5 tools to connect online while in lockdown

As the COVID-19 Pandemic forces more people to stay home, technology is connecting everyone during this strange and uncertain time. AustralianFarmers breaks down some of the best online conference and chat forums for you to use for long distance catch ups or meetings.
  1. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a communication platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration.

The app is great for collaboration and is particularly useful for businesses looking to move to working from home arrangements.

The app allows for chats, group chats, individual team channels and utilises existing Office 365 tools such as SharePoint and OneDrive which makes sharing and storing information in one central location a breeze!

2. Skype

An oldie but a goodie, Skype is a telecommunications app that offers free online calls, messaging, affordable international calling to mobiles or landlines.

Businesses can also use Skype for online meetings.

The app is free to use and offers HD video calling for its users, a perfect way for you to see your loved ones up close!

3. FaceTime

A staple for Iphone users, FaceTime is a video/phone app for apple users and available on iOS mobile devices and Macintosh computers that run Mac OS X 10.6.6 and later.

The app can be used on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and includes some interesting features including using you Memoji!

The only downside of the app is that it is only available for iOS users.

4. Hangouts

Google Hangouts is the android equivalent of FaceTime, offering android users the opportunity to connect with one or more of their friends via text and video chat.

The app allows you to stay in touch with everyone you know, with group chats for up to 150 people a key feature of the app.

It also offers some unique features such as connecting your Google Voice account for phone number, SMS and voicemail integration.

5. HouseParty

Houseparty is a social networking service that enables group video chatting through mobile and desktop apps

The app is available for both iOS and Android users and allows users to connect with people they know, and people they don’t, by allowing users to invite friends and friends of friends into video-chatting sessions.

The app also allows groups to chat and play games and quizzes at the sane time.

Interestingly, the Houseparty is currently the third most downloaded app on the iOS app store in the United States — behind Zoom and TikTok — and comes top in the United Kingdom.


AustralianFarmers is an online community powered by the National Farmers' Federation.

Add comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Register for updates

Subscribe to access free weekly recipes, news and lifestyle content – fresh from Australia’s farmers.