be addressed is the security of the two platforms. Zoom has come under scrutiny throughout the year for security breaches, such as scammers entering meetings and causing major disruption.
Since that time, Zoom has implemented several security features to make the platform more secure, such as 256-bit TLS encryption, end-to-end encryption, etc. You can also set up it so that users can only join if they have email from a specific domain.
Google Meet also has some built-in security protocols. All of these work by default and also have server-side protections that are hard to bypass. Google Meet allows 2-step verification for users who join the meeting.
Google Meet vs Zoom: Which is better?
Both video conferencing platforms excel in certain areas. If you are looking for a full-featured, dedicated video conferencing service with every bell and whistle you can think of, then Zoom is the best choice. The extensive feature set, customer support team, and platform make it an extraordinary choice for businesses.
While Google Meet may have fewer features, it’s easier to set up. You don’t need a dedicated account. Users can join calls on Google Meet with a standard Google account, allowing meetings to start faster with less setup.
From an objective point of view, Zoom is the better choice. It works and works well—and 2020 has seen the platform expand in key ways. However, not everyone needs all the features that Zoom has to offer. If you’re working on a small project with friends, or you’re a student looking for a way to meet remotely with your classmates, Google Meet can get the job done in a less complicated way.