To stop the spread of the Coronavirus, many governments such as Pakistan, the US, and the UK around the world have imposed confinement orders on the population. That means that many people now work from home and personal visits have had to become video calls through all kinds of applications and platforms.
Although there are many options available, whether you’re looking for an option to do a virtual happy hour or to hold a business meeting, two popular options are Zoom and Google Hangouts. Here we compare the two video communication services – especially after recent concerns about Zoom’s privacy concerns.
The best option for Google fans
Google Hangouts is the application of the technological giant to make free calls, either voice or video, as well as text messaging. You need to have a Google account to make a call, but you can use it without having one. You can invite up to 150 people to a Google Hangouts chat, although only 25 can join simultaneously in a video conference.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Google also offers many features that are usually dedicated to its business service, Google Hangouts Meet, to help people, businesses, and schools stay connected. Now you can hold meetings of up to 250 participants for free in one call and stream live video for up to 100,000 people within a domain, and you can also record meetings and save them to Google Drive. You can take advantage of these tools for free until September 30.
With Google’s speech-to-text feature, Hangouts Meet has the option to caption in real-time at meetings or video chats — a great option for people with hearing problems or those who need to keep the volume low.
You can use Google Hangouts through its iOS or Android application, via the Web through your browser, the Chrome extension, or in your Gmail account. To start a call, you must open hangouts.google.com or in the Gmail sidebar. Select a person from the Hangouts list or search for their name or email address and click on it. Click Video call. In the app, open it and tap the + button. Then enter the contact’s name or email and tap the camera icon to start a video call.
The best option for those who can navigate in the security settings
The Zoom video conferencing application works on Android, iOS, PC, and Mac. The app offers a free basic plan with which you can make a call with up to 100 participants. There are also options for small and medium-sized business teams (US $15-US $20). monthly per host) and for large companies for US $20 per month per host and with a minimum of 50 hosts. You can adjust meeting times and select multiple hosts. Up to 1,000 people can participate in a single Zoom video call, and up to 49 videos can be displayed on the screen at one time.
Read more: Zoom Features: How to become a Zoom expert
The app has HD audio and video capabilities, collaboration tools like simultaneous screen sharing and connotation, and the ability to record meetings and generate transcripts. Outlook, Gmail, and iCal support scheduling and starting meetings. In Gmail, for example, you simply click on the calendar icon, then click on the meeting time, then the link under Join Zoom meeting. If the host programmed it, there may also be call options.
If your microphone and camera are turned off, Zoom has the option for you to communicate via chat (the interface looks a bit like Slack). This feature can also be useful if it is a mass meeting to ask questions.
Signing up for Zoom is free: you can manually create an account with an email or sign in with Google or Facebook.
If you’re using Zoom, it’s important to keep in mind the security issues that have come to light following its rapid rise in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. Privacy experts have voiced concerns about the software’s privacy risks and vulnerabilities, in addition to so-called zoo bombing (when uninvited people break into a meeting to interrupt it). The New York City Department of Education recently told teachers to stop using Zoom and switch to Microsoft Teams while security concerns were addressed by the company.
However, if you continue to use the platform, there are some steps you should take to protect your meetings, such as an identification number per meeting and enable the “Waiting Room” function so that you can see who wants to enter the meeting before giving you access.