Knowledgebase
Talking Communities Help Desk > Talking Communities Help Desk > Knowledgebase

Search help:


Network Troubleshooting

Solution Updated May 2012

Resolving networking and security issues can be frustrating. This article will provide you with some steps to aid with these issues.

This article will help you to troubleshoot occasional challenges when attempting to connect to a tcConference Server.

Connection Data
Connection Type TCP (client to server)
Server Port443
Server AddressSame as room login page
ProtocolNon-SSL over port 443
ProxySee below
Application Pathc:\program files\TC Web Conferencing/WebConferencePlugin.exe

The Ping Test

Ping is the most basic test to determine if a network address is reachable. Suppose that you wish to enter a room whose login page is at http://www.conference321.com/masteradmin/room.asp?id=... -- Test if this URL is reachable as follows:

Note: "www.conference321.com" is the domain for the default server. If you are using another server, replace "www.conference321.com" with the domain name for the server you use.

  • Open a command window: Start->Run
  • Type "cmd" and "OK"
  • Type the command "ping www.conference321.com" and press enter
  • Note that you receive a Reply from the server

pimg test

If you receive a reply from the server, proceed to the telnet test below.

If no reply is received, or you see Request timed out, then network problems are preventing you from reaching the server. Contact your ISP or network administrator to determine if a firewall is blocking your access.

Note: An IP address was used in the above example, not the domain name.

The Telnet Test

Once it is established that a server is "pingable" from your location, Telnet is the next test which will determine if you are able to connect directly to the server.

The tcConference client application creates a TCP connection to the server over port 443, and telnet can be used to mimic that connection, as shown with the following command: telnet www.conference321.com 443 - see "Note" above when different server domain names are used.

  • Type the command "telnet www.conference321.com 443" and press enter

telnet test

Once the telnet command has been entered, the text Connecting To www.conference321.com... appears very briefly while the connection is attempted.

telnet connection message

When the connection succeeds, the command window will go blank. You can then return to the command prompt by pressing Ctrl+C. A successful connection using Telnet means that your computer can connect Directly to the tcConference server (no proxy server required) and that no firewall is blocking your access. See the section on proxy servers to make sure that your computer is not configured with a proxy server.

telnet connection success

If the connection test fails, you will continue to see the Connecting... message until telnet times out and displays a Connect failed error message. Proceed to the section on Firewalls.

telnet connection fail

Note: An IP address was used in the above examples and not the domain name.

Proxy Servers

A proxy server is sometimes a "middle-man" between your computer and the internet. Proxy Servers are used by some institutions for security and monitoring purposes. Certain ISPs and so-called "download accelerator" products also (gratuitously) configure your computer with proxy servers.

In most cases, the assistance of your network administrator will be required in order to set a proxy server configuration.

  1. Click on the Options/Configuration/Connection menu
  2. Specify the proxy or SOCS settings
  3. Click OK.

proxy setup

Attempt a normal login using tcConference.

If the connection succeeds, congratulations! Everything is set up.

If you still receive a connection error, then check out the section on firewalls, or consult with your network administrator or helpdesk to see what might be interfering.

Firewalls

A firewall is an Internet security product restricting the applications which have access to the network. This section will discuss firewalls in general, not any product in particular. For product specific help with firewalls, please contact the product vendor or your network administrator. Some firewalls are quite complex, and we recommend consulting a qualified professional prior to making changes and/or disabling a firewall. Talking Communities assumes no liability for any problems resulting from firewall [mis]configuration.

In order to determine if your firewall is, in fact, blocking access to the network, you can try to briefly turn it off, then attempt the telnet test and/or attempt to log in using tcConference. After the completion of your test, please turn your firewall back on. If it can be proven that the firewall is the problem, then work with the product vendor to obtain instructions on how to properly configure it to allow network access to tcConference.

Many firewalls prompt the user to grant network permission the first time that an application is run. If permission was not granted the first time, or if the firewall must be configured specifically for an application, then configure your firewall to allow the tcConference "executable" to access the network on port 443. The path to the tcConference application is shown at the top of this page.

Some firewalls perform what is called Stateful Packet Inspection, or SPI. tcConference uses port 443, and because of this, some SPI firewalls expect their network traffic to use the SSL protocol. Such firewalls may block tcConference from accessing the network because the SSL protocol is not used. Therefore, SPI firewalls should be configured to bypass SPI for tcConference, or to disable SPI completely.

Though not technically firewalls, many add-on products such as download managers, download accelerators, browser add-ins, etc., can cause various problems. As a troubleshooting step, try uninstalling any nonessential software that modifies how your computer accesses the network.

 
Was this article helpful? yes / no
Article details
Article ID: 48
Category: Possible Issues
Date added: 2011-01-24 22:29:34
Views: 3476
Rating (Votes): Article rated 3.1/5.0 (81)

 
« Go back

 
Powered by Help Desk Software HESK, brought to you by SysAid