In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many organizations are asking their employees to work remotely. This, though, brings new challenges to the workplace as users adapt to video meetings, screen sharing, and the use of remote collaboration tools.
To assist a new wave of remote works and get some publicity at the same time, many software developers and service providers have started to offer free licenses or enhanced versions of their software and services.
Below is a roundup of all the free upgrades to services and software licenses being offered during the Coronavirus outbreak.
For higher education and K-12 customers who currently provide Adobe Creative Cloud apps to their students and employees, Adobe is now offering free access at-home access to the apps if the organization requests it. This access will be available for free through May 31st, 2020.
“Starting today, we’re giving our higher education and K-12 institutional customers globally — who currently make Creative Cloud apps available to students who login through on-campus labs — the ability to request temporary “at-home” access for their students and educators. This will be granted through May 31, 2020 at no additional cost. To learn more and request access, please follow this link.”
For schools, businesses, and government agencies, Adobe is also offering free access to their Adobe Connect conferencing solution for free through July 1st, 2020.
According to a report by Vice, AT&T is suspending broadband data caps during the Coronavirus outbreak.
AT&T is the first major ISP to confirm that it will be suspending all broadband usage caps as millions of Americans bunker down in a bid to slow the rate of COVID-19 expansion. Consumer groups and a coalition of Senators are now pressuring other ISPs to follow suit.
Avid is offering temporary licenses to customers for free between March 16 and Friday, April 17.
“To assist our community in delivering their projects and assignments while working remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Avid is providing temporary licenses of our creative tools to customers at no charge. Starting today, March 16, through Friday, April 17, users who are working from home may obtain 90-day licenses free of charge for Media Composer | Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools | Ultimate and Sibelius | Ultimate. In addition, any student of an institution who uses our products and can no longer attend school and/or access school facilities can receive a 90-day license of the same products. Click on the link below for full details and eligibility,” Avid stated.
Cisco is changing its free Webex meeting software so that it supports unlimited usage, supports up to 100 people per meeting, and has toll dial-in availability.
For businesses that are not currently a customer, Cisco is also offering free 90-day trials.
“Additionally, through our partners and the Cisco sales team, we are providing free 90-day licenses to businesses who are not Webex customers in this time of need. We’re also helping existing customers meet their rapidly changing needs as they enable a much larger number of remote workers by expanding their usage at no additional cost.”
Cloudflare has made its Cloudflare for Teams service free for small businesses for at least six months.
“Beginning today, we are making our Cloudflare for Teams products free to small businesses around the world. Teams enables remote workers to operate securely and easily. We will continue this policy for at least the next 6 months.”
Using Cloudflare for Teams, remote workers can gain access to a company’s internal resources using a secure VPN.
Discord has enhanced its free Go Live streaming service so that it can now support 50 simultaneous users rather than 10.
“We wanted to find a way to help, so we’re temporarily upping the limit on Go Live to 50 people at a time, up from 10. Go Live is free to use and lets people privately stream or screen share apps from a computer while others watch on any device — so teachers can conduct a class, co-workers can collaborate, and groups can still meet. You can learn more about how to get started with Go Live here,” Discord stated in a blog post.
Drastic Technologies Ltd.
Drastic is offering free 3-month licenses to existing customers to various software products.
“As many will now be working from home, Drastic Technologies is offering free 3-month licenses for all existing customers as well as those that can use our media content creation tools to make working at home easier. This includes videoQC, HDRScope/4kScope, MediaReactor for Avid and Adobe, and even Net-X-Code (which can be run on Windows as well as Linux). Please download and install the software you need, follow the licensing instructions and contact us by email to get a temporary license.”
Google is giving G Suite and G Suite for Education customers free access to their Hangouts Meet video-conferencing features.
This includes these features:
- Larger meetings, for up to 250 participants per call
- Live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain
- The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive
Subscribers to Instant Housecall can now create subaccounts that allow remote workers to take over their office PC. This offer will be available until the World Health Organization (WHO) designates the end of the pandemic.
“All plans now include subaccounts that let your customers work remotely. Using a subaccount that you create, your customers can login and control their own unattended PC,” the announcement states.
LinkedIn emailed registered users today stating that they are now offering numerous LinkedIn Learning courses about remote working for free.
“Like us, you likely have employees who are or will be working remotely to help contain and mitigate the spread of the virus. Different organizations are at different stages with remote work, but few of us have done it at the current scale. To help support you and your workforce adapting and ideally thriving, we’ve opened up a number of LinkedIn Learning courses that focus on being productive while working from home, including tips on using virtual meeting tools to build relationships in a new working environment. They are now available for free.”
LogMeIn is providing a free Emergency Remote Work Kit that gives free 3-month site-wide licenses to GoToMeeting to make it easier for remote workers to conduct meetings.
“Starting immediately, we will be offering our critical front-line service providers with free, organization-wide use of many LogMeIn products for 3 months through the availability of Emergency Remote Work Kits. These kits will include solutions for meetings and video conferencing, webinars and virtual events, IT support and management of remote employee devices and apps, as well as remote access to devices in multiple locations. For example, the “Meet” Emergency Remote Work Kit will provide eligible organizations with a free site-wide license of GoToMeeting for 3 months,” LogMeIn CEO Bill Wagnar said in a blog post.
The Loom video messaging platform has announced that through July 1st, 2020 they will provide these additional features:
- Remove the recording limit on our free plan — what was 25 is now unlimited
- Cut the price of Loom Pro in half — what was $10/month is now $5/month
- Extend all trials of Loom Pro from 14 to 30 days
Microsoft is making Microsoft Teams for free for the next six months to aid businesses who move towards a remote workplace during the outbreak.
“At Microsoft, the health and safety of employees, customers, partners and communities is our top priority. By making Teams available to all for free for six months, we hope that we can support public health and safety by making remote work even easier,” Microsoft EVP and President JP Courtois stated on Twitter.
Oneclick is making their remote access Basic Starter Package free for the next three months to assist those working remotely.
“Due to the COVID-19 emergency, we offer our already reduced starter package for 3 months free of charge for all organizations. This allows up to 5 users remote access to any application or desktop from any kind of infrastructure or office PC with any end user device via highly encrypted streaming.”
“In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, many organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and governments are recommending that people work from home to help reduce the spread of the virus. To support these remote work initiatives, Splashtop is offering its Splashtop Business Access remote computer access software free for 60 days in some of the most affected countries.
Residents of China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are eligible for the free license,”
TechSmith is giving free licenses to their TechSmith Snagit screen capture software and the TechSmith Video Review software through June 30th, 2020.
“Our screen recording tool, TechSmith Snagit, and our asynchronous collaboration platform, TechSmith Video Review, will be provided for free through the end of June 2020 to any organization that needs it,” TechSmith announced.
For existing customers of the TechSmith Relay or Video Review products, TechSmith is providing free increased usage with no charge.
Zoho is now offering free access to its Remotely remote work software suite through July 1st, 2020.
“Zoho Remotely will enable you to take your work remote by offering a complete suite of web and mobile apps that will help you communicate, collaborate and be productive.”
For people in China, Zoom has enhanced the Basic (free) license by removing the 40-minute meeting limit.
With this tenet in mind, Zoom is doing everything we can to provide resources and support to those navigating the coronavirus outbreak, including:
- For our Basic (free) users in China, we’ve lifted the 40-minute limit on meetings with more than two participants, providing unlimited time to collaborate.
- We’re proactively monitoring servers to ensure maximum reliability amid any capacity increases, as uptime is paramount.
- We’re scheduling informational sessions and on-demand resources so anyone can learn how to use the Zoom platform with ease — and at their convenience.