Google has announced that it’s premium video conferencing software Google Meet will be free for everyone. Google says “Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks. 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.”

Starting in early May, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to Google’s 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.

Google says “ Meet is designed, built and operated to be secure at scale. Since January, we’ve seen Meet’s peak daily usage grow by 30x. As of this month, Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly 3 million new users every day. And as of last week, Meet’s daily meeting participants surpassed 100 million. With this growth comes great responsibility. Privacy and security are paramount, no matter if it’s a doctor sharing confidential health information with a patient, a financial advisor hosting a client meeting, or people virtually connecting with each other for graduations, holidays and happy hours.”

Google says their approach to security is “simple: make products safe by default. We designed Meet to operate on a secure foundation, providing the protections needed to keep our users safe, their data secure, and their information private. Here are just a few of our default-on safety measures:”

  • We provide 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. 

  • We do not allow anonymous users (i.e., without a Google Account) to 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.

  • We don’t require plugins to use Meet on the web. It works entirely in Chrome and other modern browsers, so it’s less vulnerable to security threats.

  • On mobile, we have 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—our strongest protections available against phishing and account hijacking.

  • Google Cloud undergoes regular rigorous security and privacy audits for all its services. Our global compliance certifications can help support regulatory requirements such as GDPR and HIPAA, as well as COPPA and FERPA for education. 

  • Your Meet data is not used for advertising, and we don’t sell your data to third parties.

We operate a highly secure and resilient private network that encircles the globe and connects our data centers to each other—ensuring that your data stays safe. Trust is built on transparency and we publish the locations of all our data centers. You can learn more about how Meet keeps your video meetings safe in this post.

We at GeeksCorner have been using Meets for just over a month with family in the education sector and it’s been an invaluable tool, the fact that Google is taking this premium software and making it free is fantastic news given all the controversy surrounding Zoom.