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I cannot connect to MSN Messenger Audio Conversation from behind wireless Linksys router (BEFW11S4)... Solution???

hi, i just hung up with linksys tech. they tried to help me connect to msn messenger voice conversation from behind the router. they made me go to the router configuration page and open multiple ports (i will not post them here until someone asks for them). that didn't help. i was still unable to connect to voice conversation. the tech, then, asked me to connect the laptop directly to the cable mode. i did that and the voice conversation worked flawlessly. he finally told me he was going to transfer me to a senior tech, but i got disconnected. i called back with case number, but the second tech told me msn voice conversation uses dynamic port or ip that's why even if i open the correct port for now it will change later. that's why there is no way to connect to msn messenger voice conv. from behind a router that uses NAT firewall!!!! ... now how true is that? can anyone help me fix this problem? it will save me a lot of money on making overseas calls to family!!!
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msafi
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msafi
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1 Solution
 
jasperomalleyCommented:
The Linksys tech support are right. The firewall needs to make accomodations for the MSN Messenger application, and the Linksys units apparently don't. There are third-party software utilities that enable MSN Messenger Voice, like ENat Voice for MSN Messenger, by JDSoft:

    http://www.easyfp.com/msn-messenger-directtalk/index.html

Note that I have nothing to do with JDSoft and have never used this product, and it's not free (it's US$24.95), but they have a free trial download so you can try it out before you have to buy it.
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snerkelCommented:
If your router has a UPnP option turn it on, this will allow MSN to work correctly.

Other way is to enable DMZ in the router and point this at the IP of your PC, only disadvantage is that the router will offer no protection from incoming attacks, it will be like connecting directly to the cable modem so you would need to ensure you had a properly configured software firewall.
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complexymetronCommented:
Hi!

I agree with japseromalley and Linksys support: NetMeeting uses different port for every new audio or voice feed, rendering it useless over NATted firewalls save the proposed additional software.

I have a proposal if you don't want to buy extra software: if it's just for saving oversea fee's you could also try "Skype" (http://www.skype.com) - it works behind NAT firewalls because it doesn't use dynamic ports - you just have to open a single port. The voice quality is selfadjusting to the available bandwidth. But it's an voice application only, so no video feeds can bee sent.
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msafiAuthor Commented:
i found this software for voice connection. it's called picophone v1.64.... i run it in my computer... do you guys think it's a safe?

i also downloaded that ENat software. it seems to be working fine. it allowed me to use voice and file transfer with msn messenger... i would probably buy it for $40.... thanks!
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adamdrayerCommented:
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msafiAuthor Commented:
@adamdrayer:
the only link which provides information that apply to my case is the first one, but i opened the ports which it instructed me to open (6901-6901 TCP) and i still got no solution. but i honestly don't know how to open UDP ports. in my linksys router config page i have port triggering which has two columns: triggered range and forwarded range. i put 6901-6901 on both, but no success.


@snerkel
i have UPnP forwarding but i don't have UPnP option. in the UPnP forwarding i have the following columsn: application, ext.port, tcp udp, int.port, ip address, enabled.

i don't want to use a static ip as i travel a lot with my laptop.

the best think that's working for me so far is the ENat software... but it's a rather expensive solution ($40dollars)
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snerkelCommented:
It sounds like your router has UPnP, it should therefore have an enable disable tick box or radio button somewhere in the router settings (maybe advanced or misc. section). When MSN is then running you should see the UPnP forwarding list having entries added and removed as MSN opens/closes the required ports.

If enabling UPnP still doesn't work you may have UPnP disabled on your PC.
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snerkelCommented:
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jasperomalleyCommented:
Beware that enabling (or failing to disable) UPnP has significant security implications:

   http://www.grc.com/unpnp/unpnp.htm

In theory, a Trojan horse application could tell your firewall to open any number of ports and forward the traffic to your PC using UPnP, effectively opening holes directly from the Internet to your PC, all without your knowledge or approval.

The "on/off button" for the Linksys to listen and respond to UPnP requests is on the "Password" tab of the administration web page, marked "UPnP Services: Enable/Disable".
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snerkelCommented:
>>> In theory, a Trojan horse application could tell your firewall to open any number of ports and forward the traffic to your PC using UPnP, effectively opening holes directly from the Internet to your PC, all without your knowledge or approval.

Users should still use a software firewall even with a router, the software firewall should help prevent a Trojan doing this.
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msafiAuthor Commented:
i think enabling UPnP has worked for me. i was able to connect to my friend's pc and establish audio conv. with him. but it doesn't seem very stable because sometimes it refuses to connect and one time i was able to connect but my friend couldn't hear my voice...

do you guys think built-in Windows XP Pro FIREWALL in SP2 would prevent Trojans from openning ports in my computer?
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snerkelCommented:
The firewall built into XP only stops incoming connections, if you did get a Trojan it would make outgoing connections which XP firewall can't stop.

http://www.sygate.com/ do a good free software firewall, look in left column for "home office" you will find the free version from this link.

http://www.zonealarm.com do another.
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msafiAuthor Commented:
snerkel, are you sure this information is true about Win XP Pro SP2 FIREWALL? because there is a section in the firewall where you choose the program you want to allow to connect to the internet (i.e remote assitance, msn messenger, etc...)

i found this information on my computer: To help provide security for your computer, Windows Firewall blocks unsolicited requests to connect to your computer. Because the firewall restricts communication between your computer and the Internet, <b>you might need to adjust settings for some programs that prefer an open connection to the Internet.</b> You can make an exception for these programs, so that they can communicate through the firewall.


thanks for all your help!
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snerkelCommented:
I think the key words are "unsolicited requests to connect to your computer" it does not stop any outgoing packets so keyloggers and trojans would be free to send data out.
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msafiAuthor Commented:
i need to know before i install another firewall. i have to keep things simple, as another firewall would complicate things. i'm already experiencing wireless networking problems as it is.
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snerkelCommented:
I would highly recommend disabling the XP firewall and installing Sygate (gives good info, logs connections but is more advanced regarding settings) or ZoneAlarm (simpler to use but not as informative).
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