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Getting Netmeeting to pass through an old nat router

Posted on 2004-09-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Getting Netmeeting to pass through an old nat router.

It is an old SMC Barriacade router.  

I found this Howto on the internet:


I assigned ports 389, 522, 1520, 1731 and 1503 to my Windows box and the other side gets error message "can not connect to host"

Called SMC and we upgraded the firmware.  A side note is I paid 125$ for the router 4 years ago with "life time support" to learn they now consider the router "dead" and there is not any support on the router with life time support.

What am I doing wrong.  I can not assign anything "Dynamic"



Question by:TIMFOX123
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Author Comment

ID: 12061043
Oh I really know how to use netmeeting, I am a help desk analist and that is my job ;)  I had the person try to connect by IP as I do every day all day long at work.  They are home users so and have tried other machines so I do not think it is a firewall on the other end.  

Accepted Solution

holger12345 earned 800 total points
ID: 12066198
At www.homenethelp.com I found an answer that could possibly do something for you

Posted by stunted
6/10/2004 12:08:00 AM.
H.323 works in either directions with smoothwall

In general all H.323 software (including NetMeeting) is highly allergic to any kind of NAT firewall, some manufacturers of such devices do build in H.323 support, however I have found the easiest solution is to dig out an old PC and install Smoothwall (www.smoothwall.org) and use that as a your firewall, to enable incoming calls just forward ports 1720 and 1503 to your PC.

one unique feature of Smoothwall is it can support multiple simultaneous calls, my girlfriends Mother has a static IP and any incoming calls from her get sent to my girlfriends laptop any others get routed to me, we have frequently had more than one call going at once.

I found, that netmeeting uses a lot of ports in a dynamic manner... so you cant just forward only one port
Hope that helps

Assisted Solution

jtylek earned 400 total points
ID: 12071851
I had the same problem with NAT and Netmeeting. Tried several routers and even with the latest Linksys router that supports UnPNP it still did not work. The probelm was NetMeeting itself - I was able to make all features working after upgrading to the latest version (MSN Messanger 6.2). This includes chat, whiteboard, application sharing etc.


Author Comment

ID: 12089104
Netmeeting is pretty much a pain.   I think the solution is VNC!!!

I wish Bill would just go away !  Perhaps he could spend all his time with an intern.



Expert Comment

ID: 12090241
From all solutions that I tried (free and not free) the best so far is http://www.eblvd.com
It is not free, but much less than GoToMyPC.

VNC is free but I find it slow. Remote Desktop (Windows XP) is great, fast and free, but you have to have it configured ahead of time. The same applies to all remote control software (PC Anywhere, Laplink, Carbon Copy, etc.)

We support remote users every day. Our company is too small to afford $300 per month for WebEx to use it only from time to time. We have basically three types of issues:

1. Remote Control of Servers. This is simple - pretty much all remote networks are connected via some kind of broadband (DSL, Cable, T1) and we are in control of the network, which means that we manage the server, firewall etc. Therefore the server runs remote control software (PC Anywhere in case of Windows NT, Terminal Services in case of Windows 2000 and 2003). Ports are opened and mapped to private IP address of the server. Dynamic IP address is not an issue as there are free DynamicDNS providers.

2. Remote control of regular PCs behind the router/firewall that we control. Here situation looks almost the same as above. If a user requires remote access all the time we setup port mapping and run PC Anywhere or Remote Desktop. The latter is preferred as it is free and much faster. Single public IP is not an issue as ports on which remote control software runs can be modified (for example Remote Desktop can be switched from default of 3389 to anything, 3390 for example).
In case the PC is in need of help and it is not setup this way there is a way of connecting to it through a server, i.e.
Remote PC (you) --> Server (as in 1) --> PC behind a firewall

3. Remote control of PCs behind a router/firewall that we do not control. In that case it may be impossible to do it if the firewall blocks all unusual ports. To be firewall friendly it would have to go over port 80 for example. In that case the end user may not have enough technical skills to provide public address (http://www.whatismyip.com can help) but even knowing that address we can not reconfigure the router, or it is not worth the effort.

3 continued: In that case the least expensive scenario is to have the end user download the latest MSN Messenger, setup an account and do what you are asking. But it is possible that ports will be blocked and you will be able to chat for example but not run Remote Desktop session. This is where service like http://www.eblvd.com/proddesktop.asp can help.

If you know about other or better ways of controlling remote computers of casual users please let me know.


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