In this digital age, there’s a huge need for remote communication, most especially via video calling. Most social platforms support video calling, but not many support conference calls that involve multiple users.
Whether to facilitate online learning or for remote learning, it is ideal to use a reliable video calling platform that supports multiple users.
Among the top ones available are Zoom and Google Meet. Which is best for video conferencing? Find out as I compare Zoom vs Google Meet.
What Is Zoom?
Zoom is an online video communication platform that was launched in 2011. The platform is reliable as it is cloud-based and it can be used on all major devices and operating systems. This includes Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc.
With Zoom, you can virtually interact with anyone online, while the other person doesn’t even need a Zoom account. Zoom has proven to be secure and stable for social events, making it one of the most used video conferencing platforms.
Besides video calls, you can make audio-only calls, chat live, and share files using the platform. You can use Zoom for free, but you need a subscription to access all features without limit fully.
What Is Google Meet?
Owned by one of the largest technology companies globally, Google Meet facilitates secure video meetings for businesses and teams. The video meetings are of premium quality, but yet free, and it is available for everyone. All you need is a Google account.
Conversely, Google Meet supports up to 250 users per call and 100,000 viewers for live streams. Furthermore, the platform uses AI to enhance the quality of video calls. You can use Google Meet on mobile, tablet, or desktop.
Google Meet supports file sharing and audio calls. Meanwhile, the platform was previously part of Google Hangouts as Google Hangouts Meet.
How To Get Started
To use Zoom, you have to download the app on your digital device. You can also launch the platform on the web via a browser. Hosting a meeting as a new user requires registration. Complete the signup form to register or login using an existing Google, SSO, or Facebook account.
After activating your account, you should update your profile. This involves setting up your profile picture, meeting ID, language, time zone, date format, etc. Once done, you can start scheduling meetings.
As the host, share your invitation link with participants and they can join by clicking the link. If the participants have Zoom accounts, they can click on ‘Join’ with the app and enter your meeting ID to join as well.
You don’t have to carry out an actual sign up on Google Meet if you already own a Google account. Considering there are over 1.5 billion Gmail users, you should already have one. If you don’t, then sign up on Google.
However, for business, you need to own a Google Workspace account.
Once signed in, click create a meeting, and you’ll be issued a meeting link, code, dial-in number, and PIN. Share these details with others you want to join. They can join by clicking the meeting link or entering the Join box’s meeting code to join. They can also join by dialing the number and entering the PIN.
Getting started is easy on Zoom and Google Meet. However, Google Meet wins as most people already have Google Accounts, so there is no need for fresh account registration or profile update.
Video Quality (HD)
With Zoom, you enjoy HD quality video conferencing. Typically, the Zoom video aspect ratio is 4:3, but for HD, you get an aspect ratio of about 16:9.
With a pro account, you can enjoy 720p video quality. However, this high-definition quality is only available for meetings involving just two participants.
Furthermore, you can enjoy up to 1080p video quality, but it is only available for special use cases. By default, HD quality isn’t enabled to help users save data. You can change this from the video settings.
To enjoy 720p and 1080p HD video quality on Zoom, there are several bandwidth requirements your device and network must meet.
The standard video quality for Google Meet calls is 320p. Nevertheless, the platform supports HD video calls at 720p. To enjoy HD video calls, you must use a device with a quad-core CPU or higher on a PC.
The 320p is the default video quality, and you can switch to HD from the settings. However, you will be unable to enjoy HD video calls on mobile as this setting cannot be adjusted on the app.
Zoom takes the upper hand here as it supports HD video up to 1020p.
Meeting Time Limit
With a free Zoom account, you can host up to 100 participants in an online meeting for about 40 minutes. One-on-one meetings have no limited time.
The pro plan supports 100 participants too, but meetings can last for up to 30 hours. You can host larger meetings, up to 300 participants with the Business and Zoom United Business plans.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise plan allows you to host about 500 participants per meeting. The Business, Zoom United Business, and Enterprise plan all have a meeting running time of 30 hours.
If you’re on the Google Workspace Essentials plan, you can host video meetings for up to 24 hours either for one-on-one or group meetings. For group meetings, the maximum number of participants allowed is 150.
You get the same meeting running time with the Google Workspace Enterprise plan, but with a higher participant capacity. The plan supports up to 250 participants for group meetings.
Without paying, you can host about 100 participants in a group meeting. These free meetings run for a maximum of 60 minutes.
In this Google Meet vs Zoom feature comparison, the better platform is Zoom as it has higher video limits.
Video Enhancements & Customization
Zoom incorporates several built-in features for users to customize their videos and increase the quality. You can touch up your appearance from the settings, which will smoothen out the video.
Also, you can adjust the lighting and use video filters. The lighting adjustment is needed when making video calls in a low light environment. By default, Zoom will auto-adjust your lighting to match your room.
There are more than 50 video filters featured for you to apply. Also, there are about as many virtual backgrounds as well. To utilize virtual backgrounds, you should be behind a green screen.
It’s possible to change the background of your video calls with Google Meet. For this, you’ll have to upload your background after blurring the original. However, this works on PC alone; on mobile, you should blur your background.
With a cloud-based AI, you can filter out noise to limit interruptions when making video calls. If you’re using Google Meet on the Chrome browser, there are several possible enhancements.
There are several extensions and apps to improve the Google Meet user experience on the Chrome Web Store. An ideal example is the Google Meet Enhancement Suite extension.
With virtual backgrounds, touch-ups, video filters, etc., you can enhance and customize better with Zoom than Google Meet.
Zoom supports closed captioning, most especially for online classes and webinars. It is not auto-generated; the captions have to be typed in by the host or a co-host. The host can assign any participant to provide captions too.
With the Zoom REST API, you can import captions from third-party closed captioning services or type the captions directly via Zoom.
Closed captioning is not enabled by default; hence, you should enable it from the settings option. You can enable closed captioning for your account globally or enable it for a specific group or user.
The auto-generated closed captions featured on many Google products are also available on Google Meet. You can use closed captions in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish depending on your country.
However, this is only possible on a computer. For mobile and tablet devices, only the English language is supported. Enabling & disabling closed captions on Google Meet is easy.
The CC icon is featured on-screen when on a video call; you can either enable or disable it by tapping it. As usual, the quality of the generated captions depends on the speaker.
With auto-generation and multi-language support, Google Meet wins over Zoom.
In a Zoom meeting, there are various contents you can share with others. The host controls screen sharing on Zoom. They can allow or restrict participants from sharing their screens.
You can share your entire device screen, a portion of it, a particular app or apps, the device audio, a whiteboard, and content from a second camera. To share content from a second camera, it must be connected to your device.
As a host or participant, you can easily share your screen by clicking the Share Screen button in your meeting controls.
With Google Meet, you can either share a specific window or your entire screen in a meeting. This is labeled “Present” on a computer and “Share Screen” on mobile and tablet.
After joining a call, the Present Now button is featured at the bottom, and you can share by clicking it. You can present even if someone else is presenting, and theirs will be paused.
You can join only to present. This way, only the application or specific window you want to share is viewed. As a host, you can prevent participants from sharing their screens only if you’re a G Suite for Education user.
Both Zoom and Google Meet support screen sharing, but you can share more with Zoom.
With Zoom chat, you can send instant messages to other Zoom users or non-users. Just as you can set up video meetings, you can set up Group Chats for others to join. Also, you can share files, emojis, screenshots, etc. with contacts.
With a Calendar integration, you can display your presence or status while messaging. You can set your status to busy, offline, desktop, mobile, in a meeting, etc.
Furthermore, it’s easy to transition from messaging to video meetings with Zoom.
While on a video call with Google Meet, you can send messages to other participants. The messages you send are visible to everyone, but they are not stored. Once the chat is over, all messages are wiped.
Likewise, you can’t view messages sent by others before you joined the video chat. You can only save chat messages when you record your video calls.
The chat icon is featured at the top-right corner. Simply tap it to begin chatting. As a host, you can prevent participants from sending messages if you use G Suite for Education.
Both platforms support instant messaging; however, Zoom features an exclusive chat medium, while Google Meet features in-video live chat. Hence, Google Meet wins.
Security & Privacy
While signing up on Zoom, only your basic profile information is stored. Your account can be authenticated with a password, SAML, OAuth, 2FA, etc.
Your video meetings, chat, and other activities with Zoom are secured with 256-bit TLS encryption. You can further encrypt your communications using AES-256 encryption or end-to-end encryption.
Notably, Zoom chats are encrypted using symmetric and asymmetric algorithms.
For privacy, you can utilize audio signatures, passcodes, etc., to verify your meeting participants. As a host, you can also lock a meeting to prevent others who are yet to join from joining.
Without a Google account, participants won’t be able to join Google Meet meetings. This eliminates the possibility of anonymous participants.
By default, all data transmitted on the Google Meet platform is encrypted. Recordings are also encrypted and stored on Google Cloud. The platform works under IETF security standards.
You can secure your Google Meet account with 2SV (2 step verification), security keys, SMS, Google Authenticator, Google Prompt, etc. For more security and privacy, most especially for enterprises, you can enroll in the Google Advanced Protection Program (APP).
No one wins in this Zoom vs Google Meet feature comparison as both platforms are secure.
Tracking & Analytics
From your Zoom dashboard, you get a quick rundown of your meeting statistics. This includes statistics of users and meetings. These statistics are displayed in graphs, while you can get detailed values by moving your mouse over the graphs or tapping on your mobile device.
In detail, you get statistics of your top 10 meeting participants, overall usage, top 10 locations, top devices, participant satisfaction trend, participant feedback, and more.
You can sort these statistics for the last 7 days, last 30 days, last 180 days, last year, or any custom timeframe. Furthermore, the data can be downloaded as a CSV file.
You can get tracked data and statistics of your Google Meet meetings via the Meet Quality tool. This tool saves data for 30 days, and you can monitor meeting information, participants, timeline view, etc. However, not all Google Meet users can access this feature.
Nevertheless, as a host, you can access your meeting log from the admin settings. You can also track your participants’ numbers in real-time using the attendance tracking feature. For this, you need a paid Google Meet plan or a G Suite for Education license.
Zoom provides more in-depth analytics and retains them for a longer period than Google Meet.
There are so many third-party integrations featured on Zoom. For scheduling and starting meetings, the platform integrates with Salesforce, Skype, Workplace, IBM, Outlook, Google Calendar, Google Chrome, HipChat, etc.
For sharing content, Zoom integrates with One Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Panopto, etc. Zoom also integrates with Google, Facebook, Centrify, RSA, and more for unified sign-in. Marketing integrations featured include Marketo, Zapier, Pardot, and Eloqua.
You can access even more Zoom integrations from the Zoom App Marketplace. In total, there are more than 1,000 apps in the Zoom app marketplace.
Google Meet integrates with third-party video conferencing platforms, including Sony, Skype, Cisco, Polycom, and Lifesize. You can use these platforms to deploy, schedule, and join meetings on Google Meet.
Natively, these are the platforms that integrate the Google Meet feature. However, as a platform from Google, many third-party platforms are optimized to work with Google Meet, just like other Google products and services.
Furthermore, Google Meet will work seamlessly with other Google products and services.
Zoom has more third-party integrations than Google Meet.
Customer Support & Resources
You can get support as a Zoom customer from their Help Center. Here, you’ll find guides on getting started, hosting meetings, messaging, using Zoom rooms, etc. You can also use LiveChat or via the contact form.
Zoom has a support line you can call for help, and there’s an FAQ. Available resources include live training, blog, and how-to videos. You can request a demo before paying to use Zoom.
From the Google support site, you can get Google Meet help. This platform features articles and guides about using Google Meet. Topics covered include introduction, starting and joining videos, settings, using meet with other platforms, etc.
There’s the Google Meet Community to get answers from other Google Meet users. The Google support site also features an FAQ. You can only contact the support team directly if you have a hardware or phone support problem.
With LiveChat, phone number, etc., Zoom’s customer support is more reliable, unlike Google Meet.
Google Meet vs Zoom – Pricing
Zoom features five pricing plans. The plans are differentiated mainly by the number of participants per call. They include:
- Basic Plan – $0 per month
- Pro Plan – $14.99 per month when billed monthly, or $149.90 when billed every year.
- Business Plan – $19.99 per month when billed monthly, or $199.90 when billed every year.
- Zoom United Business Plan – $35 per month when billed monthly, or $350 when billed every year.
- Zoom Enterprise Plan – $19.89 per month when billed monthly, or $198.90 when billed every year.
There are three account plans featured on Google Meet, which include:
- Basic Plan – $0 per month
- Google Workspace Essentials Plan – $8 per month
- Google Workspace Enterprise Plan – Custom pricing
Note: Similarly, the pricing plans are differentiated mainly by the number of participants allowed.
- Both Zoom and Google Meet offer free accounts.
- They both support HD video.
- Either Zoom or Google video calls can be customized.
- Both Google Meet and Zoom support closed captioning.
- Both support screen sharing.
- With either Zoom or Google Meet, you get a secure platform.
- They both provide analytics.
- Zoom supports up to 1080p HD video, while Google Meet supports 720p.
- Zoom supports up to 500 participants, while Google Meet has 250 participants maximum.
- Zoom meetings run for a maximum of 30 hours, while Google Meet meetings run for 24 hours.
- Google Meet closed captions are auto-generated, while for Zoom, they have to be typed in.
- Non-account holders can join Zoom meetings, but non-account holders can’t join Google Meet meetings.
- Zoom supports more third-party integrations than Google Meet.
Pros & Cons
- Free account
- HD video quality
- Up to 500 participants
- Video filters & virtual backgrounds
- Closed captioning
- Reliable security
- Screen sharing
- Detailed analytics
- Third-party integrations
- Reliable support channels
- Premium plans are expensive
- Closed captioning not automatic
Google Meet Pros
- Free account
- HD video quality
- Up to 250 participants
- Auto closed captioning
- Screen sharing
- Reliable security
Google Meet Cons
- No 1080p support
- Less video customization options
Zoom vs Google Meet – Which Is The Winner?
To conclude this Zoom vs Google Meet comparison, the winner is Zoom.
Zoom is a better platform than Google Meet for video conferencing because it supports higher running time, a higher number of participants, and higher video quality.
Although its premium plans are relatively high priced, you can make satisfactory video calls with the free basic plan.