Google Meet Review: Features & Alternatives for 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
Google Meet is a free video conferencing service with additional features when you purchase a Google Workspace plan, starting at $6 per user, paid monthly. It is an excellent fit for small businesses looking for a budget-friendly video meeting solution that seamlessly integrates with Google Workspace apps. In this Google Meet review, this provider scored high in general and niche features, but scored lower in customer service.
Google Meet Review: At a Glance
What We Liked
- Free version available for all Google account users
- Straightforward interface
- Robust security and privacy controls
- Integrates with Google Workspace apps
- Business plans require Google Workspace subscription
- Limited feature set
- Live captions are sometimes inaccurate
- Lacks live customer support
When to Use Google Meet
- Google Workspace users: Google Meet ranks as one of the best free screen sharing software and best Zoom alternative for teams that regularly use Google Workspace apps for collaboration and project management.
- Free video conferencing solution: Any Google account user can host meetings for free and invite up to 100 attendees for an unlimited number of one-hour group meetings. This makes Google Meet one of our best free conference call services.
- Secure and compliant video meetings: Businesses in the financial and healthcare industries with strict data privacy standards will benefit from Google Meet’s in-depth approach to security. It employs anti-abuse measures and achieves global certifications from compliance programs, such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and System and Organization Controls 1 (SOC 1).
When to Use an Alternative
- Advanced video conferencing capabilities: Even with the free plan, Zoom offers a variety of video conferencing features, such as co-annotation, multi-share, and keyboard and mouse control.
- Video meeting solution with robust collaboration features: Comparing Google Meet vs Microsoft Teams, the latter provides more collaboration features. Microsoft Teams is a virtual workspace for video meetings, group chats, and file sharing.
- Full-featured unified communications service: RingCentral is a comprehensive business communications solution for voice calls, video meetings, fax, SMS, and team messaging.
Google Meet Deciding Factors
Google Meet is not a standalone product but a part of the Google Workspace collaboration suite. A free version is available for Google account users wanting to launch quick meetings without downloading an app. All plans include counter-abuse protections to keep meetings safe from external threats.
Google Workspace users or small businesses looking for an affordable and easy-to-use video meeting platform
Annual or Volume Discounts Available
Google Meet Alternatives
While Google Meet offers a free video meeting solution, it lacks a few capabilities, such as co-annotation, multi-share, reporting tools, and robust integrations. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive video conferencing software, here are a few alternatives to consider:
Businesses looking for a full-featured unified communications solution
Companies wanting powerful collaboration features for remote teams
Distributed teams looking for a feature-rich video conferencing service
Monthly Starting Price (per User)
Google Meet scored 3.5 out of 5 for its pricing, as it offers a free-forever version and a free trial for all paid plans. A Google Workspace monthly subscription starts at $6 per user, which comes packaged with additional Google Meet features like meeting recording and noise cancellation. Each Google Workspace plan differs in participant capacity, meeting duration, maximum cloud storage, and security features.
Google Meet Pricing & Plans
Solopreneurs wanting to host meetings for free
Small businesses that host longer meetings
Businesses that need additional video conferencing features
Mid to large-sized businesses that need higher participant capacity
Large companies that prioritize security and privacy
Max. Meeting Length
Polling & Q&A
*Introductory price applies for the first 20 users added, for 12 months
Google Meet Features
Google Meet works entirely within a web browser. Its mobile app only takes up minimal storage space and provides the highest quality video calling experience. Since security is an integral part of Google, Google Meet employs various security measures, including data encryption and compliance certifications. It also offers video conferencing devices for businesses that need conference room support.
Google Meet allows in-meeting chat and screen sharing during video calls. To limit distractions and make meetings more fun, blur or replace your background, and then adjust the light and color filter. It automatically switches the layout in a meeting to highlight an active participant or content. Layout options include auto, spotlight, sidebar, and tiled (up to 49 webcams). Also, the service adjusts to network speed, providing high-quality video calls anywhere you are.
Upgrading to a Google Workspace plan includes additional features, such as hand raising, meeting recording, breakout rooms, noise cancellation, and translated captions. Video meetings are automatically saved to the organizer’s Google Drive. For brainstorming sessions, use Google Jamboard, a digital whiteboard integration for online meetings.
Check out other valuable features offered by Google Meet:
Google Meet offers a variety of accessibility features to help users with disabilities to participate in video meetings. Powered by Google’s speech recognition technology, live transcription captures what’s being said in meetings so participants who are deaf or hard of hearing can follow along. Screen reader, full-page zoom, and high-contrast color ensure blind and low-vision users can view presentations clearly.
Although Google Meet lacks transcriptions, it offers a built-in tool for live translation that translates English to or from French, German, Portuguese, or Spanish. You can also translate captions from Mandarin, Japanese, or Swedish to English.
Google Meet Security & Compliance
In Google Meet, all data is encrypted in transit, and every meeting has a unique encryption key. It also implements anti-abuse measures for web meetings and dial-ins, such as 10-character meeting codes and secure meeting controls. Enroll your account in Google’s Advanced Protection Program, which provides the strongest protection against phishing and account hijacking.
As part of the Google Workspace suite, Google Meet works with other Google products, such as Drive, Calendar, Gmail, Docs, and Sheets. All apps are tied together so that users can collaborate in context. For instance, you can seamlessly jump into a Google Meet session while working on a Google Doc. It also lets you add a Google Meet link to a Microsoft Outlook event or email using the Google Meet add-in for Microsoft Outlook.
Google Voice received a low rating for customer service because it doesn’t offer live customer support for addressing technical concerns. Users must resort to self-service options, including the Google Workspace help center and community forum. Round-the-clock priority support is only available for Enterprise subscribers. An administrator account is required to contact a support specialist.
One of the key features of Google Meet is its straightforward design. Setting up a meeting is easy, whether you set a schedule via Google Calendar or start an instant meeting directly from Google Meet’s website. Although the platform is easy to navigate, many first-time users find the interface confusing, specifically when sharing their screens and inviting participants. Still, Google Meet can be a convenient video meeting tool once you get the hang of it.
Based on our expert assessment, Google Meet is relatively popular among Google account owners. Recent Google Meet reviews reveal that many like the platform for its ease of use and the ability to start instant meetings. However, Google Meet has many missing collaboration features, such as co-annotation and keyboard and mouse control.
At the time of publication, Google Meet earned the following scores on popular review sites:
- GetApp: 4.5 out of 5 based on 11,241 reviews
- TrustRadius: 8.1 out of 10 based on 521 reviews
- G2: 4.5 out of 5 based on 252 reviews
How We Evaluated Google Meet
We explored Google Meet and tested some of its features and functions. We also consulted recent customer reviews to learn more about the personal experiences of its business users. From there, we created a scoring system divided into a set of criteria: pricing, general features, niche features, customer service, ease of use, and expert score.
Learn how we evaluated Google Meet by clicking on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
Since cost is a major concern for small businesses, we looked for the availability of a free-forever plan, free trial, and discounts for annual billing. We gave additional points to Google Meet as it offers cheaper per-user pricing for its subscription plans.
30% of Overall Score
A reliable video conferencing solution prioritizes security by keeping its meetings encrypted and allowing users to set a passcode. It should also have a mobile app to host and join meetings even on the go. Google Meet earned high ratings for offering all these features and an additional point for accommodating up to 100 to 500 attendees per session.
25% of Overall Score
We considered the features that promote smoother collaboration among distributed teams. We checked if Google Meet offers whiteboards, breakout rooms, software integrations, and recording. Google Meet gained additional points for providing international dial-in numbers, which allow global users to join meetings.
10% of Overall Score
We looked at the types of support channels Google Meet offers, including phone, email, chat, and a ticketing system. Additional points are awarded if all support channels are available 24/7.
10% of Overall Score
To evaluate Google Meet’s usability, we tested the platform ourselves and compared it to our experiences with other video conferencing solutions. We also checked the customer feedback on credible review websites. We considered if users encountered learning curves when setting up and operating the platform.
10% of Overall Score
Our years of experience evaluating various video conferencing providers serve as the basis for our expert evaluation. We compared Google Meet’s offerings against other virtual meeting solutions and weighed the provider’s popularity among users. We checked how its service meets small business needs, including its ease of use and overall value for money.
Google Meet is an excellent choice for small businesses looking for a low-cost video conferencing solution that integrates with Google Workspace apps. It has a wide array of security features and compliance certifications to ensure the right protections are in place. Try the free version or sign up for a free trial to explore its business packages.