Google Meet vs Zoom: Which Video Conferencing Platform Is the Best

When it comes to video conferencing, Zoom needs no introduction anymore. It is one of the best video conferencing and remote-meeting tools out there, particularly designed for businesses and enterprises. Google Meet also offers video calling solution, but it isn’t as popular as Zoom. In this guide, we compare Google Meet with Zoom to see which one is a better option.

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We have a couple of guides 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 for basic texting, voice calling, and video conference usage, 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 have a look at how Zoom and Google Meet compare.

Supported Devices & Platforms

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You should see the compatible web camera hardware that a video conferencing tool supports. That is crucial in determining which service to pick. You don’t want to register or subscribe to a video calling service only to discover that your device isn’t supported.

For Google Meet and Zoom, both support usage on mobile and PC. While Google Meet can be used on all available PC operating systems (macOS, Windows, ChromeOS, and Linux), it doesn’t have a dedicated PC app for any of these OSes. You can only use Google Meet on your computer via a web browser. To make up for the unavailability of a PC app, Google Meets boasts of support for pretty much any browser — Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, etc.

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On the other hand, Zoom has a dedicated app for PCs running Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. Additionally, you can use Zoom for video conferencing on your PC through its browser extension, which is currently available for Chrome and Safari only.

On mobile, Google Meet and Zoom have dedicated apps for Android and iOS phones & tablets. You can download Google Meet and Zoom for your devices via the links provided below.

Phone Dial-In

In the case where you don’t have an internet connection, a smartphone, or your PC’s microphone and camera don’t work, the participants can join a video conference on Google Meets and Zoom via a regular phone call.

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For Google Meet, a phone number is provided for a video meeting if the administrator/host enables the dial-in feature. Zoom also supports joining a meeting via audio dial-in. Zoom has dedicated audio plans which a meeting host/administrator can subscribe to so participants can join via calling a toll-free number. Google Meet doesn’t have a toll-free subscription plan.

Do you have team members on assignments in regions with no internet connectivity? Or perhaps, you need your team members to join a meeting anywhere they are in the world and at zero cost to them? Then Zoom (with a toll-free audio plan/subscription) is your best bet.

Video Calling Features

Supported Number of Participants

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As earlier mentioned, Google Meet isn’t a standalone service. It is tied to the G Suite package for business and enterprise. The number of participants you can have in a Google Meet video call is dependent on what basic G Suite plan you’re on. The basic G Suite plan supports a maximum of 100 participants in a video call, the intermediate plan allows for 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 is free, by the way) and paid professional plan lets you 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 group video call on Zoom, you’d have to upgrade to other advanced plans that support as many as 1000 participants.

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While Google Meet doesn’t have a time limit on any of its plans, Zoom is more suitable for larger audiences and meetings as it supports more participants.

Screen Recording

Recording a meeting is vital for documentation and reference purposes. You could also share recording meetings for absent participants.

Interestingly, both Google Meet and Zoom lets a meeting host and participants 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, a host and the participants can record a meeting and save to their devices immediately.

Note: While screen recording is free on PC, recording calls on mobile (iOS and Android) is restricted to Zoom’s paid plans.

To record a Google Meet video meeting, you have to be subscribed to the most advanced and most expensive G Suite plans.

Screen Sharing

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If the nature of your business or work would require team members to present something on their screen to other participants in a video call, then you should pay attention to the screen sharing capabilities of the video calling app you choose.

Both Zoom and Google Meet supports screen sharing from mobile devices and computers. You can choose to share/present your entire screen or just a specific window/app. Zoom’s screen sharing is, however, a little more advanced. While sharing your screen, Zoom has an optional “Share Computer Sound” feature, which in addition to sharing your screen visuals, sounds produced by your device is also shared during the presentation. That is useful when you’re presenting a video to the team or participants.

Additionally, Zoom also boasts of a “Use Dual Monitor” feature, which is tailored to optimize screen sharing for participants with a dual-display setup. When enabled, you can see the video call participants on one screen and the display that’s being shared on the other screen.

Important Note: The Intercept’s investigative report states that Zoom is unsuitable for sharing confidential and sensitive business information over video calls. It’s encryption methods have flaws and some of its servers generate encryption keys in China. That has raised serious concerns about the the service’s credibility with regards to security.

Virtual Background

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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 into a plain color or something more visually appealing (like a picture or a video). Check our detailed tutorial on using virtual background on Zoom for more information.

On Google Meet, there’s no such feature as changing or setting a virtual background. You’d have to make do with your room/environmental background in your video call; there’s no changing it.

Plans and Pricing

Google Meet is tied to a G Suite subscription, which currently starts at $6 monthly per user for the Basic plan (50 participants max.). Other available plans are the G Suite Business ($12/month) and G Suite Enterprise ($25/month), both of which support a maximum of 100 and 250 Google Meet participants, respectively.

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G Suite’s Plans and Pricing

There’s a 14-day free trial period to try out the service before deciding to subscribe to 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, meeting ID, or through phone dial-in.

Zoom is a lot more flexible and affordable. There’s no free trial period, but there’s a free plan which is just as good as Google Meet (or better put, G Suite) paid plan. Features (like screen recording, screen sharing, HD video, etc.) that are available for free on Zoom requires payment on Google Meet. Even worse, Zoom’s free plan boast of features (like virtual background) that are are unavailable on Google Meet.

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Zoom’s Plans and Pricing

Upgrading to Zoom’s paid plans is recommended 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 would also come in handy should you need to have multiple hosts/administrators/moderators in a meeting.

Zoom charges $14.99/month for its Professional plan (100 participants, 24-hours duration limit). Other Zoom paid plans (Business & Enterprise) start at $19.99/month and features advanced video conferencing tools for large-scale needs.

An Easy Decision

Zoom is a full-fledged video conferencing tool designed for anyone and everyone. Google Meet, on the other hand, is the video conferencing app designed to foster voice and video communication for businesses with G Suite subscriptions. While you might enjoy perks like dedicated business email accounts and expanded/unlimited Google Drive storage quota, buying a G Suite plan to use Google Meet is an expensive experiment. Zoom offers almost all of Google Meet’s video conferencing features for free. The paid plans have advanced features and are even way better. So, for video conferencing, Zoom wins hands down.

Next up: Need to know which the better video calling tool is between Google Duo and Zoom? Find out in the detailed comparison linked below.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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