Many of us will be working at home for the foreseeable future writes Richard Aucock.

This is going to change the way motoring journalists do business. One effect may be the growth in video conferencing.

But where do you start? To help, here are four popular and, crucially, free video conferencing tools for you to try.

As more people start routinely using them, it might be worthwhile downloading the apps and getting familiar with them.

The Guild itself may even soon be utilising the power of video conferencing: watch this space…

Google Hangouts


Google Hangouts offers apps for both desktop and mobile, or can be used in a web browser. It allows video calls with up to 10 people and is a simple, paired-back tool. Simply type a Gmail address or share a link to invite people to join.

Bafflingly, the paid option is called Google Hangouts Meet, which G Suite customers get for free.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, Google is offering some Hangouts Meet functionality to other users for free until 1 July 2020.



Skype is well known by most people. It allows group calls for up to 50 people and will work within web browsers, if you don’t want to download the app.

You can share screens, blur your background, record chats and even add live subtitles onto discussions.

Skype for Business is the paid tier and adds Microsoft Office integration plus chats with up to 250 people.



WebEx is owned by Cisco. Despite this, there’s a free version. This allows video meetings for up to 100 people, including screen sharing.

There is a WebEx meetings app (which can be confusing to use in practice), or it can be used through a browser.

Cisco even includes 1GB of cloud storage within the free package (so you can record and relisten to meetings), plus unlimited meetings of unlimited length. If you want to sign up for a premium plan, there’s currently a special offer code to save you some money.



Zoom has apps for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android, making joining a meeting easy whatever device you have. There are plugins for Chrome and Microsoft Outlook to help with scheduling meetings.

The free version lets you hold one-on-one calls or groups of up to 100 people, albeit with a 40-minute time limit.

Zoom allows you to share desktop and application views, although if you want to record the meeting, you have to move onto a paid tier.

What are your experiences of these (or other) remote working tools? If you have opinions and tips to share email them to .

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