Google Hangouts Review

Easy to use and integrates well with Google suite

What is our primary use case?

I use Google Hangouts for both chat and online meetings.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the seamless integration with Google Suite. For example, in Google Calendar, if you set a meeting then it will automatically prepare the google Meet or Google Hangouts meeting for you.

It gives you the ability to make online presentations, and there is a little-known tool that allows you to use it as a remote desktop.

It is very easy to use and is available as soon as you open a Google account.

The recently added noise-cancellation feature works well.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see support for showing virtual backgrounds.

A better resolution that is capable of showing hi-resolution videos would be useful.

The capability of transferring files through chat, other than just images and videos, would be useful. There are some workarounds for it, but they are not as robust as the other features. Most other messenger allows you to send files through chat.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Google Hangouts for several years, since 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I use it every day and the stability is pretty good. It has never quit on me except in the case where my internet connection was down. Basically, if you have a working internet connection then it's up.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not tested the scalability, but I have been part of meetings with more than 100 participants. My understanding is that it can handle up to 250 concurrent users in a meeting. For our purposes at work, it has been good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never been in contact with technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also use Zoom and Microsoft teams, although not as extensively as Hangouts. Zoom allows you to show a virtual background, which is a nice feature. Also, most other messengers support sending generic files through chat, whereas Google Hangout supports sending images and videos only.

One problem with Zoom is that you can only have chats when you're in a video conference, whereas with Hangouts, it's real-time. The chat box is always there. I have never used the chat feature in Microsoft Teams.

I have not explored the integration between Teams and Microsoft Office.

How was the initial setup?

Running Hangouts for the first time is pretty seamless. Once you have a Google account, there is no setup that is needed. You simply log in and it's there.

What about the implementation team?

It was easy to set up on my own.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This solution is available for free with the opening of a Google account.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is looking to start using Google Hangouts is that it is plug-and-play, and comes free with Google Suite. The minute you have a Google account, it's already there. It is easy to use and works right out of the box.

Having more than 100 people in a meeting is pretty good.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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