BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat behind the firewall

If you're attempting to employ RIM's brand new BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat application while connected to a corporate network, but keep experiencing connectivity issues, your problems could be related to blocked ports or port forwarding in your enterprise firewall.

I told you back in March that Research In Motion (RIM) would be launching its own video chat application and service for the BlackBerry PlayBook, and the Canadian company made PlayBook Video Chat officially available last week at its first annual BlackBerry World conference in Orlando.

Shortly after releasing Video Chat for the PlayBook -- via BlackBerry Tablet OS v 1.0.3 -- RIM posted an article on its website detailing the required ports that must be open in a corporate firewall for the videoconferencing application to work properly.

PlayBook users who employ Video Chat on home or personal Wi-Fi networks shouldn't have to worry about blocked ports, since such networks typically aren't protected by firewalls, which are used by many corporations to manage and defend the data that's transferred back and forth between enterprise networks and the Internet.

From RIM:

BlackBerry PlayBook Video Chat uses the following ports and porting [sic] forwarding must be enabled for the application to work on a traffic restricted network:

* 443 (TCP)

* 3478 (TCP)

* 3478 (UDP)

* 45535 to 65535 (UDP)

Depending on the Network Address Translation (NAT) configuration for the network, additional ports may be used for video traffic.

The network administrator can refer to the router, firewall, or security software documentation for guidance on how to setup port forwarding.

If you're an IT administrator you may be able to open up the required ports to enable smooth PlayBook Video Chat on your corporate network, but employees who are experiencing issues may be out of luck, since your network admin might not be willing to open up the required ports just so you can use your new tablet for videoconferencing.

More information from RIM is available on its website.

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Al Sacco

CIO (US)
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