We compared Google Meet and Zoom to see which is better for remote working and learning – and Zoom has a slight edge for large meetings

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Google Hangouts vs Zoom 4x3
  • If you’re learning or working from home, a video conferencing tool is a must.
  • Two of the best services out there are Google Meet and Zoom.
  • Zoom supports larger meetings, but Google Meet is conveniently packaged with other Google services.

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Two of the most popular video communication tools for remote work and learning are Google Meet and Zoom. The two services are used by workplaces and classrooms around the world. Both provide the ability to interact with other participants through video conferencing, enabling businesses and schools to conduct remote meetings and lessons through a variety of apps and devices.

But which of these tools is ultimately better? And which might work best for your needs? We put Google Meet and Zoom head to head to find out.

Google Meet vs Zoom: Which is better?

Google Meet and Zoom are both video conferencing services and they offer a lot of the same features. But one service may be a better fit for your needs depending on the size of your team and what other applications you plan to use.

When it comes purely to video conferencing features, Zoom has a slight edge over Google Meet, offering a comprehensive assortment of options at various price points. Zoom’s most expensive plan provides support for the largest number of participants.

That said, if you’re looking for a bigger collection of applications to use in tandem with your video conferencing service, then Google Meet might be a better fit. The platform, formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet, comes bundled with other helpful Google services as part of a Google Workspace subscription.

Feature comparison

Google Meet Zoom
Free option Yes Yes
Monthly price $6-$25 per user $15-$20 per license
Participants Up to 250 Up to 1,000
Meeting time limit up to 24 hours Up to 30 hours
Platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Pricing and plans

Google Meet and Zoom are both available in a variety of plans for different monthly costs, with certain features only available via certain packages.

Zoom plans

The basic version of Zoom is available for free, but there are some limitations to this option. Notably, you can only host meetings of up to 100 people and group meetings can only be up to 40 minutes.

Pricing for Zoom’s premium plans can get a little complicated if you need more than what the free version has to offer. Here’s a full rundown of packages:

Plan Price Participants Time Hosts
Zoom Basic: Free Up to 100 40 minutes One
Zoom Pro: $15/month/host Up to 100 30 hours 1-9
Zoom Business: $20/month/host Up to 300 30 hours 10-99
Zoom Enterprise: $20/month/host Up to 500 30 hours 50+

Starting with the Pro plan, members receive social media streaming, 1 GB of cloud recording, and personal meeting IDs. When you step up to Business, you get some advanced administrative features, like transcript recording, managed domains, and company branding. Enterprise upgrades you to unlimited cloud storage.

You can also add the “Large Meetings” add-on to any paid plan to get support for up to 1,000 participants.

Outside of its workplace plans, Zoom also has specific solutions geared toward education. Education plans are available for a minimum of 20 hosts and a max of 149 hosts. Each host can have unlimited meetings with support for up to 300 participants. You can find more information on pricing and features for Zoom’s Education plan here.

Google Meet plans

When it comes to Google Meet, you also have a few different options to choose from. Though a free version of Meet wasn’t originally available, Google now offers free access to a limited version of the service.

To unlock more features, you’ll need to pay for Google Meet as part of a subscription to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). Workspace comes with a full suite of additional Google cloud services, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and more. Here’s a full breakdown of Google Meet options via Google’s different Workspace plans:

Plan Price Participants Time Users
Google Meet: Free Up to 100 One hour (groups) One
Business Starter: $6/month/user Up to 100 24 hours 300 max
Business Standard: $12/month/user Up to 150 24 hours 300 max
Business Plus: $18/month/user Up to 250 24 hours 300 max
Enterprise: Varies Up to 250 24 hours No max

The Business Standard plan adds recording support. Meanwhile, Business Plus adds attendance tracking. Finally the Enterprise plan adds a noise-cancellation feature and “in-domain” live streaming.

Like Zoom, Google also offers education-specific Google Meet solutions. You can find more information about Google Workspace for education here.

Extra features

Zoom video conferencing

Zoom is a dedicated video conferencing service built by a company that is mainly focused on that platform. As such, Zoom is a little more comprehensive than Google Meet. Sure, Meet scores points thanks to its seamless integration with other Google apps, and the fact that it comes bundled with a host of other services, but if you’re really only looking for a video conferencing platform, those other apps won’t matter all that much.

Google Meet caps out at 250 participants and 24 hours, but Zoom can support up to 30 hours and has an option to add support for up to 1,000 participants for an extra fee. Most teams won’t need the expanded support that Zoom provides – but for some businesses, this ability could be the deciding factor.

When it comes to general features, Meet and Zoom both offer many of the same basic functions, like call encryption, support for up to 720p HD video, and presentation modes that allow for screensharing to other participants.

Google Meet has also made some big improvements over the last few months by adding additional options that were initially only found on Zoom, like polls, a tiled gallery layout for larger calls, and video filters so you can change your background. Both Zoom and Meet will let you split up calls into breakout rooms as well.

You can go further with both video conferencing services by hosting a session with a whiteboard. Participants in Meet and Zoom can also raise their hands if they have to say something in a class or company meeting.

Though Google Meet was initially missing a lot of these extra functions, the difference between both services has steadily decreased.

Integrations

Google Hangouts Meet integrations
Google Meet can integrate with other services.

Perhaps one of the most important things to consider is how each platform integrates with other services. Notably, Google Meet allows users to integrate meetings with other teams using Skype for Business, and other video meeting systems based on the SIP and H.323 standards. Meet also integrates with additional apps, including other Google services. For example, the service integrates well with Google Calendar

Zoom offers some great integrations too – including some Google apps and services. For example, Zoom integrates with Facebook Workplace, Skype for Business, Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and more. While Meet may make integration with Google services a little easier, Zoom still allows many of those same integrations as well.

The bottom line

Zoom meeting
Zoom is the more comprehensive service for dedicated video conferencing needs.

Zoom offers support for the most amount of people and the longest meeting times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right option for everyone. Zoom’s edge over Meet has diminished greatly over the last few months as Google added a lot of new features. Still, if you just want a service purely for video conferencing, then Zoom has a slight edge.

That said, if you want to use other Google services that come included with a Google Workspace subscription, then Meet will be more than good enough for your remote work or learning needs.

You can get Google Meet from the Google Workspace website, or sign up for Zoom at the Zoom website.

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How to change your background on Zoom so people on your video call can’t see inside your home

Zoom call on tablet
You can use Zoom backgrounds to obscure your surroundings and keep your home private.

  • You can change your background on Zoom to any image by adjusting your settings in the app.
  • Zoom’s backgrounds can be fun and have the added benefit of privacy.
  • For the best results, you may want to use a green screen for your Zoom background.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

While working from home, we’ve grown accustomed to using Zoom for work and for fun, so you’ve probably seen people change the scenery behind them while using Zoom’s virtual backgrounds.

This feature allows you to change your background to one of Zoom’s presets or to a photo or video you upload yourself.

While it’s fun to change your surroundings to a funny photo, there is the added benefit of privacy. Working from home doesn’t mean we want coworkers to gain a glimpse into our homes, and the feature is great if you haven’t had time to declutter your workspace.

Changing your background is easy. For the best results, you may want to purchase a green screen but it’s not necessary.

Also, for virtual backgrounds to appear, the admin of the call (which may be you) may have to enable the feature.

How a green screen can improve your Zoom backgrounds

If a clean, quality background is important for your work, you may want to consider using a green screen.

Green screening is an old filmmaking technique also known as “chroma keying.” We’ll save the history lesson, but the basic idea is a uniform background in high contrast with the color of human skin tones is easier to digitally paste over with another image.

Consistent, uniform lighting also helps separate you from the background, whether or not you have a green screen behind you.

You’ll also want to avoid wearing green unless you prefer to look like a floating head with floating arms.

Without a green screen, your virtual background may look imperfect or “glitchy” at times with objects of the room you’re in. For casual and most work settings, this is not a big deal.

But if you’re giving a presentation or livestreaming, you probably want the viewer’s focus centered on you instead of a distracting background.

What is Zoom? A comprehensive guide to the wildly popular video-chatting service for computers and smartphonesHow to blur your Skype background before a call begins or during a call, and hide a messy or distracting roomHow to change your background in Google Meet before or during a meetingHow to change your background on Microsoft Teams before or during a meeting

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From LinkedIn hashtags to résumé keywords, these are the best ways to tailor your application for remote work

Remote worker
Just one in 10 companies expects all their staff to return to the office after the pandemic.

  • When looking for remote jobs, it’s important to tailor your résumé and cover letter accordingly.
  • Highlighting any previous remote work or related soft skills such as Zoom could go a long way.
  • Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and using the relevant hashtags will catch recruiters’ attention.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Remote work might have been hard to come by in the past but times have changed. Although it’s not easy to find a job in today’s market, remote work is increasingly common.

Only one in 10 companies expect all their staff to return to the office after the pandemic and major companies including Google and Salesforce are planning to accommodate remote work in the long term.

There are many similarities between the remote work application process and the standard in-person work application, but there are new factors to take into account.

Here are some specific tips on how to update your résumé, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to make yourself the perfect candidate for remote work.

Resume
You could make a note of any specific remote work-related skills you might have.

Résumé

Online volunteering, video meetings with clients in other timezones, and working collaboratively online through Google Docs or the Cloud are all part of the remote work experience, said Jennifer Parrish in Remote.Co.

Clearly outlining this in your resume could make all the difference. You could mention it in parentheses after the job title – for example “marketing director (remote).”

Otherwise, you could mention it in the job description by saying something along the lines of: “I remotely managed a team of five employees and increased sales by 20% in the first quarter.”

If you have a lot of experience in working remotely, you may want to create a specific “Remote work” section to highlight this on your résumé. Whatever you choose, don’t assume that your hiring manager knows you worked remotely simply from your job title.

Indeed suggested that you could also make a note of any specific remote work-related skills you might have. You might choose to name specific programs such as Slack, Asana, Trello, Dropbox, and Google Hangouts, or you can be more general and cite video conferencing, email management, cloud storage technology, and office suites.

cover letter
Try highlighting your remote work skills and what you could do for the company.

Cover letter

One important thing is to remember that the company doesn’t want to know why remote working suits you, but rather why you working remotely will be beneficial to them.

Therefore, lines like: “I want to work with you because I can pick up my children from school,” should definitely be avoided.

Instead, try highlighting your remote work skills and what you could do for the company. For example, soft skills such as responsibility, flexibility, time management, and adaptability are even more essential in a remote post – so talk about how you’ve demonstrated them in your previous roles.

A good example or anecdote like this one could go a very long way. “The first couple of weeks of remote working in my previous role were tough. My employees felt demotivated and so I called an impromptu group call. We wrote down all our frustrations on post-it notes and then tore them to shreds, and it helped people realize they weren’t alone.”

linkedin
When a recruiter scans LinkedIn, they’re going to be looking for people working in their specific sector.

LinkedIn

If you scan your LinkedIn network, you’ll find lots of people with headlines like “looking for remote work opportunities.” That’s a wasted opportunity to catch a recruiter’s attention.

When a recruiter scans LinkedIn, they’re going to be looking for people working in their specific sector. So to choose the best possible professional headline, you’ll need to do some research.

Search for the profiles of people who have the jobs you want and note down the keywords they’ve used in their profiles or job descriptions. Adding those to your profile and using hashtags in posts outlining what you’re looking for could mean you pop up in the recruiter’s next search.

In your “About” section, be sure to keep it concise and relevant. The first three lines are what recruiters will be scanning so make sure you grab their attention enough that they’ll want to click the “See more” button.

If you lack remote experience, all is not lost

If you’ve never worked remotely before, don’t be discouraged. You’re still likely to have many of the relevant skills needed for remote work positions, like using Zoom, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Slack.

You can also enhance your résumé with online collaborations. There are always people looking for volunteers for projects or writers for blogs.

Volunteering your time will mean you have remote experience to add to your résumé and recommendations to add to your cover letter and LinkedIn profile. You might even collaborate with someone who’s able to recommend you for a job posting down the line.

Networking is key and so even if you don’t end up gaining much from a project, it’s sure to benefit you in some small way – even if you’re not sure what that is yet.

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