Google Meet premium video conferencing now free

The secure video conferencing solution is relied upon by schools, governments and enterprises around the world

In Summary

•Anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to G Suite’s business and education users.

•Meet is designed, built and operated to be secure at scale. By end of April, Meet was hosting three billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly three million new users every day. 

Google has invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution.
Google has invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution.
Image: COURTESY

Google Cloud has announced that it is making Google Meet, the premium video-conferencing solution, free for everyone with availability rolling out over the coming weeks.

Starting this week, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to G Suite’s business and education users, such as simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including the expanded tiled view.

“With the lines blurred between work and home, Google Meet can offer the polish needed for a work meeting, a tiled view for your online birthday party and the security needed for a video call with your doctor,” said Javier Soltero, VP of G Suite, in a statement.

“We’re in the middle of a significant worldwide shift impacting communication from the workplace to schools to the home. People want familiar, secure tools that they can use across all facets of their lives.”

Privacy and security are paramount, no matter if it’s a doctor sharing confidential health information with a patient, or a financial advisor hosting a client meeting"
Google

Google has 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 has accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful.

Whether it’s hospitals supporting patients via telehealth, banks working with loan applicants, retailers assisting customers remotely, or manufacturers interacting safely with warehouse technicians, businesses across every industry are using Meet to stay connected.

Starting this week, Google is expected to gradually expanding Meet’s availability to more and more people over the following weeks. While users might not be able to create meetings at meet.google.com right away, they can sign up to be notified when it’s available.

Meet is designed, built and operated to be secure at scale. Since January, Meet’s peak daily usage grow by 30 times. By end of April, Meet was hosting three billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly three 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 said in a statement.

Some of the default-on safety measures include host controls such as the ability to admit or deny entry to a meeting, and mute or remove participants, if needed.

There are also no anonymous users (i.e., without a Google Account) allowed to join meetings created by individual accounts.

Meet meeting codes are also complex by default and therefore resilient to brute-force “guessing.”

Schools and higher education institutions

Meet is included in G Suite for Education, a suite of free Google apps tailored specifically for schools, which serves over 120 million students and teachers globally for high-quality virtual classes, PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, tutoring, and even school socials.

Meet video meetings are further encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.

It also works entirely in Chrome and other modern browsers, so it is 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 also reiterated that Meet data is not used for advertising, and the company  does not sell data to third parties.

Individuals, teams and organizations can use Meet for free.

Importantly for Kenya, schools and higher education institutions can also have free access.

 Meet is included in G Suite for Education, a suite of free Google apps tailored specifically for schools, which serves over 120 million students and teachers globally for high-quality virtual classes, PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, tutoring, and even school socials.