When many of these IM programs first came out they were easy to use. Now that everyone is protected, many don't seem to work the same. For simple messages they are fine. In some cases my friends have firewalls in both the cable modem and in a software firewall too.. I have a firewall in my wireless router, and software myself, etc. I have tried in some cases to pick out ports needed for some of the special services these programs offer and I configured to allow all that (as did my friends). Still, there is always trouble and files don't send, voice does not work, desktops cannot be shared, etc. Is there some particular way to allow for this to happen other than unplugging all the firewalls?