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Google Meet vs Zoom: Which is better

Google Meet and Zoom are two popular apps to choose from when it comes to online meetings. Unlike tools like Microsoft Teams and Skype, Google Meet and Zoom are similar in that they allow an ‘open’ audience for a meeting. All you need is a link to join a meeting or to invite anyone to a meeting.

Google Meet vs Zoom

Google Meet vs Zoom

Google Meet and Zoom have similar features but the difference in subscription prices is stark, so much so, that it leaves you wondering which is the best option to choose.

1. Pricing

Google Meet and Zoom both differ in how they are priced. If price is what you’re considering before making your decision, the differences between the two are listed below. 

Google Meet:

  • Is free to use for Gmail users
  • Has paid plans for G Suite users
  • Paid plans start from $6 – $18 per month per user for G Suite users.
  • Paid plans allow larger meetings i.e., more than 100 participants.
  • Paid plans will give users storage space for files
  • Paid plans will give users security management features.

Zoom:

  • Is free to use for everyone with limitations.
  • Paid plans cost between $150 – $240 per user per year.
  • Allow for larger meeting with 100 – 500 participants.
  • Meeting duration can be increased.
  • Additional add-ons/features can be purchased.
  • Add company branding.
  • Record transcripts
  • Stream to social media.

Verdict: Zoom is far more expensive than Google Meet. It asks for a steep price to unlock features that most users can get for free or for a smaller tier Google Meet account.

2. Meeting size

Google Meet and Zoom are both capable of holding large meetings but Zoom is more restrictive compared to Google Meet.

Google Meet:

  • A free user account can hold a meeting with 100 participants.
  • The meeting length is capped at 1 hour.
  • Paid accounts can have 100-500 participants.
  • Meetings can be 30 hours long.

Zoom: 

  • A free user account can hold a meeting with 100 participants.
  • The meeting length is limited to 40 minutes.
  • Paid accounts can hold longer meetings with more participants.

Verdict: Google Meet has fewer limitations compared to Zoom. It is also more suitable for longer meetings (classrooms) where an uninterrupted session is needed.

3. Meeting security

Meetings generally cannot be hacked and it is difficult to guess the link or ID that is assigned to a meeting.

Google Meet:

  • Handles all security on its end.
  • For G Suite users, participants from outside the domain/organization cannot join the meeting unless invited or allowed in.

Zoom:

Verdict: Zoom and Google Meet are on par with each other but Zoom allows free users more control than Google Meet.

4. Screen recording

Screen recording is a basic feature for both Google Meet and Zoom and both support it out of the box.

Google Meet: 

  • Supports screen recording via the web version.
  • Allows users to turn recording On or Off as an umbrella setting that is applied to all meetings.
  • Meetings are saved online and are easy to share.

Zoom:

  • Supports screen recording from the desktop apps and the mobile apps (paid users).
  • Allows a meeting host to turn recording on/off on a per meeting basis.
  • Meetings are saved locally and will have to be uploaded online to be shared.

Verdict: Google Meet has the upper hand because sharing recordings is easier. Zoom offers better control over the screen recording permissions. It comes down to what is more important to a user.

5. Apps

Apps play a big role in what an online meeting tool is capable of since desktop apps tend to be far more powerful.

Google Meet:

  • Does not have a desktop app for any desktop platform.
  • Is used exclusively from a browser on the desktop.
  • Has iOS and Android apps.

Zoom:

  • Had desktop apps for macOS and Windows 10 (and older).
  • Has a web app.
  • Has iOS and Android apps.

Verdict: Zoom has apps for all major platforms.

6. In-Meeting features

Google Meet and Zoom have similar features with small differences.

Google Meet:

  • Raise hand.
  • Closed captioning.
  • Screen recording.
  • Screen sharing.
  • Add participants during the meeting.
  • Remove participants.
  • No lock meeting feature for free users.
  • No waiting room for non-education users.

Zoom: 

  • Raise hand.
  • Live captions.
  • Screen recording.
  • Screen sharing
  • Add participants during a meeting.
  • Remove a participant from a meeting.
  • Lock meetings.
  • Enable or disable waiting room on a per-meeting basis.

Verdict: Zoom has the better product offering. The only thing that takes away from it is the fact that if you’re using Zoom for free, your meeting will be limited to 40 minutes.

7. Audio & Video management

Google meet:

  • Supports built-in and external webcams.
  • Supports built-in audio devices and external audio devices.
  • Supports Bluetooth speakers and headphones.
  • Has noise cancellation.
  • Has background blur.
  • Supports custom backgrounds.

Zoom: 

  • Supports both built-in and external webcams.
  • Supports both built-in and external audio devices.
  • Supports Bluetooth audio devices.
  • Has background blur.
  • Has noise cancellation. 
  • Has custom backgrounds.

Verdict: Zoom and Google Meet are on-par here with no one tool outshining the other.

Conclusion

The biggest reason to avoid Zoom is its 40 minute meeting limit. Outside that, Zoom and Google Meet are evenly matched. When it comes to price though, Zoom is exceptionally more expensive. It asks for a steep price to pay to add more participants and have longer meetings. Google Meet, paid or free, is more affordable and gives users a better return for their money.

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