Google Meet now free for everyone as an alternative to Zoom

Google Meet is an alternative to Zoom (Google)

Google has attempted to one-up Zoom by making its own video conferencing app free to use for everyone.

The tech giant announced in a blog post it would be making Google Meet available for anyone to use – providing they have a Google account, of course.

While Zoom limits free calls to 40 minutes, Google will let you use Meet for up to 60 minutes without interruption. And this won’t even be enforced until September.

‘We’ve invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that’s trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world, and in recent months we’ve accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful,’ explained Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager, G Suite.

‘Starting in early May, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to our business and education users, such as simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including an expanded tiled view.’

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Google says that Meet is currently hosting three billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly three million new users every day.

Zoom has become the golden child of video conferencing since the lockdown happened, but several security issues have dogged the company. Unsurprisingly then, Google is making a big deal out of Meet’s security props.

Google Meet will let you make calls for 60 minutes (Google)

Here’s a few of the default-on security measures listed by Google:

  • A strong set of host controls such as the ability to admit or deny entry to a meeting, and mute or remove participants, if needed. 
  • No anonymous users (i.e., without a Google Account) can join meetings created by individual accounts. 
  • Meet meeting codes are complex by default and therefore resilient to brute-force “guessing.”
  • Meet video meetings are encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.
  • No plugins required to use Meet on the web. It works entirely in Chrome and other modern browsers, so it’s less vulnerable to security threats.
  • Dedicated Google Meet apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 
  • Meet users can enroll their account in Google’s Advanced Protection Program – Google’s strongest protections available against phishing and account hijacking.
  • Google Cloud undergoes regular rigorous security and privacy audits for all its services.
  • Meet data is not used for advertising, and Google doesn’t sell your data to third parties.

Google Meet will start to become available from next week.


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