Google is providing its Google Meet video meeting solution for free to anyone with a Google account, including @gmail.com users. Recently rebranded from Google Hangouts Meet, it was previously only available as part of the G Suite for business and education customers.
Google is positioning Meet as a more secure alternative to Zoom, highlighting a range of ‘default-on’ safety measures, such as the ability for hosts to admit or deny entry to a meeting and mute or remove participants; the barring of anonymous users (i.e. those without a Google Account) from joining meetings created by individual accounts; and the encryption of video meetings in transit and recordings stored in Google Drive in transit and at rest.
Google account holders can use Meet to schedule, join or start secure video meetings with anyone, on the web at meet.google. com and via mobile apps for iOS or Android. It will also be possible to start or join a Meet meeting from Gmail or Google Calendar.
Meeting length is unlimited until September 30, after which there will be a limit of 60 minutes for the free product.
For business and education users, Meet will be available via G Suite or a new G Suite Essentials offering. Free of charge until September 30, G Suite Essentials gives access to Meet’s more advanced features, such as dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings and meeting recording, as well as Google Drive for storing and accessing content and Docs, Sheets and Slides for content creation and real-time collaboration.