Google Meet vs Skype on Tethered 4G

During last April I've had to work via my phone's 4G data tethering. I did quite a few code pairing sessions with colleagues each week, and after feeling that Google Meet wasn't working good enough I decided to try Skype (which has quite a few years of focused product building behind). These are my findings.

As I was on 4G, I was probably under a very limited output bandwidth. I had no issues on the reception/input side (nor from the video-conferencing technology at least), but output was poor and the main the reason why I tested alternatives and kind-of measured them.

Most sessions were 1h non-stop meetings, of 2 participants + shared desktop (VS Code, Pycharm, OSX terminal, so not so many moving pixels). I always had OSX Activity Monitor open with the Network Info tab and, while I didn't wrote down the exact numbers of every session, I had plenty of sessions to compare both approaches until I had a decent internet connection again.

Data consumption

Google Meet: ~200 MB input data, ~50 MB output data.
Skype: [50,100] MB input data, [75, 100] MB output data.

Perceived audio quality

Google Meet: Good input, unstable output, sometimes ok, sometimes poor.
Skype: Good input, good output.

Perceived visual quality

Google Meet: Initially unstable input, but "settles down" and remains good meanwhile there's no application switching (e.g. between terminal and IDE). With movement clearly appreciable compression blocks. Same with output.
Skype: Excellent input (almost no compression noticed), good output.

Quality settings

Google Meet: Lowering the video quality to 360p only works if there's not much screen movement, else it feels we're back in the nineties with blocky compressed MPEG videos. Skype: There are no options as Skype handles video quality, resolution, etcetera automatically, and for once it simply works.


Meet is very convenient and good for normal meetings, presentations (without animations/videos, else is awful), team dailies and the like.

Skype has amazing visual quality and overall smaller data consumption without perceived data loss.

Still, whenever possible I prefer to use Live Share for VS Code so there's no need to stream a whole screen.

Tags: Offtopic

Google Meet vs Skype on Tethered 4G published @ . Author: