To compete in the corporate video conferencing world, Google Meet (formerly known as Google Hangouts) is a more barebones version of Zoom. If you are looking for a free and safe Zoom alternative, this is how you can start a Google Meet video conference.
The free version of Google Meet allows you to add up to 100 participants, and meetings are limited to 60 minutes (much better than the Zoom 40 minute limit).
Google Meet calls are encrypted end to end (digging directly in Zoom), but you need a Google or Gmail account to make or join Google Meet calls.
You can use Google Meet on your computer in a web browser or in a mobile application for iPhone and Android.
How to Make a Google Meet Video Conference
You can start a Google Meet video conference from your Gmail inbox. In your left sidebar, I will find a new “Meet” section. From here, click the “Start Meeting” button to open Google Meet in a new window.
You can also integrate Google Meet video calls directly into Google Calendar. From your Google Calendar, click the “Create” button and then select the “Add Google Meet Video Conferencing” button to directly create Google Meet for the selected time.
When you open the Google Meet website, it will show you upcoming calls.
You can then copy the Google Meet link or click the “Join Google Meet” button to immediately switch to the call.
But the easiest way to start a Google Meet video conference is to visit the Google Meet website.
After opening the page, make sure you are logged into the Google account of your choice (work or personal). When you start the video call, click the “Start Meeting” button.
From the next page, you can check your video and audio microphone. You can also click the Mic and Video icons to disable it for calls. Once you are ready, click the “Join Now” button.
The Google Meet video conference will now begin. You will get a prompt to add people. You can click “Copy Join Info” to copy text and links to calls, or you can click the “Add people” button to invite Google users.
From the “Add People” window, find and add the contact you want to invite. Then click the “Send Email” button to send the invitation.
After the user opens the link and clicks the “Ask to Join” button, you will be asked if you want to invite them. You will see the name associated with their Google Account. Click the “Accept” button to add it to the call.
How to Join the Google Meet Video Conference
This is only as simple as a process if you are on the other side. All you need to join Google Meet is a valid Google account. (It doesn’t have to be a Google Apps account.)
You might have received a meeting code or a link to join Google Meet.
If you receive a meeting code, open the Google Meet website, enter the meeting code in the text box, and click the “Join” button.
If you receive a link, all you have to do is open the link in your browser.
Google Meet will now display a preview of your camera on the left. You can also test your microphone by speaking in it and watching the green waves in the lower left corner. If you do not want to join your camera or microphone is activated, click the “Video” or “Microphone” button.
Once you are ready, click the “Ask To Join” button.
After the host allows you to enter, you can join the video conference.
If you want to switch to a different view, click the “Menu” button.
Here, select the “Change Layout” option.
From here, you can switch to Sidebar, Spotlight, or Tile layout (which is similar to the Zoom Gallery display).
From the menu, you can also switch to full screen mode, change audio and video settings, and use the Present feature to share your screen.
You will find all meeting options in the bottom row. You can click the Microphone or Video button to turn off the microphone or camera in sequence. You can also mute other people on Google Meet calls.
After finishing the call, click the red “End Call” button.
Google Meet will ask if you want to request a call. Click the “Back to Home Screen” button to return to the Google Meet Home page. Here, you can start or join other calls.
Will spend many of your work hours on Google Meet video calls? You should spend time learning Google Meet keyboard shortcuts.