When it comes to video conferencing, Zoom needs no introduction anymore. It is one of the best video conferencing and remote meeting tools, specially designed for businesses and organizations. Google Meet also offers a video calling solution, but it is not as popular as Zoom. In this guide, we compare Google Meet with Zoom to see which is a better option.
We have a couple of tips on using Zoom to get the best video calling experience. You should check them out too.
Google Meet (also called Google Hangouts Meet) is the advanced, premium, and paid version of Google Hangouts. Unlike Hangouts which is a standalone app designed specifically for texting, voice calling, and video conferencing use, Google Meet is a product included in Google’s G Suite packages for business and enterprise. You can also think of Google Meet as the business-focused version of Google Hangouts that offers extensive video conferencing features.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how Zoom and Google Meet compare.
Supported devices and platforms
You must use compatible webcam hardware that the video conferencing tool supports. This is crucial in deciding which service to choose. You don’t want to sign up for a video calling service only to discover that your device is not supported.
For Google Meet and Zoom, both support mobile and PC use. Although Google Meet can be used on all available computer operating systems (macOS, Windows, ChromeOS, and Linux), it does not have a dedicated computer application for any of these operating systems. You can only use Google Meet on a computer while browsing the web. To make up for the lack of an app for PC, Google Meets boasts support for almost any browser – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, etc.
On the other hand, Zoom has an app meant for computers running Windows, macOS, and Linux. Additionally, you can use Zoom for video conferencing on your PC through its browser extension, which is currently only available for Chrome and Safari.
On mobile, Google Meet and Zoom have dedicated apps for Android and iOS phones and tablets. You can download Google Meet and Zoom for your devices via the links provided below.
If there is no Internet connection or a smartphone or computer’s microphone and camera are not working, participants can join a video conference on Google Meets and Zoom over a regular phone call.
For Google Meet, a video meeting phone number is provided if the admin/host has enabled the calling feature. Zoom also supports joining a meeting via voice calling. Zoom has dedicated voice plans that the meeting host/administrator can sign up for so that participants can join by calling a toll-free number. Google Meet does not have a free subscription plan.
Do you have team members on missions in offline areas? Or maybe you need your team members to join a meeting wherever they are in the world at no cost to them? Then Zoom (with a free audio plan/subscription) is your best bet.
Video calling features
Number of participants supported
As mentioned earlier, Google Meet is not a standalone service. It is associated with G Suite for Business and Enterprise. The number of participants in a Google Meet video call depends on the basic G Suite plan you’re using. The G Suite Basic plan supports a maximum of 100 participants in a video call, the Medium plan allows a maximum of 150 participants while the Advanced plan can accommodate up to 250 participants in a single video meeting.
On Zoom, the Basic plan (which, by the way), and the paid Professional plan allow you to host up to 100 participants, but with a time limit of 40 minutes and 24 hours respectively in a single video meeting with more than 3 participants. If you need unlimited call time in a Zoom group video call, you will have to upgrade to other advanced plans that support up to 1,000 participants.
While Google Meet doesn’t have a time limit on any of its plans, Zoom is more suitable for larger audiences and meetings because it supports more participants.
Recording a meeting is vital for documentation and reference purposes. You can also share recording meetings for absent participants.
Interestingly, both Google Meet and Zoom allow the meeting host and participants to record video calls. Zoom, however, does it better. To record a meeting on Zoom, you don’t have to be a premium subscriber. With the free basic plan, the host and participants can record a meeting and save it to their devices instantly.
Note: While screen recording is free on PC, call recording on mobile (iOS and Android) is limited to paid Zoom plans.
To record a Google Meet video meeting, you must be subscribed to the more advanced and more expensive G Suite plans.
If the nature of your business or work requires team members to present something on their screen to other video call participants, you should pay attention to the screen sharing capabilities of the video calling app of your choice.
Zoom and Google Meet both support screen sharing from mobile devices and computers. You can choose to share/present your entire screen or just a specific window/application. However, Zoom’s screen sharing is a little more advanced. As you share your screen, Zoom has an optional “PC Audio Sharing” feature, which in addition to sharing screen visuals, also shares sounds your device produces during your presentation. This is useful when you present a video to the team or participants.
Additionally, Zoom also boasts a “dual screen use” feature, which is designed to improve screen sharing for participants with a dual screen setup. When enabled, you can see the video call participants on one screen and the view being shared on the other screen.
Important note: The Intercept’s investigative report states that Zoom is not suitable for sharing confidential and sensitive business information over video calls. Encryption methods have drawbacks and some of their servers generate encryption keys in China. This has raised serious concerns about the service’s credibility in terms of security.
This is one of my favorite features to use during Zoom video calls. If you have a business meeting and your background is messy, Zoom lets you change it to a plain color or something more visually appealing (like a photo or video). Check out our detailed tutorial on using the virtual background on Zoom for more information.
In Google Meet, there is no such feature as changing or setting the default background. You will have to deal with your room/environmental background in your video call; no changes.
Plans and prices
Google Meet is tied to a G Suite subscription, which currently starts at $6 per month per user for the Basic plan (maximum 50 participants). Other plans available are G Suite Business ($12 a month) and G Suite Enterprise ($25 a month), both of which support a maximum of 100 and 250 Google Meet participants, respectively.
There is a 14-day free trial period to try out the service before deciding to sign up for any of the plans.
Note: Participants do not need to have a G Suite account to join a Google Meet video call. They can join through a link, a meeting ID, or through a phone call.
Zoom is more flexible and affordable. There is no free trial period, but a free plan is just as good as the paid Google Meet (or better G Suite mode) plan. Features (such as screen recording, screen sharing, HD video, etc.) that are free on Zoom require payment on Google Meet. Even worse, Zoom’s free plan boasts features (like a virtual background) that aren’t available on Google Meet.
It is recommended to upgrade to paid Zoom plans if you need to host more than 100 participants for more than 40 minutes in a single video call. Purchasing a paid plan on Zoom will also come in handy if you need to have multiple hosts/administrators/moderators in the meeting.
Zoom charges $14.99 per month for its Pro plan (100 participants, 24 hour limit). Other paid Zoom plans (Business and Enterprise) start at $19.99 per month and feature advanced video conferencing tools for wide-ranging needs.
The decision is easier
Zoom is a complete video conferencing tool designed for anyone and everyone. Google Meet, on the other hand, is a video conferencing app designed to enhance audio and video communication for businesses with G Suite subscriptions. While you may enjoy perks like business email accounts and an extended/unlimited Google Drive storage quota, buying a G Suite plan to use Google Meet is an expensive experience. Zoom offers almost all of the video conferencing features in Google Meet for free. The paid plans have advanced features and are much better. So, for video conferencing, Zoom wins their hands.