Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing platforms out there. Lately, as the number of users on that platform spiked, so did concerns. How were hackers accessing Zoom calls so easily? What data did Zoom collect? Of course, there are tons of tips and tricks you can use to make your Zoom calls as safe as possible. But what if you’d like to investigate other platforms?
Skype and Google Meet … these are popular, useful video conferencing platforms in their own right. But how do they compare to Zoom? What features do they share, and which ones are different?
Skype. Released in 2003, Skype is one of the oldest video conferencing platforms. If you’re not familiar with how Skype works, it’s fairly simple. Once you sign up for an account or download the app, you can find contacts. Type in someone’s Skype username or email, and they will likely come up. You can send a request, and they can connect with you. If you’ve ever sent a friend request on Facebook, the process is similar. You can add multiple contacts into a group, and make a group call. Or, you can just call contacts in a one-on-one setting. Unlike other platforms, Skype doesn’t rely as heavily on scheduling or sharing links. If you’re trying to collaborate in a professional setting, this might not work well for you. But for impromptu calls or connecting with friends, this works well. And if you do choose to use Skype professionally, you have two important capabilities. The first one is that you can blur your background if you have the Skype app. That way, you won’t have to strategically position your camera for the perfect, professional background. On Skype, you can also share presentations. Zoom doesn’t rely on contacts in the same way that Skype does and relies on link sharing/invites. However, Skype and Zoom do share background customization tools and the ability to share presentations.
Google Meet. If you’re familiar with the wild variety of products available in Google Suite—from Hangouts chatting to Google Sheets to Gmail—you likely know about Google Meet. It works seamlessly with other products, such as Gmail and Google Calendar. If you like all your work being seamlessly synced and integrated, and you use Google products anyway, this is likely a great choice for your needs. With Google Meet, you can invite multiple people to a scheduled, recurring meeting through their email. And if you’re inviting them from your work account, Google will alert you if you’re trying to invite someone out of that domain. Of course, if you need to have a call with someone who doesn’t have the same email domain (like email@example.com), this feature won’t help you. With Google, transitioning from scheduling to the actual call is seamless. This is because Google Calendar and Google Meet were created to play well together. While you can add Zoom meetings to your calendar, whether in Outlook or Gmail or another platform, it doesn’t integrate the same way Google products do.
One of the best ways to decide which platform is best for you is to give them a test drive. Which one seems most intuitive to you? Maybe you like different features that one platform has, so that’s the one you settle on. Or, your boss sets up meetings on a certain platform and that makes the decision for you. When it comes to connecting, the platform that works best for you is the right one.
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