What Is Google Meet and How Does It Work?

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What Is Google Meet and How Does It Work?

Google Meet is Google’s video conferencing service. It’s a terrific way for people and companies to connect through audio and video chats. It evolved from Google Hangouts, however it has certain distinct features.

In this post, we take a look at Google Meet, explaining what Google Meet is, and how it originated from Google Hangouts. We also look at the best Google Meet features and show you how to start or join a Google Meet meeting.

What Is Google Meet?

Google Meet is a video conferencing service from Google. It was originally only available to enterprise customers, but everyone can now use Google Meet for free.

Google Meet is available on the web, and phones and tablets for Android and iOS.

Google Meet is primarily designed as a way to host video meetings. However, you can enable the camera and microphone independently, so you can just use it for audio calls if you wish.

You can create ad hoc calls and invite your friends and family. They can join by typing your meeting code or you can send them a link that they click on.

One of the best things about Google Meet is that you don’t need to install any software on desktop. Everyone in the call (the organizer and the attendees) simply has to be using a modern web browser.

Google Meet vs. Google Hangouts vs. Google Chat

Google is known for having multiple chat services that all seem to do the same thing. It often changes the name of services or retires them, which leads to even more confusion.

Google Hangouts is a video and messaging platform. Google Hangouts split into Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which were then rebranded to Google Meet and Google Chat respectively.

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All three of these services—-Google Hangouts, Google Meet, and Google Chat—-are separate and still exist. There’s also Google Duo (our guide to Duo and Allo) (our guide to Duo and Allo).However, Google will likely retire Google Hangouts at some point, though the exact date is unknown.

If you want to host a video meeting for multiple people, use Google Meet. If you want to have a one-on-one conversation with someone, either in a video call or via text, use Google Hangouts or Google Chat. Check out our list of Google Hangouts tips and tricks.

You can find out more information regarding the differences between the chat apps on Google’s FAQ page.

What Are the Best Features of Google Meet?

Google Meet’s free plan allows for one-hour sessions, although this has been extended to 24 hours until September 30, 2020.

Because you may establish and attend as many meetings as you like, there’s nothing stopping you from having a second meeting if you reach the hour restriction.

A meeting with up to 100 people is possible. You may silence other participants as a meeting organizer, which you may want to do if your meetings reach that size.

Google Meet tries its utmost to filter out any non-speech background noise. It also has a live captioning option that automatically captions what people say—-quite it’s dependable and excellent for accessibility.

You may also show everyone on the call your screen. This may be a single window or the full desktop, and it works on mobile as well.

Finally, Google asserts that “video conferencing are encrypted in transit” and that “our suite of security features is constantly updated for further protection.” Enterprise-grade security is provided for business customers, but the privacy settings are enough for the regular user.

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How Much Does Google Meet Cost?

Everyone may make and join calls on Google Meet for free. All you need is a Google account (which you already have if you use Gmail), which is also completely free.

However, certain Google Meet features are only accessible with a premium G Suite membership. This costs $10/month per active user. G Package is Google’s suite of collaboration and productivity software aimed towards corporate users.

Some additional features that G Suite gives Google Meet are:

  • 300 hours meeting length
  • 250 meeting participants
  • Dial-in numbers in the United States or abroad
  • Meeting recordings have been saved to Google Drive.
  • 24/7 online support

More details are available on the Google Meet plans and pricing page.

How to Start a Google Meet Call

Go to the Google Meet website to start a Google Meet call on desktop. Click the Start new meeting button. If you are not already logged in, you will be requested to sign in to your Google account.

There will be a waiting room. Whether your browser asks you if you want to enable meet.google.com access to your microphone and camera, click Allow. Use the preview section to be ready, then click Join now to get started.

A window will appear with a link to share with others so they may participate in the call. You may return to this at any time by clicking Meeting information in the bottom-left corner.

To begin a Google Meet call on a mobile or tablet device, launch the Google Meet app and choose New meeting. A pop-up will appear with the specifics of the meeting invitation—-tap Share to send this straight to someone in another app.

How to Join a Google Meet Call

There are two ways to join a Google Meet call:

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1. Use a Google Meet Invite Link

The first step is to request that the meeting host provide you the invite link. This will be formatted in the same way as meet.google.com/xxx-xxxx-xxx. (The characters at the end of this URL also serve as the meeting code, which is needed in the second technique described below.)

On the desktop, click the link to instantly join the meeting. If you haven’t already, join in to your Google account; however, if the host is using G Suite, this step isn’t necessary.

If you have the Google Meet app installed on your phone or tablet, hit the link to start it and join the meeting.

2. Use a Google Meet Meeting Code

The second way is to request the meeting code from the meeting host. You may then input this to participate in the meeting.

Go to the Google Meet website on a desktop and enter the code in the Enter meeting code form, then click Join.

Launch the Google Meet app on mobile or tablet, press Meeting code, enter it in the field, and then hit Join meeting.

Other Free Video Conferencing Apps

That’s all there is to Google Meet and how to create and join video chats. If Google Meet isn’t for you, check out our comparison of Zoom vs. Houseparty, two of the most popular video chat applications right now.

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