With over 400 million users daily, Zoom and Google Meet are two of the most popular virtual meeting platforms.
And while both apps offer largely similar functions, they are still quite unique in their use cases, offerings, and pricing. Understanding what they each excel or fail at, as well as their similarities and differences is crucial in helping you make your pick for when you are planning your next meeting or event.
In this Google Meet vs. Zoom review, we will answer the following questions:
What is Zoom?
What is Google Meet?
What are the similarities and differences between Google Meet and Zoom’s functions?
What measures do they have in place to guarantee the security of your meetings and data?
What are their ideal use cases?
What are their pros and cons?
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service that supports audio and video meetings and web events.
Zoom can accommodate up to 1000 participants per meeting and can be connected to live streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook Live to give an unlimited number of participants viewing access on its paid plans.
It also has a phone solution that allows you to manage your cloud phone calls with call forwarding, queueing and routing, and SMS options. through the Zoom administrator portal.
Zoom is available on web, Apple macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.
Google Meet is Google’s video conferencing service designed to support audio and video meetings. It is a part of the Google Account and Workspace offerings. So, anyone with either of these accounts can set a meeting up with Google Meet.
Google Meet is known for its easy-to-navigate and intuitive interface and can accommodate up to 500 participants or live-streamed to a larger audience. It also has a lot of functions that can help you run simple, secure, and efficient meetings.
Google Meet is available on web, Apple macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.
Both Zoom and Google Meet have live recording functions that allow you to capture entire meetings and manage your video and audio files. But this feature functions a little differently in both apps.
Unlike Zoom, it does not allow recording on its free plan. Only subscribers on specific Google Workspace editions can access the recording function.
The recordings include speakers and their presentations and is saved to the meeting organizer’s Google Drive and after the meeting, an email with the link to the recording is sent to the meeting’s organizer and the person who started the recording.
The link is added to the Calendar event and participants within the organizer’s organization automatically get access to the recording.
It allows users on the free plan to record meetings on desktop, but requires a paid subscription to record on mobile.
Also, recording files are saved on either your PC or in the Zoom cloud, but the latter is only available to users on paid plans. From Zoom Cloud, you can manage and share your meeting recordings via a link.
In both apps, meeting participants are notified when a recording starts. In Zoom, participants can only record if granted permission by the host, while Google Meet only permits recording if you are the meeting host or a co-host, from the host’s organization (provided that Host Management is off) or a teacher for meetings created through Google Classroom.
Google Meet does not have a transcription function. The closest users can come to transcription is the live-caption feature which is available for free and on paid plans. The captions feature is very impressive with a high accuracy rate and is available in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
If you would like to live-transcribe your meetings, you can use meeting transcription apps like Airgram.
Zoom has an in-built live-transcription function on its paid plans. The transcripts produced are time-stamped and highly accurate. It also has speaker identification so that you can tell who said what.
Zoom also has an audio-transcription function that automatically transcribes the audio file of a meeting or webinar recorded on Zoom Cloud. This service is available to Business, Education, or Enterprise accounts that have cloud recording enabled/
Zoom transcription’s major drawback is that it is only available in English.
Google Meet does not have a direct messaging function so meeting participants cannot privately contact one another during a meeting. Participants can only communicate using the public chat during meetings.
A way to mimic this function is to create a breakout room and add the person you want to send a direct message to. Once they join the breakout room, you can communicate privately.
Zoom, however, has a direct message function that you can access anytime during the meeting. With the private chat feature, you can send direct messages to other participants in your meeting. This feature can also be disabled by account owners and admins so that specific users or groups on an account would be unable to access it.
The private chat feature is absent on webinars. Webinar attendees cannot send direct messages to other attendees. Messages can only be sent to the host, attendees, and other attendees publicly.
Google Meet has a 60-minute time limit for meetings with three or more participants on its free plan. But one-on-one calls on the plan can run for up to 24 hours. All meetings on the paid plans also have a 24-hour time limit.
In Zoom’s case, meetings on the free plan have a 40 minute-limit for three or more participants while 1:1 meetings and meetings on paid plans can run for up to 30 hours.
Google Meet’s participant limit is between 100 and 500, depending on the plan you are on. The minimum participant capacity is for free, Business Starter, Frontline, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, and G Suite Basic plans while the Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus plans can accommodate up to 500 participants.
Zoom’s meeting participant limit is between 100 and 1000 - also depending on the plan you are on. Zoom Webinars, however, allow you to broadcast your Zoom meeting to between 500 and 50,000 view-only attendees, depending on your webinar license.
Google Meet supports Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions on desktop. It also supports iOs and Android on mobile and Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.
Similarly, Zoom supports Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and web browsers including Android, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.
With this range of supported systems, you can access Google Meet and Zoom on all your devices. But certain restrictions in functionalities apply across devices, especially on mobile.
Both Google Meet and Zoom have several local integrations and third-party integrations that extend their functions and help automate workflows.
Google Meet integrates with over 200 apps and its main advantage with integrations is its seamless integration with other Google apps. So, if you use a lot of Google apps, Google Meet will make your work easier.
Zoom, on the other hand, has a broader set of integrations and can be paired with over 1000 apps.
While Google Meet and Zoom are user-friendly, Google Meet is a lot less uncomplicated to use and navigate. This is because of its simple and intuitive interface. It also does not have nearly as many features and functions as Zoom so users can get a hang of it quickly and do not require a lot of learning to become comfortable using it.
Zoom, on the other hand, is packed with functions and options. So, even though it appears pretty intuitive, its learning curve is relatively steeper - especially if you intend to get the best out of it.
Google Meet has various plans for different use cases, team sizes, and needs. They are divided into five major tiers - Free, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise. Some of the differences in offerings have been highlighted earlier.
The most popular plan is the Business Standard. It is affordable and provides users with the most important premium features and ample space. Also, its user limit is 300, making it suitable for small, medium, and large businesses and teams.
Zoom, on the other hand, has different plans for each of its products but our focus in this review is Zoom which has four tiers - Basic, Pro, Business, and Enterprise.
The Business plan offers the best value for money because it is only slightly more expensive than the Pro plan but offers significantly more functions, control, and customizations.
Overall, Zoom is relatively more expensive than Google Meet but this makes sense given the fact that Zoom offers its users a lot more than Google Meet does.
Both Google Meet and Zoom have measures in place to secure your account, privacy and meetings. These measures are generally in the form of admin tools, authentication, and encryption.
Google Meet and Zoom have admin tools that give hosts and admins control of how their meetings are run, who has access to it and how much access they have..
Some admin tools for security on Zoom include:
Allowing only individuals in your email domain to join meetings
Requiring the host to be present before the meeting starts
Suspend a participant’s activities
Expel one or more participants
Disable participant recording
Use a passcode to protect a meeting
Like Zoom, Google Meet has functions that allow you to restrict entry into your meetings like the Waiting Room so that you would only admit people you want in the meeting.
Google Meet’s data is encrypted in transit by default on browsers, iOs, and Android but If you join a video meeting with a phone and the audio uses the carrier’s network, it might not be encrypted.
Meet recordings also stored in Google Drive are automatically encrypted.
Google Meet adheres to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) security standards.
In Zoom’s case, the encryption standard it adheres to is the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). It also has optional end-to-end encryption.
Google Meet authentication methods include two-step verification (2FA) options (like security keys, Google Authenticator, Google prompt, and SMS text message), Google’s Advanced Protection Program (APP), and single sign-on (SSO) via Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).
Zoom also offers a range of authentication methods including 2FA, Password, SAML, and Open Authorization.
Google Meet is suitable for individuals and teams looking for a basic, affordable, and functional video-conferencing software. If you want to get on quick, easy-to-setup one-on-one, and low-maintenance group calls, Google Meet offers a great solution for this.
Zoom is ideal for more complex, deliberation-heavy calls. It is feature-heavy and combines all the known functions of the best meeting apps. So, if you are looking for a highly-functional single tool for all your large and enterprise-level calls, Zoom is the app you need.
In addition to looking at the apps in detail, understanding their pros and pitfalls are useful in helping further distinguish them and reach a verdict on which app is a better fit for you.
What makes Google Meet great is its ease of use, security, noise cancellation, Google Workspace and Account incorporation and integration with Google apps.
The downsides of using Google Meet are mostly its limitations and lean offerings, including restrictions, limited integrations, meagre offerings on its free plan, participant and time limit, and absence of the live-transcription.
Zoom’s major selling points include the consistency of its performance, the quality of its technical support, and the range of its features and integrations.
Zoom’s disadvantages include the meagre offerings on its free plan, steep learning curve, and sometimes confusing feature placement.
Having looked at both apps in detail, it is clear that they both have features that qualify them as great video conferencing tools. But Zoom edges Google Meet out because all users can achieve it using it. It has a much broader range of functions, participant capacity, and use cases.
However, if you do not have too much to ask from a video conferencing tool, you will enjoy Google Meet’s simplicity.
You can also check out these articles to understand how Zoom and Google Meet stack up against other virtual meeting platforms:
Michael started his career as a product manager and then developed a passion for writing. He has been writing on technology, remote working, productivity, etc., hoping to share his thoughts with more people.