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Hurricanes: Science and Society
Webinar Testing and Troubleshooting

Webinar Testing and Troubleshooting Tips

The Hurricane Webinars take place on a service called WebEx, an online meeting center. From your local computer, you will be able to view and hear a speaker’s presentation (no need to call in via phone, etc.). The WebEx platform also allows for questions to be asked by chat text for this forum. A very brief “tutorial”, walking participants through the functionality of the WebEx meeting portal, will occur at the start of each webinar. The webinar will be recorded for viewing at a later date.

How to prepare before a Hurricane Webinar

It is very important to do his ahead of time to verify that WebEx will work properly on your computer.

1) We recommend that you do not use Firefox to launch WebEx.

  • In our experience Firefox just does not work well with WebEx, even though WebEx lists Firefox as supported. We have found about 75% of the technical problems we have encountered with webinar participants can be solved by using a browser other than Firefox.

2) Recommended Browsers and Operating Systems (updated May 2019)


  • Chrome (recent 32 or 64 bit version), Internet Explorer (10 & 11), and Safari (11) all work well, however changes in security models may require additional permissions for the browser plug-in and can fail if permissions are restricted for the browser (for example, microphone access may be denied in the security settings). Safari 12 appears to work fine but is not officially supported (Feb., 2019) and Safari 9 & 10 may also work fine.
  • Edge is supported with an additional download
  • Firefox (v52+) is supposed to be supported but not recommended by DOSITS

Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 are all supported
  • Mac OS X 10.9 through 10.14 are all supported
  • Some Linux versions are supported. Look at for details.
  • Support for Google Chrome OS is currently available via the Cisco Webex Meetings Web App
  • Windows XP and Vista will not work – WebEx discontinued support for those systems.
  • Mobile devices can download native apps that work in recent versions of the major mobile operating systems – iOS, Android, and Windows. These apps are free. Please be sure to use the most recent version.

3) How to conduct a browser and basic network test at the WebEx test meeting site:

  • Go to the test page in your browser:
  • Enter in your name and email address
  • If you have never used WebEx before, you will need to download a plug-in. Depending on the security settings on your browser or system, you may need administrator privileges to grant permission for this download.

WebEx Meeting Center will launch and load.

  • In the Cisco WebEx Meeting Center Application, you will need to dismiss a dialogue box that says that there is no host and you are the presenter.
  • You should then get a screen with an image that says "Welcome to your test meeting!".

If you do not get this screen, then there is a problem. See the note at the end of this section.

  • Meeting Center will highlight some of the controls and then let you use WebEx to some degree. You may connect your video and audio (choose to get audio though your computer). You can test your audio if you go to the Audio menu -> Audio Connection (or through the controls at the bottom of the screen). In the Audio Connection pop-up, choose "Change Connection" and the pop-up will change to an "Computer Audio Connection" box.  Choose the Test button next to the output methods and you should hear a tone play. If you have audio problems see the Audio Troubleshooting below.
  • You can also play around with the drawing controls, sharing, etc. 
  • The test meeting automatically ends after a short time (10 minutes?).
  • To end the test meeting sooner, go to the File menu and choosing Leave Meeting.

Note: If you are not able to get the Cisco WebEx Meeting Center Application to load or the meeting doesn't load properly, first, try another browser and then try restating your computer. If you continue to have problems, contact an ISC staff member for help.

Audio Troubleshooting

If you are having Audio problems (no audio) in a WebEx meeting session – during a webinar

Note: When you join the WebEx session you must choose 'Call Using Compute' to connect to the audio. This will connect to audio using VoIP through your computer.

  • First, make sure you audio speaker is not muted in either WebEx or your system. To check in WebEx:
    • In the Audio menu at the top in the WebEx application, choose Audio Connection...
    • Or on the bottom of the WebEx screen choose the ... circle -> Audio Connection.
    • Check the setting in the Audio Connection Panel.
    • If not muted in WebEx, check you system settings.
  • If your speaker is not muted, confirm you have joined the audio conference by looking for a microphone icon in the first circle on the bottom of your WebEx screen. If there is a headset icon, you have not joined the audio conference. Click on the headset icon to join the Integrated Voice Conference. You should get a dialogue box confirming and the icon will change to a microphone (do not unmute your microphone).
  • If the issue is not resolved:  In the Audio menu at the top in the WebEx application, choose Audio Connection...
    • Or on the bottom of the WebEx screen choose the ... circle -> Audio Connection.
  • Now choose Change Settings in the Audio Panel.  Next to the speaker setting, choose the Test button. If you do hear tones with the test button, there is a mis-match in your audio setting somewhere in WEbEx or the system rescuing in a muted speaker or redirected audio to an unexpected device. If you do not hear tones there is a problem.
  • You always verify the speaker and microphone settings in the Operating System settings as they can be out of sync with the settings in WebEx and cause issues.
  • NOTE: you do not need a microphone to participate in the DOSITS Webinars - in fact, we ask that you always keep your microphone muted.
  • If you are still having audio issues, try leaving the meeting and re-joining.
  • If re-joining does not work, try re-joining with a different browser (not Firefox).
  • Finally, try re-start your computer and re-join the meeting.
  • If you are still having audio problems(no audio from the conference), the issue may be more complex. Security permissions may prevent the browser from giving WebEx access to audio. Sometimes system audio settings or other programs on the local computer can cause problems and sometimes local network issues can prevent audio from working. Please work with your local technical support personnel to solve the audio issues if the above suggestions do not resolve the issue..

If you continue to have problems connecting with WebEx, please contact an ISC staff member.

Additional information about WebEx

Firewall issues

If you have trouble connecting to the WebEx service (no response at all), you may have a firewall on your network that will prevent connections to WebEx.

  • WebEx generally uses port 80 and 443 (standard web ports) during DOSITS Webinars.
  • If you do have network issues, check that the following domains are not blocked:

You need to open connectivity over ports 80 and 443 for the following domains:

  • all the sub-domains of and

Additional information about troubleshooting and networks is available on the WebEx help pages.