For webinars, Microsoft says always use a custom link, and we agree

Always Use a Custom Link

Microsoft offers a lot of good advice on running a webinar here:

We think the most important one is: always use a custom link. A custom link offers one level of indirection in case something happens during a live event. This way, you can easily redirect clients to whatever is appropriate without an additional email or communication.

We, however, recommend against using something like, even though at first glance it looks like the easiest option. Why? forces your users to go outside your corporate firewall to reach a webinar when they don’t need to. You are losing control over the experience and putting the security and confidentiality of your events at risk.

If you can run your own web server, that’s the best way to do it. Simply drop a web page onto IIS and go. You get your own analytics/log files, and you can easily update the link by just editing the file.

<meta name="refresh" value="0;"/>
<!-- If you need to change the link, just edit this file -->  

Vivoh Webinar Manager: Webinar Custom Links 2.0

We believe so much in this approach that we built one of our main products around the idea. The Vivoh Webinar Manager makes it easy to provide a redirection link to a webinar, a link that can be hosted internally if needed, and is easy to change if the situation requires it.

The Vivoh Webinar Manager needs to build a custom link because internal (corporate WAN) users are redirected to multicast video served over UDP (and which require our custom Vivoh player). You can see this visualization here and explore how that works on your network.

Vivoh WAN Visualization Experience the WAN Visualization here

Our solution can also route some users (such as those on a VPN) to a regular webinar link (Zoom, MS Teams, WebEx or Google). Those users will appear to be inside the network but who are unable to access multicast traffic. The Vivoh Webinar Manager makes decisions based on the IP addresses it is configured with to route people to the right place. And, it all works with a custom link that redirects to the main webinar link in most situations.

Microsoft thinks this is a best practice and we agree. Every webinar should use a custom link for security, flexibility and the best user experience.