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Video Calls: Firewall Issues

If you are having problems making or receiving video calls (no incoming video or blackout of video window), you may have a firewall issue.  A firewall is hardware or software that protects a computer or computer network from damage from the outside, and to prevent unauthorized uses of computer resources.  These security tools can block video calls over Internet.  This is a growing problem for VRS users. 

Here are some resources.

Do you have a Cable or DSL Router?

If you are, you may not be able to make or receive video calls.  Microsoft has an article on this issue.  Home Net Help has a good article about using NetMeeting with your router.  Below are links to popular router manufacturers that may help you configuring your router to allow video connections.  Some router’s firmware (program inside the router) needs to be updated to allow video calls.

  • Linksys (Type “netmeeting firewall” in the search box and click on “Search the Knowledge Base” button.   Select “NetMeeting and NAT Router” link.  It is more likely that your router needs a firmware upgrade.)
  • D-Link  (Type “firewall” and click on gold right arrow button)

If you plan to buy a Cable/DSL router, be sure it has NetMeeting or DMZ support.

Are you having trouble connecting to a VRS site?
If you have a Cable or DSL router, check out the links below to VRS sites that explain how you can set up your router to work with their VRS.

I have configured my router and I am still having video connection problems.  What do I do?
Your computer may have firewall software running on your computer.  Some popular firewall software are listed below.  

  • ZoneAlarm (PC)
  • Windows XP’s built-in firewall (PC)
  • Norton’s Personal Firewall (PC & Mac)
  • Mac OS-X’s built-in firewall (Mac)
  • You may want to disable the firewall software during the call or check their websites to see what you can do to configure the software to allow video calls.

I have done everything above and I still can’t make VRS calls.  What do I do?

You can request technical support from the VRS company you are trying to connect to.  They have support staff who can help you fixing this problem.

I am having video connection problems using my computer at work.  What do I do?

Your company may have a firewall installed.  You will need to print this article and show it to your company’s network administrator or technician.  Explain that you are using NetMeeting or other software to make Video Relay Service calls.  Some companies will not make changes and some will.  If you can’t convince them change the firewall settings, you can try and ask for a separate DSL line to be installed in your office to make VRS calls.  A separate computer may be necessary in some offices, since the DSL connection could make your work computer vulnerable without a firewall.

Other Proprietary Video Chat Software:

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