View Full Version : MSN Messenger - No Audio

22-09-2004, 12:55 PM
My rellies in the UK have discovered Messenger, So I have had to set up, etc. However, I'm having a problem with Audio connection (Video is OK) It appears to be a firewall problem. I am running Zone Alarm Pro, and the only way I have been able to get SOME Audio is to disable ZAP. I have checked Search on this site, and E-mailed MSN and ZA for help. The best reply I have had is:
"MSN dynamically assigns ports for audio using UPnP. By opening UPnP port 5000, you can use audio."
This appears a better option than closing down ZAP, but it's a bit technical for me. How do I do it? Regards

22-09-2004, 01:40 PM
Sorry, should have added: WinXP Home, Xtra 1Gb Broadband, Dell Dimension 4600.

22-09-2004, 01:47 PM
Is XP's firewall on? Turn it off if it is. If you have ZA installed. See if it makes any diiff

22-09-2004, 02:31 PM
Thanks for you reply, Spacemannz - can't find any sign of a firewall in my version of XP, despite the Help info. telling how to diasable same, the instructions did not tally with what came up on my screen. KB

22-09-2004, 04:25 PM
its under the dialup/properties/advanced 1st option the firewall. If this is ticked the firewall is on.

22-09-2004, 07:59 PM
Thanks, Spacemannz - checked the firewall and it was not on. KB

22-09-2004, 08:56 PM
I would say you'll have to find out what port MSN uses for audio. And add it to ZA. If it has the option.

Terry Porritt
22-09-2004, 09:53 PM
Network Address Translation, NAT, with an ADSL router can cause audio/video problems with MSN Messenger, in fact Ive never had satisfactory results with MSN, but with Yahoo Messenger, no problems at all.

The Help files in ZA should tell you how to open port 5000, I'd suggest opening it for UDP packets in both directions, but I dont use ZA so can't be precise.

Terry Porritt
22-09-2004, 10:51 PM
Just been refreshing my memory by a bit of Google.

Audio uses port 6901, TCP out, UDP in and out.
You should also enable unpnp in your router.

(That won't necessarily guarantee audio working though :) )

23-09-2004, 11:48 AM
Thanks to Terry and Spacemannz - your advice is a bit too technical for my ability. However, the idea of changing to Yahoo Messenger appeals if it is problem free. Would you recommend it, Terry?

23-09-2004, 12:55 PM
Yahoo is OK but I wouldn't join a channel if u plan on doing this lol. If you've never heard of BOTS, you will with Yahoo. It can be a bit laggy too. BUT might be OK with broadband.

Not too sure BUT you might have to add ports too if video or sound doesnt work with yahoo either. Not too sure with ZA. I dont use it.

BUT I spose it depends also if you DO use a router. If you do, and if it needs to have a port added, you have no choice BUT to add it to the router. Or else it could block it.

23-09-2004, 02:22 PM
Spacemannz - Is the router the broadband modem that sits on my desk? And if so how do I add a port to it? KB

23-09-2004, 02:27 PM
Umm dunno kb. Some adsl modems have a modem/router built in. Some dont, theyre separate. It depends on what brand/model your modem is. On whether it has both modem and router in it.

I wouldnt have a clue how to add a port to a router. I dont use one right now. I'm only on dialup so have no need for a router. What brand/model is your adsl modem??

23-09-2004, 03:24 PM
Speedtouch - supplied by Xtra when they put me on broadband.

23-09-2004, 04:29 PM
Ummm, just chatted to a guy who says that model (Is it just Speedtouch not the Speedtouch Pro?) that u MAY have to add ports to it in order for certain things to work.

23-09-2004, 06:38 PM

23-09-2004, 07:06 PM
Did it come with a manual?? If not I suggest u goto the alcatel site and d/l one.

Terry Porritt
24-09-2004, 11:14 AM
Hopefully. I will be trying MSN Messenger again this weekend after just updating to the latest version , so will come back with any information gleaned.

NAT certainly causes problems as compared to dial-up. You need the router manual to tell you how to get into it to change things, there will be a password also, maybe a default one.

Telecom people should have told you how to go about things and given you a manual, after all that's what you pay for, or am I being naive to expect them to do that??

The router may or may not have a hardware firewall built in and switched on. If so then there are 3 layers of barrier to MSN, hardware firewall, NAT, and Zone Alarm.

I have a Dynalink, and the hardware firewall has to be turned off for streaming audio and most things. I gave up on it as a dead loss.

I suggest you do a lot of Googling, like typing 'msn messenger audio video ports' or similar into Google. There is lots of info out there.

But you will have to read up on how to set ports on your firewall, and maybe make a 'virtual server' setting in your router to forward the port or ports used by MSN.

24-09-2004, 02:23 PM
Tanks, guys for your help and advice. Did a google and found software "RealTunnel" by Paradial, that appears to be aimed at sinilar problems. Anyone with any knowledge about this or the company? (I'm getting paranoid! If something gets messed up, I'm not too clever at fixing) KB

Terry Porritt
24-09-2004, 03:21 PM
I dont think going to something like that is going to help, it is just another layer of complexity. Best to stick to just MSN, or Yahoo, dont forget people at the other end have to have the same software setup, you cant do this unilaterally.

Yahoo Messenger worked for me using a router with NAT, MSN didnt, or at least the audio/video/file transfer didnt, the chat function is ok.

Google will show you that MSN gives untold problems with routers and firewalls, that's what gets up my nose about Microsoft, dont they ever check their software under typical usage conditions???

I really expect a software package to work out of the box as it is supposed to, not to have to become a computer guru :)

If my tests over the weekend work out ok, I'll post the results, it wont be before monday as it's still sunday in Canada.

24-09-2004, 03:43 PM
Cheers, Terry. KB

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
24-09-2004, 08:19 PM

I'm also having the same problem. Except this is with [my old D-Link DSL500 had too much problems with MSN I killed it] a brand new Asus AAM6020VI-B1 Internet Router/802.11g Access Point/Hub in one. For a start, we have two PCs running XP Pro.

What is NAT? From what I understand, disabling it may cause other complications for the network? Anyway, some PCs I can connect and talk with, others I can't. I havent established a pattern of ISP, or anything like that though. Can't talk to distant-family in Canada at the moment...

Someone explain NAT, etc. All I can see in my router setup panel are complex terminology. I think I know how to open up firewall ports though (Under 'Firewall-Outgoing-Port Filter'?)

Many thanks in advance,

Terry Porritt
24-09-2004, 08:43 PM
NAT itself is straightforward. Suppose you get allocated an IP address by your ISP, either static or dynamic, eg (that is a Paradise DNS address, btw), this is the address that your router shows to the outside world, eg if you go to the Gibson Research site it will tell you what your allocated IP address is.

However you will have allocated your own IP address to your computer like, or windows will have done it for you.

So NAT has translated your local LAN IP address into the outside world IP address.

This gives you a great measure of security.

Terry Porritt
24-09-2004, 08:49 PM
With dial up and win 95/98 there were some tricky moments getting Netmeeting, ICQ, etc to work, sometimes losing sound and or video, but nothing like the problems with a router and adsl.

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
24-09-2004, 09:29 PM
Also, video ALWAYS work, just not audio... :(

Terry Porritt
24-09-2004, 09:37 PM
Well, in anticipation of trying MSN again on sunday or monday, (also to Canada), I have set up virtual servers in my Dynalink RTA220 to forward port 6901, the MSN audio port, to my computer address for both TCP and UDP.

If Kerio software firewall causes problems I'll turn that off, or set up rules for port 6901.

I have a funny feeling I've done all this before though without success.

Yet with Yahoo Messenger it just worked ok, audio and video.

Terry Porritt
24-09-2004, 10:24 PM
There are some other things to check too. MSN Messenger requires UPnP to be enabled.

Putting UPnp into the Windows XP Help and Support (from Start button)search box gives results including "Install UPnP framework" and "Enable UPnP technology"

Follow these instructions to set up UPnP.

A router also needs to be UPnP compatible and for UPnP to be enabled in the router setup.

Last time I tried MSN, I dont think I had checked that UPnP was setup in XP, checking just now I found it wasnt enabled.

Terry Porritt
27-09-2004, 12:00 PM
Well we weren't able to do all the tests I wanted to this weekend, but we did communicate for a short while.
There was also a microphone problem, as in being not detected, at the other end.

So, we had 2 way video with no problems, and we had one way audio with a problem. The problem being the audio would cut off about 2 minutes after the connection was made.

When we both have more time, tests will continue, also with Yahoo Messenger as a comparison.

Now as far as software settings went, I found that I didnt need to forward ports in the router.

What I did do was to install and enable UPnP in Win XP, enable UPnP in the router, and in XP SP2 firewall made sure that under the Exceptions tab that Microsoft Messenger 6.2 and UPnP Framework boxes were both checked.
I turned off Kerio Firewall, but next time I would like to have that on as well and let it set up the rules for MSN.

27-09-2004, 06:52 PM
Wow, Terry, that all sounds a bit complicated for a dunderhead like me. However, I will follow your advice re enabling UPnP in Win XP. Thanks, KB.

27-09-2004, 10:24 PM
I had this problem a while back. Can't remember what the heck I did about it now - so not alot of help!

I use Skype for audio conversation - you can also type messages on this too. Reviews rave about it but I've had mixed results. Some clear as a whistle 'phone' calls to England and some very bad - like cellphones in the 80s type calls. If you get a good line it sounds as though you are speaking down a long tube.