Google Meet vs. Zoom - Showdown

Google Meet vs Zoom: Which is Better for Your Virtual Meetings?

With the rise in popularity of video conferencing and more teams working remotely, many businesses have already compared Google Meet vs. Zoom. Both platforms have been around and offer a great user experience for those looking to enhance remote communication. 

catherine heath

October 7, 2023

8 mins read

With the drive towards remote work and after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, video conferencing usage has skyrocketed. While some form of remote collaboration has long been used, the recent popularity of video conferencing tools means it’s worthwhile comparing two of the most widely-used solutions: Google Meet (previously Google Hangouts) and Zoom. 

Users currently using the Google Workspace (formerly Google Suite) suite of tools have likely been exposed to Google Meet, and many others will be familiar with Zoom. Since both options have a free plan, they have been popular with groups and organizations, especially those who had to move online due to the lockdown. Many individuals have also used Zoom and Google Meet to chat with family and friends. 

When creating a new Google Calendar event, you are given an option to schedule a Google Meet conference, even if you are a free user. This ease of use and integration with Google’s other apps makes Google Meet an attractive choice for users, while Zoom offers some other benefits like larger numbers of participants and better security controls. 

Google Meet and Zoom target the same markets, although Zoom has special plans for educational organizations that want to use their services. We’re going to consider Google Meet vs. Zoom. 

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What is a video conferencing tool? 

If you’re interested in video conferencing, you’ll likely consider a video conferencing tool. Schools and universities may want to conduct remote lessons, while businesses and other organizations may require remote meetings and events. The idea of a video conferencing tool is to use your desktop or smartphone to connect with other participants in a virtual room that usually includes video and chat capabilities. 

Video conferencing meetings are typically scheduled for a particular time and place, and conducted through the video conferencing software. While participating in desktop meetings, neither Google Meet nor Zoom requires attendees to download any app. They click on a link where they can join in the browser. 

Video conferencing is popular because it doesn’t require participants to travel to a meeting place. Meetings can be conducted with participants all over the world, reducing travel costs and venue hires. By reducing the time spent traveling to meetings, workers are more productive and can access wider business opportunities. 

While video conferencing arguably has some limitations when compared to in-person events, this form of remote collaboration is still popular with many organizations, individuals, and businesses. 

What is Google Meet?

Google Meet is Google’s version of a video conferencing platform. Formerly Google Hangouts, you can use Google Meet to connect with your friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else in order to share video, have chats, and share screens. 

Google Meet offers the familiarity of staying within Google Workspace, integrating with other productivity apps such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. You can also host video conferences on Google Meet for up to one hour with up to 100 participants without paying a cent. 

It’s easy to add other participants during a meeting if they are one of your contacts or you have their email addresses. Google Meet allows you to chat with everyone during the meeting (not privately message individuals), although all conversations are deleted at the end of the meeting. 

Some features are only available to users with a Google One Premium plan, such as the ability to live stream an event (have people watch the call without joining) or record meetings for later viewing. Groups can host meetings that last up to 24 hours using the paid plan. 

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a similar video conferencing tool to Google Meet that gained immense popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The notable difference between the paid versions of Zoom and Google Meet is Zoom’s capacity to host up to 1000 participants, while Google Meet is capped at 250. 

One of the biggest reasons for the growth in Zoom’s popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a factor even before the crisis hit, was its incredible ease of use. Anyone can join a Zoom meeting without downloading an app, although it does offer a desktop app for those who prefer it. Partly due to this ease of use, which led to rapid adoption, Zoom suffered from numerous privacy concerns, which it has now taken steps to fix. 

Zoom is very popular with businesses and individuals, becoming the gold standard for video conferencing. Like Google Meet, Zoom integrates with other tools such as Dropbox, Salesforce, and Calendly. 

If you want to use Zoom for video conferencing, you’ll find that many people will be familiar with Zoom meetings, which is also the case with Google Meet. Both Google Meet and Zoom set a high bar regarding remote communication and offer various features that promote collaboration and teamwork. 

Zoom is also the most popular video platform globally, with 66% of all countries analyzed choosing Zoom. 

The benefits of video conferencing

There’s a reason why so many organizations are embracing video conferencing as a way of communicating and getting work done in group meetings. 

  • Enables remote-meetings – meetings don’t have to be conducted in specific locations which means that teams can be distributed.

  • Is more cost-effective than meeting in person – hiring venues, maintaining offices and paying for travel are all costs that can be eliminated when you invest in video conferencing. 

  • Allows global participation – attendees can be based all over the world which means that you could potentially connect with clients or customers in markets that were previously inaccessible. 

  • It’s better for the environment – when participants don’t have to travel to their meetings this creates less pollution. 

  • Meetings can be recorded and saved – online meetings are available for later, even for individuals who were unable to attend and you can look back on what was discussed. 

  • Offer free versions – video conferencing software such as Zoom and Google Meet allow you to have free users. 

Not using video conferencing software could cost up to $34 billion in annual losses. 

Pricing comparison between Google Meet and Zoom

Now, we will look at the main differences between Zoom and Google Meet for pricing, which is a factor many organizations prioritize when choosing the best tool for their needs. 

Zoom: 

  • Zoom Basic – $0

  • Zoom Pro – $15.99 per month per user

  • Zoom Business – $19.99 per month per user

  • Zoom Business Plus – $25 per month per user

  • Zoom Enterprise – Custom priced

Google Meet: 

  • Google Meet – $0

  • Google Workspace Business Starter – $6 per user per month

  • Google Workspace Business Standard – $12 per user per month

  • Google Workspace Business Plus – $18 per user per month

  • Google Workspace Enterprise – Custom Pricing

As you can see, Google Meet is significantly cheaper than Zoom, and their plans also offer access to a whole host of other Google Workspace features and apps your organization can benefit from. 

Both plans have a free version, which you can sign up for access to basic features of the platform. With Google Meet, you can host slightly longer meetings – for up to one hour – while Zoom is capped at 40 minutes. So overall, not only is Zoom slightly more expensive, but it also has a more limited experience for the free version. 

For users keen to stay within Google’s ecosystem of apps and benefit from good value for money, Google Meet is a top choice in this area. 

Google Meet’s key features

Let’s now take a look at the key features of Google Meet. 

  • Host management – you have the ability to admit or deny entry to participants trying to join your meeting. 

  • Live captions – Google Meet allows you to live caption your meetings so participants are able to follow along even if sound quality is poor or they have some trouble hearing your speakers. 

  • Google Meet app – for participants trying to join your Meet call from their mobile device, you can use the Google Meet app. If participants use their desktops, there is no software to install, and they can join from the browser. 

  • Screen sharing – present documents, slides, and spreadsheets in Google Meet for those all-important meetings. 

  • 500 meeting participants – you can host large meetings with Google Meet on their paid plans. 

  • Live streaming – allow up to 100,000 viewers to join your virtual events.

  • Team chats – the participants in your group can join the conversation through team chats, which you can save for later. 

  • Meeting recording – record your meetings to watch later and store them securely in Google Drive. 

Zoom’s key features

Zoom’s features, while similar to Google Meet’s, have some differences, especially regarding the quality of user controls. 

  • User controls – unlike Google Meet, with Zoom, you can turn off chat, screen sharing, and audio for individual participants, which gives you more control over how people participate in your meetings. 

  • Recording – you can save the recordings locally or in the cloud. 

  • Whiteboards – share your ideas with Zoom whiteboards, which are potentially unlimited depending on your plan, and form smaller groups with breakout rooms. 

  • Waiting room – require participants to wait in a waiting room before they join a meeting to enable the host to screen participants. 

  • Personal meeting ID – you can create your own permanent meeting ID to share this with all future participants. 

  • Host and co-host – hosts can share administrative privileges with another co-host, allowing more than one person to manage users, with no limit to the number of co-hosts. 

  • Streaming – livestream to YouTube or Facebook. 

  • Reporting – access to statistics about how many meetings are taking place and which people are attending. 

Which is safer, Google Meet or Zoom?

Google Meet in general, has a good reputation for security, with two-factor authentication and encryption in transit. Enterprise customers also benefit from additional security features such as a security alert portal and endpoint management. Meetings that are stored in Google Drive are also encrypted. Secure meeting controls mean you can also closely monitor who is joining your meetings. 

While both platforms offer notable security features, Zoom is considered safer due to its use of end-to-end encryption (E2EE), which is optional but strongly recommended. You can also benefit from Zoom’s enterprise-grade security features, such as 256-bit AES-GCM encryption for real-time content and media and TLS encryption.

 Regarding security, there is not much in it between Google Meet and Zoom, but Zoom does offer more enterprise features. In the past, Zoom has suffered from unwanted users hacking into meetings and “Zoombombing,” so they have worked hard to address these problems. 

Is Google Meet paid or free?

With Google Meet, you can access the free version for up to 100 participants as you can with Zoom. As for all Google Workspace apps, there is a free version for all users with a Google Workspace account. If you want to access more advanced features, such as meeting recordings and live streaming, you must upgrade to one of Google Meet’s paid plans. 

Since Google Meet has a free version, this means the majority of users will access Google Meet without paying, which helps with the adoption of the platform. This makes it a good choice for organizations that want to ensure good usability for their video conferencing software. 

Is Google Meet free after one hour?

If you want meetings to last longer than one hour on Google Meet, upgrade to a paid plan. The longest that a Google Meet meeting can last is up to 24 hours, so if you want anything longer than that, you’ll need to opt for Zoom, which offers 30 hours. 

Which is better, Google Meet or Zoom? 

If you’re comparing Google Meet with Zoom, it depends on what your team or organization requires. Users already familiar with Google’s suite of products will benefit from integrations that make productivity tasks such as scheduling meetings a whole lot easier. With Google Workspace, not only do you have access to Google Meet through their paid plans but also Google’s other apps, such as Google Drive, including advanced features. 

Zoom stands out as video conferencing software because it is highly specialized and does one thing very, very well. The significant advantage of Zoom is that many people are familiar with it and have used the interface, which isn’t always the case with Google Meet. Zoom also has a larger capacity for meetings and more advanced host management controls, making it a better choice for bigger organizations. 

If you’ve used any of Google’s other tools then you will probably intuitively understand how to use Google Meet, so the learning curve is not steep. Admittedly Zoom is very easy to use too, so there’s not really much in it when comparing the two tools. Google Meet is slightly cheaper and their plan gives you access to Google’s other apps. 

Wrapping up

With the rise in popularity of video conferencing and more teams working remotely, many businesses have already seriously considered Google Meet and Zoom. Both platforms have been around and offer a great user experience for those looking to enhance remote communication. 

If you already use Google Workspace and tools like Google Calendar and Gmail, then Google Meet makes perfect sense for your business. There’s no point paying for another video conferencing tool when Google already offers a very good one. Ready-made integrations make productivity a whole lot easier. 

Zoom is adding more features all the time such as email, calendar and appointment scheduler. This means that Zoom may be slowly becoming a solution to rival Google Workspace, but is probably still a while off. 

catherine heath

Catherine is a content writer and community builder for creative and ethical companies. She often writes case studies, help documentation and articles about customer support. Her writing has helped businesses to attract curious audiences and transform them into loyal advocates. You can find more of her work at https://awaywithwords.co.

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