Google Meet – a free and secure video meeting/collaboration platform

Google Meet

Google Meet is part of the paid G Suite of Google apps. Shortly it will be free to use and provides a secure, app free* environment already trusted by major governments, education and the top-end-of-town.

Google Meet is really Google Hangouts+ with an even more substantial focus on security without being invasive.

*App free means you do not download an intrusive and potentially spyware laden app to use Google Meet. Simply go to Google Meet (website here) and set up a meeting (create a meeting and invite users via an email link). Users then click on the secure link and the meeting runs in Chrome or many other browsers without plug-ins.

Google Meet Security

  • Inviting participants, a waiting room, host admission or removal of participants etc.
  • Meeting codes (links) are complex and resist brute force attacks. There is no resue of Codes
  • Meetings are use full encryption in transit. All encrypted recordings remain inside a secure Google Drive.
  • No Anonymous logins
  • Secure apps for iOS and Android or use a browser
  • Hosted in the Google Cloud nearest to you – not in China!

No ads, no tracking and no spyware

Google Meet is ad-free, and your data stays yours – it will not sell it.

Collaboration and meeting types

You can use Meet to schedule, join or start secure video meetings with anyone—for a virtual yoga class, weekly book club, neighbourhood meeting, or happy hour with friends.

It is Google-centric. The host needs a Gmail account and scheduling takes place via Gmail or Google Calendar. All participants must have a Gmail address. Why? Google has I.D. checking and multi-factor authentication to prove you are you.

Every Android user has a Gmail (Google) account. It is easy to set up, and you can set it to auto-forward to your standard email address.

Meeting length and number

The free Google Meet has a 60-minute limited (not enforced until after 30 September). You can have up to 100 participants presented ‘Brady Bunch” style in little stacked boxes.

Google Meet

The free version cannot use a landline to dial in.

GadgetGuy’s take – Google Meet is a secure video meeting platform. It should be your video conference of choice.

We have been using Google Hangouts+, and this is the natural progression. It easy to use and seems to suffer a whole lot less than Zoom for reliability and video quality.

After GadgetGuy experienced first-hand a hack by a Chinese company using Zoom, we refuse to use it. Zoom, largely unknown 12 months ago, is only popular because it is free. If the product is free the product is you.

Following warnings about Zoom from the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a formal warning that Zoom could easily be used to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens or for economic espionage. The report was issued jointly by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Mission and Counterintelligence Mission centres. All U.S. law enforcement and government agencies received it.

It states, “Even promised security fixes do not eliminate the concerns with Zoom because the patching process is undermined by … actors who often capitalize on delays and develop exploits based on the vulnerability and available patches.”

Google Meet

Zoom naturally said that it disagrees with the intelligence analysis and that it is “heavily misinformed, includes blatant inaccuracies about Zoom’s operations.”

What else is safe?

Well now Google has Meet, Microsoft has Teams and Skype, and there are several trusted programs like Cisco WebEx.

As the NSA stated

The country of origin should be a factor for assessing the safety of telework services. Zoom has 28% of its workforce (mainly developers) and Chinese servers.

Chinese apps include WeChat, Tik Tok, Tencent QQ, Toilet (billed as the Anti-WeChat), Bullet Mesenger and Duoshan (SnapChat like) among hundreds of hastily written apps to cash in on COVID isolation.