As the world battles with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many organizations and employees are now forced to stay home and work. This is where things get challenging as users get acquainted with video meetings, remote collaboration, and screen sharing. Thus, to help with the new wave of remote workers, several companies, service providers, and app developers are offering their services for free and upgrades to pro features without any fee.
Whether you’re looking to work through all the distractions at home or spend your day reading books or on entertaining services, the following free services will help you keep your cool during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Work and productivity
Facebook is offering its Workplace Advanced service to help businesses and organizations keep connected while they’re working remotely. The service is available for free for emergency services and government organizations around the world for 12 months until June 30, 2020.
Google Hangouts Meet videoconferencing
As part of support during COVID-19, Google is offering the Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers around the world. The offer can be available till July 1, 2020, and features video-conferencing with up to 250 participants per call, up to 100,000 viewers when live-streaming, support for recording meetings and saving them to Google Drive.
Get Hangouts Meet
In response to COVID-19, Microsoft is a free 6-month for Microsoft Teams with an Office 365 E1 license that offers online meetings with up to 10,000 users, web versions of Office apps on iOS, Android, and Windows, business-class email, professional digital storytelling with Sway, and up to 1TB of personal cloud storage on OneDrive for Business.
Get Microsoft Office 365 E1 license here
Amazon Workspaces and WorkDocs
Amazon is providing new customers access to Amazon WorkSpaces (Desktop-as-a-Service solution) and Amazon WorkDocs (content creation, storage, and collaboration service) for up to 50 users at no charge. WorkSpaces can be availed starting from April 1 and WorkDocs can be accessed right away until the end of June.
Cisco is expanding the capabilities of the free Webex service in all countries with additional features like unlimited storage, support for up to 100 participants, toll dial-in and free 90-day licenses to businesses that are not yet subscribed to Webex.
Get Free Cisco Webex
Slack is introducing a paid version of its collaboration tool for COVID-19 response, research, and mitigation workers.
Humu is offering modified email nudges about working remotely for free. These include short, scientifically-backed suggestions to help users work from home better.
Discord is upping the limit on Go Live to 50 people, from 10 at a time. You can thus privately stream or screen share apps from a computer and use that to conduct classes, collaborate with co-workers, meet with groups virtually.
Zoho Remotely is yet another collaboration tool which is available for free till July 1, 2020. It is a complete suite of web and mobile apps that offers team drives, channels, chats, video or audio calls, and office apps.
Get Zoho Remotely
For those of you working from home, Jamm offers 1-click voice and video collaboration, screen-sharing, white-boarding, shared pointers, and more.
CafeX has developed Challo to work from home for free, with video meetings, chat, and workspaces. The service is available for free until July 1, 2020.
TV Shows and movies
Sling TV has launched the “Stay in & Sling!” initiative to provide users in the US with free access to news and entertainment.
Get Sling TV
IMDb TV is an ad-supported streaming service that is being offered for free and provides users with a select range of TV shows and movies exclusive to US users.
Get IMDb TV
With many children forced to be at home, Amazon has unlocked access to free streaming of more than 40 children’s shows to all Amazon users and not just Prime members. Users will need to sign in to their Amazon account to avail all the kids’ titles.
Shudder is providing a free trial to its horror-specific streaming service for up to 30 days in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. You can avail it by using the promo code – SHUTIN.
Amazon Music HD subscription
Amazon is also offering a 90-day free Amazon Music HD subscription which can provide you with music at up to 850Kbps in HD and up to 3,730Kbps in Ultra HD. After the 90-day period, Music HD subscription will be charged $14.99 a month.
Get Amazon Music HD
The New York Metropolitan Opera is providing free nightly streams of classical music performances on its site.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Similar to their New York counterparts, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is also streaming concerts for free till April 13.
Books and magazines
Amazon Kindle Unlimited
For avid readers, Amazon has prepared a two-month free subscription to its Kindle Unlimited service. The offer can be availed by new users as well as returning customers.
Amazon has also launched the Audible Stories platform for children to stream free audiobooks, across six different languages.
Get Audible Stories
Popular e-book and audiobook subscription, Scribd is offering a free 30-day trial toward e-books and audiobooks. You can have access to an unlimited number of magazines, books, audiobooks, and documents from any device.
Foam Magazine is hosting the #FoamAtHome campaign offering access to over 50 magazine editions digitally for up to 30 days. You’ll have to fill out a form to receive your access.
Registered users of LinkedIn are getting access to LinkedIn Learning courses to help individuals work remotely and focus on being productive. You can take advantage of the courses whether you’re new to remote work or if you’re leading a team of distributed team members.
Google Arts and Culture
Google is giving you a way to virtually visit museums around the world through free access to Google Arts and Culture which has over 1,200 leading museums on display.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe is giving out temporary at-home access to Creative Cloud until May 31, 2020, for education customers including higher education and K-12 customers.
You can get 3 months of guitar lessons with Fender’s PlayThrough subscription. The course will offer lessons for guitar, bass, and ukulele owners and is available for the first 500,000 who sign up it.
Online teaching service Coursera is offering access to over 3,800 courses for college students for free with over 400 specializations. Students can enroll for the courses through July 31, and complete them before September 30, with free access.
Apply for Free Coursera courses
Class Central is bringing users free online Ivy League courses from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale universities.
To ensure the continuity of education, FeedbackFruits is offering online learning tools for free with study materials, interactive classrooms, feedback, and discussions.
Monument Valley 2
Ustwo Games is offering its Monument Valley 2 game for free on both Android and iOS. The game is full of illusionary pathways and delightful puzzles where a mother and her child embark on a journey through magical architecture.
World War Z
Epic Games is hosting World War Z for
$20.99 FREE until April 2 on its website. The game is a four-player cooperative third-person zombie shooter that offers firefights, story-driven campaigns, and Player vs Player vs Zombies modes.
Get World War Z on Epic Games
Epic Games is also offering Bedtime Digital Games’ action-adventure game – Figment for
$6.99 FREE till April 2.
Get Figment on Epic Games
Dropbox is offering support to those organizations that are fighting COVID-19. The company is offering its Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise subscriptions for free for a three-month period to nonprofits and NGOs.
Register for Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise
Popular free screencasting software Loom is removing the recording limit on its free plan, cutting the price of Loom Pro to $5/month (instead of $10/month) and extending trials of Loom Pro from 14 to 30 days. Additionally, the company is giving out Loom Pro forever subscriptions for free to teachers and students of K-12 schools, universities, or educational institutions.
Get Loom Pro Free
Photographer platform Meero is offering an increased storage capacity of 10GB for three months to facilitate the remote working of organizations.
Designing software Affinity is offering a free 90-day trial of its complete Affinity suite for Mac and Windows users.
Get Affinity Suite
Health and Fitness
Nike Training Club
Nike has announced that the premium version of the Nike Training Club app is available for free during the current world crisis. The app includes over 185 workouts, progressive training programs and tips from Nike Master Trainers.
Peloton is offering an extended 90-day free trial for staying fit at home. The app will offer access to all workouts including outdoor running, strength training, cycling, yoga classes, HIIT, spinning, meditation, stretching and more.
Widely-used meditation app Headspace is offering some meditations you can listen to anytime for free. The app offers free meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you find some space through this time of crisis. Additionally, the company is offering free access to Headspace Plus for all US healthcare professionals working in the public health sectors.
Echelon is offering a free 90 day trial to its Echelon FitPass plan which offers live and on-demand fitness classes and workouts for yoga, cardio, strength training, and more.
Have you transitioned into the work-from-mode with the rest of your colleagues? How do you entertain yourself from home during the COVID-19 lockdown? Let us know in the comments below.