FAQ - Firewalls
About Firewalls and Security SoftwareYour firewall, security or privacy software may prevent you from connecting to the 1stWorks Network or to a hotComm room.
For information about specific firewalls, see:
What to do
hotComm stays "Signed Out"
The room connection keeps ringing, or says that the room is not found
The most common reason for this is there is a typo in the room address you are using.
Online Status and what it meansThe Online Status message appears in the lower right of the bottom line of your hotComm window.
Proxy ServerAs of hotComm revision 1.00.019, all in-coming connections (including IM-Live and ezPeer) use the hotComm Proxy Server if direct connections fail.
For fastest connections, we recommend that you open ports as described in this document.
1stWorks is sensitive to the plethora of viruses spread through open ports on computers and has taken significant precautions to filter any non-hotComm messages to its open ports. Messages are not stored on the computer stack and therefore are not susceptible to execution upon overflow. If hotComm receives incorrectly formatted transmissions it immediately closes the inbound ports and, if the sender is HTTP, returns an error to the sender.
How do I configure anything else?
Most router / modem / firewall manufacturers have websites that include answers to the question: "How do I open ports?" Often, the questions are asked by online gamers, so the questions might look like this: "How do I play (game name)?"
The words differ from vendor to vendor.
In general, to find information:
Agnitum Outpost firewall
The Agnitum Outpost firewall can prevent you from connecting from some rooms. If you get a "Referer Error while connecting to room" message, you can configure the firewall to eliminate the problem.
The following information is from Agnitum: http://www.agnitum.com/support/kb/article.php?id=1000098&lang=en
Some sites require that all or several of its active content elements be allowed to run for their pages to display or function correctly. If you make the settings for all sites very restrictive, you can experience the following problems: images not being displayed, a web page not showing at all, a web page displayed incorrectly or some useful services contained in applets not working. If this happens with only a few sites, add those sites to the exclusions lists of the Active Content and Ads plug-ins.
For the Active Content plug-in:
11/11/2010 - Avast may block hotComm from connecting to the hotComm Registration or Location servers, so you may not be able to register or get "Online". There are different versions of Avast; the most current version seems to learn heuristically and decides whether to allow or block based on its own rules.
AVG may challenge hotComm when hotComm starts. If so, tell AVG to Allow All.
Bordernet 2-way satellite
hotComm interprets the BorderNet connection as a proxy server, and sets itself to be Online-Tunnelled. Users are able to connect, but find that audio is broken, they may have difficulty sending and receiving typed messages, and other symptoms of a poor connection.
Bordernet has some similarities to a proxy server, but you can set up exceptions so that you can connect directly to the hotComm servers.
From a customer: "The exceptions are the exceptions to going through the proxy server. This is what the Bordernet people suggest trying since it would mean that the server would be going straight to the site and not through a proxy."
We gave him a list of addresses to put into Bordernet as exceptions. Then, in hotComm, he clicked the Online-Tunnelled message, checked Directly, clicked OK, closed hotComm, waited 20 seconds and restarted hotComm.
The addresses we gave him were:
CA Internet Security (Computer Associates)7/9/08 - CA Internet Security does not usually prevent people from connecting to the 1stWorks NetWork. It can prevent you from connecting to a relay server room, or from connecting with one of our older "Jreferer" links.
If you are unable to connect to a relay server room, disable Parental Controls and disable Pop-up blocking.
If you are unable to connect using one of our older "Jreferer" links and you get a "Referer Error" message, configure Privacy Controls to allow private header information.
After you have configured CA Internet Security, close open Internet browser windows, delete temporary internet files, restart hotComm and then retry your connection.
Disable Parental Controls
If you are using Parental Controls and they are enabled, please try disabling them with the below steps:
If you haven’t enabled the CA Parental Controls
Disable Pop-up blocking
Disable the “Mobile Code Control” to turn off the Add/Pop-up blocker feature:
Allow Private Header Information in Privacy
Uncheck “remove private header information” through these steps
Etrust EZFirewallEZFirewall is a branded version of Zone Alarm Pro. Please see our instructions for
Note that if you are trying to set Private Header Information (Referer), you must use the instructions for adding a specific site to the Privacy Site list.
Information about EZFirewall is at www.my-etrust.com.
Iolo Firewall and System Mechanic Professional10/5/07 - we are currently working with Iolo technical support to determine how to configure the Iolo Firewall and System Mechanic Professional 7 to allow hotComm to connect successfully.
Unfortunately, until this issue is resolved, you cannot run hotComm while the Iolo product is installed. You must uninstall Iolo in order to run hotComm.
1/21/08 - If you uninstall Iolo, and you still can't connect with hotComm, please see instructions from Iolo on how to remove remnants of their software, in the FAQ DBA-01964 - I can't establish an Internet connection after uninstalling System Mechanic 7 Professional or iolo Personal Firewall, at http://www.iolo.com/customercare/kbarticle.aspx?id=KBA-01964
Norman Personal FirewallThis information comes from http://www.norman.com/Support/FAQs/Norman_Personal_Firewall/17734/en-us, through the following path: Support » Frequently Asked Questions » Norman Personal Firewall » What is a referrer, and how do I stop referrer blocking?
What is a referrer, and how do I stop referrer blocking?
Whenever you click on a link to go to a new web page, your browser automatically tells the new web site where you came from. This URL of the page you came from is known as the "referer" and is passed in a hidden part of the conversation between your browser and the web server providing the new page. This can be deemed to be an invasion of your privacy.
To disable referrer blocking, right click the NPF icon in your system tray and choose Block referrer and then choose No. This should resolve the problem you are having.
PCSecurityShield (The Shield Deluxe)10/12/07 - The Shield Deluxe
The Shield Deluxe includes firewall features and is powered by Kaspersky. Please follow the directions in our article on Kaspersky 6.0 for configuring The Shield Deluxe to allow both the initial connection to our location server and the secondary connections to the relayservers your rooms are on, at http://www.hotcomm.com/faq/faq_kaspersky.asp.
5/27/08: For the Shield Deluxe 2008 and prior, follow instructions for Kaspersky 6.0.
Like Kaspersky, The Shield Deluxe asks if you want to allow hotComm to access the Internet. You give it permission, and hotComm makes the first connection, to our location server. Then, like Kaspersky, The Shield Deluxe blocks hotComm from making the second connection to the relayserver your room is on. If you are using hotComm Standard, the relays stay red. If you are using hotComm Lite or hotComm CL, you may just get ringing, you may get a message saying the room doesn't exist, or it may seem that nothing happens.
If you do not want to make a permanent configuration, you can pause The Shield Deluxe temporarily while hotComm connects. Once you have connected to the room successfully, you can re-enable The Shield Deluxe.
For more information on PCSecurityShield, see http://www.pcsecurityshield.com.
Rogers Yahoo! Online ProtectionRogers Yahoo! Online Protection includes Norton Personal Firewall 2006 Please see our instructions for
Please see the Rogers tutorial for accessing the Norton Personal Firewall at http://help.yahoo.com/rogers/tutorials/olp2/firewall1.html.
PC-cillin (TrendMicro) and Trend Micro Internet SecurityIf your PC-cillin is part of your TrendMicro package, also see our FAQ - TrendMicro Internet Security.
7/9/08 - In general, hotComm does not have problems with TrendMicro and PcCillin. Exceptions are below:
7/8/08 - In updating from revision 7.20 to 7.30, one customer reported that TrendMicro identified hotComm as a virus threat and blocked it from connecting to the 1stWorks Network, and therefore remaining in "Signed Out" status. After working with TrendMicro support for several hours to configure TrendMicro to allow hotComm, the customer decided to uninstall TrendMicro, uninstall hotComm, restart his computer, reinstall TrendMicro, and reinstall hotComm. That worked and he was able to connect successfully.
From a customer (no date):
PC-cillin users may keep losing the hotComm connection unless you configure PC-cillin as follows:
Information about PC-cillin is at www.pccillin.com.