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Author Topic: MSN Msgr, Video conference one way audio  (Read 12916 times)
Onceupona
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« on: February 12, 2005, 11:36:54 PM »

PLEASE SUPPLY RELEVANT INFORMATION:
Operating System Version:  XP SP2 both ends, cable modem to a DSL connection.
Problem Application Name & Version:  MSN Messenger 6.2 and/or Linksys Router
Problem Hardware Make & Model:  Linksys 4-port BEFW11S4 vers. 2
Error Messages: none


I use video conferencing with several contacts.  Each has a little quirk but the latest addition requires me to remove my Linksys router out of the system.  I can video/conf in the following different scenarios with the third my problem:

1: The router and all firewalls remain UP.  The two of us are running cable broadband, Linksys routers, and firewalls.  We do nothing and can video/conf very well on an initial invitation.

2: Another "Contact" is DSL by SBC (northern Calif.) using MSN 6.2 and to video/conf I must drop my Zone Labs firewall. The router stays unchanged. Then we can Video/conf fine.

3: THE PROBLEM: This contact is also DSL by SBC (San Diego) but I must REMOVE my router and drop firewalls to communicate.  Obviously with number 3 this is not fun.   User 2 and 3 above however can video/conf without issue.  Neither 2 or 3 have routers.
Sad
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redaxe
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2005, 11:39:59 PM »

I have a hunch that you may need to add the problematic contacts to the Trusted Zone of ZoneAlarm, for you to be able to communicate with them this way.
Have you tried that already?
Additionally, which steps have you tried taking already, aside from what's mentioned in your initial post?
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Onceupona
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2005, 04:04:20 AM »

First, thank you for responding.  

I do need to add that for #3, we do have video in both directions.  For audio, I can hear from the DSL side. On my end which is the cable end, my microphone works but I'm NOT heard.  We have tried many many combos, etc. which always include dropped firewalls, and the only way we can communicate is to remove the Linksys.  

Is the problem an outgoing setup in my linksys or something on the SBC DSL in So. Calif.?

Thx for listening, r
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redaxe
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2005, 05:31:09 AM »

I don't think that the problem has anything to do with either connection.
My belief is that it's a firewall setup issue.
Your router doesn't stop any outgoing traffic, since most routers only block incoming one. What might be needed is to create a rule in both Firewall and router, to allow the communications port for your video/audio conferencing to get full access through them. The rule will have to be used on both UDP and TCP protocols. Alternatively, it might be needed to create a full access rule for the other person's IP, if it's a static one.
I tried finding your version of the router on the Linksys website and this was all I could come up with, version 4 of the said router.
You can try to go to this page and select the router you have from the dropdown menu.
It will take you to a downloads page, where you can upgrade the router's Firmware.
Also download the User Guide and Datasheet, in case they added something that's not available in your manual.

Then check back and tell me how it went.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2005, 05:32:18 AM by redaxe » Logged

Onceupona
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 06:18:47 PM »

Thx again for responding.

Before this latest "Contact" joined my circle of friends, I upgraded my Linksys firmware in the spirit of keeping current.  That created many issues messaging with my contacts and finally reverted back to what worked.

When I started to help my latest contact he went thru a setup I have been documenting since I first got setup 1.5 yrs ago.  The new contact has a brand new (2 weeks) DELL PC, XP SP2 and just installed a Logitech Quickcam.  He made all of the setting changes that have brought earlier folks up.

A little more on this new contact's computer.  He is running DSL, I'm on cable.  He is also an AOL customer.  I have another contact which is on AOL and DSL that I talk to often.  As an experiment I decided to see if they as AOL and DSL connected could talk.  After both sides dropped their firewalls AND went to MSN Messenger they Video/Confereneced fine.  As an aside, both of these users are fairly new to computers.

So we then tried to hook me back up to my new contact.  I did the re-cycle the modem, router and computer drill.  Then with all firewalls down both ends, we could see each other, I could hear him but he could NOT hear me.   I shut everything, removed the router from the system and video conferencing was great.  So there is my issue with this one contact.

I have been thinking that since this contact has a new computer, and somewhat a novice I just haven't asked him the correct question about the new computer, how DSL works, or is AOL somehow impacting, etc.  

I'm not sure computers will ever catch on.   Just kidding.

Thank you for your interest!!  I appreciate the help!!   r
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redaxe
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2005, 07:09:08 PM »

DSL isn't very much different to broadband when it comes to data transfer. It may be a settings issue on either side. My suspicion is that a software firewall is interfering with you two talking properly.
Which firewalls are you using by the way?
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Onceupona
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2005, 12:11:05 AM »

We both drop our firewalls.  The DSL end's firewall is the SP2 firewall that comes from Microsoft.  He is also running Norton anti-virus.

I'm running the SP2 firewall also but in addition Zone Labs Zone Alarm.  Additionally I also run Norton's anti-virus and anti-Spam.

All of the firewalls are dropped when ever we try to communicate.

I would like to address the firewall modifications later as I would like to understand more the tailoring of the firewall.  With issue occurring only when my router is in the loop yet my microphone displays it is working I'm suspicious of the handshaking protocol at the DSL end AND/OR a setting in the new PC's network setup.  

Hmmm, would he have needed to run through the Windows Network Wizard?  I doubt that would have been done.  Also, I suspect but do not know for sure if there was software that had to be loaded for the DSL modem.  If so, there might be settings required there also.

Thx again, r
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redaxe
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2005, 05:30:35 PM »

To be honest, using two firewalls is overkill. So if you're running ZoneAlarm behind the SP2 one, I'd kill the SP2 one and stick with ZoneAlarm. At least that gives you the option to monitor outgoing programs.
There's also a possibility that you have to configure your router to enable traffic through a specific port, for example I think MSN uses port 1863 exclusively. You might find out which port it uses for video conferencing in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
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Onceupona
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2005, 06:36:25 PM »

In researching this issue I found that Microsoft also recommends shutting down the SP2 firewall if one has installed another. I only run with the Zone Alarm application now.   btw, I like the flexibility, power, and capability of the Zone Alarm application.

I'm at a loss with this one party.  I have searched several sites trying to relate this issue to the Linksys.  It always comes down to insuring UPnP is enabled and it has been.

I have another non-AOL DSL (by SBC) contact and we do not video/conf problems.  I'm suspicious of an AOL setting.

Thx for your time and help, r

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redaxe
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2005, 11:30:15 PM »

With this continued problem reoccurring with this single contact, I have a feeling that the two of you may have to create a rule in your firewall settings, that gives the other party full access on a specific port. It may have to be done in the router as well, if it's got NAT capabilities.
I'm pretty confident that we're only missing a setting somewhere that will make everything work like a charm. Finding it on the other hand........

Good luck
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Onceupona
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2005, 02:31:10 AM »

I agree on the "...single setting..."   Regarding the NAT, having UPnP enabled in the router resolves that issue from what I have read.  It is required for video/conferencing.    thx, r
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redaxe
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2005, 07:44:14 PM »

So how is it going so far?
Any luck on getting your conferencing to work?
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Onceupona
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2005, 08:34:58 PM »

We have not re-tried but maybe later today.  

I have been researching but nothing jumps out.  I'm looking for at least a clue to run down.  My clue well is dry.

Remember, my machine is fully exposed to the net dropping my firewall and removing the router to make this one contact work.   That is unacceptable and certainly awkward.  For example, one evening I cross plugged my router and modem while shutting down and going through the recyling drill.  At first I thought I was down big time.

In doing a little Googling found an AOL forum and found somthing like "HackerSmacker, IRFanview, and Paint.  Seemed like these related to the issue but I cannot explore.  I thought about remote exploring the his PC from here but I don't want that responsibility.

I was investigating networking "ICMP," and what UDP ports 53 and 67 do but never did understand how these ports are used by the operating system.

Thx, r  



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redaxe
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2005, 09:02:57 PM »

Let's try a different approach then.
Try installing Sygate Free Firewall and swap that for ZoneAlarm for the time being.

Then drop your router and see if you can connect to your friend with Sygate running.
Remember that in order to stop ZoneAlarm properly, you'll have to click Start->Run, Type services.msc and click OK

Try to find all entries that belong to ZoneAlarm, the True Vector engine and all other you can think of. Just make sure that Sygate is running when you do this.

Then try the conferencing again.

If it works with Sygate, then we can be quite sure that it's ZoneAlarm that was in your way when it comes to software firewalls.

Then try adding the router into the equation.
If that will run as well, then you'll know it was the ZA engine that was in your way.

If everything stays the same with Sygate, then we'll have to keep exploring.

I'll be damned if I give up on you Grin
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Onceupona
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2005, 05:12:00 AM »

I'm now working to get back to what I had with my other "Contacts." Things got screwy with my computer and system with all the changes I made on it.  Additionally, the firewall I run is required and provided by the company I have a close relationship. Besides, even when it is dropped there is no audio.  I think that eliminates the firewall.

I'm willing to drop my firewall for video conference contacts when required while I tune it for the specific contacts.  Re-configuring the cabling on my hardware is awkward and time consuming not to mention my exposure to the bad guys. So it needs to stay in the system.

I think this is an AOL issue.  Could be my router and how it appears to AOL. I don't know but when the router is taken out of the system we can video conference.  I just do not know enough about AOL and do not have access to the computer having problems.  I'm going to let this dog go back to sleep.

Thank you for your support, r  

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