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Dealing with Firewalls

Due to the increased incidence of bad behavior on the Internet (that is, by hackers accessing computers other than their own), it's a good idea to set up a firewall, a set of programs that protects your computer from unauthorized network access. This firewall, however, may prevent you from sharing your library with others.

If sharing is important to you, you can set up a port that will let iTunes traffic through, without unduly compromising your security.

Fortunately Mac OS X is set up by default to let iTunes traffic through. And when iTunes is installed on a Windows XP system, it adds an exception to the Windows Firewall software to let iTunes traffic through. Windows XP users that have opted not to use Windows Firewall, and Windows 2000 users, may be using other firewall software.

To ensure that iTunes can get through your firewall (Mac):

  1. In the Sharing pane of your System Preferences, click the Firewall button and make sure iTunes Music Sharing is checked ( Figure 3.55 ).
    03fig55.jpg

    Figure 3.55 Mac OS X system preferences are usually set to allow iTunes traffic through the firewall.

To ensure that iTunes can get through Windows Firewall (Windows XP only):

  1. In the Windows Firewall control panel, on the Exceptions tab, make sure iTunes is checked ( Figure 3.56 ).
    03fig56.jpg

    Figure 3.56 iTunes also sets up an exception in Windows Firewall.

To let iTunes traffic through other firewalls (Windows):

  • You need to open up port 3689 for TCP traffic and port 5353 for UDP traffic.

    If you have a system administrator, pass this information on to them and let them do it.

    If it's all up to you, you're going to have know (or learn) how to configure your own firewall. You can read a tech note that Apple provides at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93396.

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