Google Meet vs Zoom: features, differences and FAQs
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 6 April 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Videoconferencing applications are useful tools for organising remote meetings and working from home. Two of the most popular videoconferencing tools are Google Meet and Zoom. If you work remotely or expect to do so in the future, understanding the differences between these two tools can help you decide which one's more appropriate for your needs. In this article, we explain the features of each of these tools, list some key Google Meet vs. Zoom differences and answer some frequently asked questions about these apps.
Google Meet vs Zoom
When comparing Google Meet vs Zoom, it's important to understand what each app offers. These are two competing tools you can use when working or even learning remotely. They're useful for communicating, setting up meetings and remote collaboration. To understand the differences between them, it helps first to understand what each of these tools can do on their own:
Formerly Google Hangouts Meet, Google Meet is a videoconferencing platform that integrates with other Google Workspace tools. It's important to note that Google Hangouts is still effectively in use but that it's the consumer version available to anyone with a Gmail account. Google Meet is part of the Google Workplace suite and is the company's professional videoconferencing app. Meet is useful for hosting video meetings, remotely managing teamwork and interacting with remote personnel working from home. It can host relatively large meetings of up to 250 participants, with multiple screen layout options allowing you to customise the interface.
Using the tiled layout, you can simultaneously see 16 of the participants' video feeds. This allows you to both see and hear multiple speakers simultaneously. Moreover, you can also share your screen with others, which you can limit to specific applications, browser windows or documents. The platform also has real-time captions and noise cancellation features. You can also restrict access to meetings with a unique URL, phone number and PIN. Since it integrates with other Google tools, invited participants receive updates to their calendars and through other apps like Gmail. There's also a limited free trial available.
Zoom is a popular videoconferencing application that features live chats, audio conferencing, screen sharing and other collaborative tools. You can also attend a Zoom meeting without having a Zoom account, although an account is necessary if you want to host one. It also has various collaborative tools like a virtual whiteboard, polls and can integrate with certain Google services. You can download the application onto a compatible computer or mobile device. The application allows you to schedule, manage and host calls and video chats.
Zoom Basic is a free option that allows you to have unlimited one-on-one meetings. You can also use it to meet more than three participants, but only for 40 minutes at a time. Zoom Pro extends this limit to 24 hours and allows you to create IDs for people. You can also store meeting recordings in the cloud. Zoom Business requires at least 10 hosts and adds auto-generated transcripts, customer support and company branding on your invites. Finally, Zoom Enterprise requires at least 100 hosts and offers unlimited cloud storage, a dedicated customer service manager and a 500-person call capacity.
Key Google Meet vs Zoom differences
Although both of these platforms offer similar basic functions like videoconferencing, there are many differences between them. These differences might make one of these options more suited to your needs. Below is an overview of the main differences between these two solutions:
Both have a limited free version. They also both have pricing based on the number of user accounts you want. For Google Meet, the paid options range from $6 per month per user to $18. There's also an Enterprise option from Google that has a custom pricing plan that removes the limit on users. The limit for the other paid options is 300. It's important to note that users are not the same as participants, who are the people in a meeting at any one time.
Zoom's pricing plans start out higher, with Zoom Pro costing £10 per month per host. Zoom Enterprise costs £16 per month for every host.
Number of participants
Both platforms give you the option to increase the number of simultaneous participants with more expensive plans. With Google Meet, the lowest number is 100 participants. With Business Standard, you get 150, and with the Business Plus and Enterprise plans, you can have up to 250 participants in a meeting. Remember that this is different from the number of user accounts you can have.
With Zoom, the maximum number is much higher. With the Basic plan, you can have up to 100 participants, but only for 40 minutes at a time. Zoom Pro extends this to 30 hours but also 100 participants. Zoom Business and Zoom Enterprise increase the number of participants to 300 and 500 people respectively. Zoom also offers the option to have larger meetings with up to 1,000 participants as an add-on to any of the paid plans.
Google Meet and Zoom both have different time limits on meetings depending on your plan, although the maximum time limit on Zoom is longer. With Google Meet's free option, you can have group chats for up to an hour. Zoom's Basic plan only allows group meetings of more than three people to be 40 minutes long. All of Google's paid plans extend this limit to 24 hours. Conversely, all of Zoom's paid plans have a 30-hour time limit.
There are also certain features that differ between these platforms. Zoom gives you the option to have a virtual background like a picture or video, or you can simply blur it. Zoom also has a built-in whiteboard feature. If you want to use a whiteboard with Google Meet, you can only do so while using something like Google Jamboard.
These two apps also differ in the number of people you can see simultaneously during a call. With Google Meet, you can see up to 16 people simultaneously in its tiled view. In Zoom, its gallery view allows you to see up to 49 people simultaneously. Both of these tools offer unlimited cloud storage on their paid plans, although the minimum amount that Google offers is much higher at 15GB, compared to Zoom's 1GB. You can also get attendance reports with all of Zoom's paid plans, whereas Google only offers this on its Enterprise plan.
Access and compatibility
Both of these platforms have a wide range of access and compatibility options. Both are available as software applications for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. You can access both through browsers such as Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Both are also available on various Linux-based systems. One difference is that Zoom is unavailable on ChromeOS, whereas Google Meet is.
Zoom also has lower minimum system hardware requirements. To use Zoom, you only require a 1GHz single-core processor and no RAM. Conversely, Google Meet's minimum system requirements include a dual-core processor and at least 2GB of RAM.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about Google Meet and Zoom, together with their respective answers:
Which is the best option?
This depends on your requirements. If you want to host more people in a meeting and for a longer period, Zoom might be the better option. Conversely, if you're already using a lot of Google tools, like the idea of integration and don't require such large meetings, Google Meet might be the better option.
Who owns Zoom?
The Zoom application belongs to Zoom Video Communications, Inc. This is an independent technology company based in California. Zoom Video Communications has no parent company.
What's Google Hangouts?
Google Hangouts is the company's free, consumer-grade chat platform. It's free to use and has a lower limit on the number of participants than Meet, which is the business option. Google Meet's former name was Google Hangouts Meet. There's also Google Chat, formerly Google Hangouts Chat. This is also a part of the Google Workspace suite and is a paid team chatting service.
What's Google Workspace?
Formerly G Suite, Google Workspace is a collection of apps and productivity tools. This includes various things like Gmail, Calendar, Chat, Docs, Meet, Sheets, Forms and cloud storage. It has various plans and pricing options for businesses, from Google Workspace Business Starter to Enterprise. These include Google Meet and various other tools.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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