Yahoo Messenger 11 connectivity issues behind ISA 2006 firewall

Update

With update 11.5.0.155-us Yahoo messenger has additional issues with negotiating a handshake with ISA server. Please read this KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309347 for additional IE setting changes in order to let yahoo through ISA server.

 

Do you “still” IM using yahoo messenger? The latest version has facebook integration and more to offer which allows you to communicate (chat) with your friends online over social networks.

However, Yahoo messenger fails to establish a connection to it’s servers if behind ISA firewall. Here we are offering you some guidelines dealing with such scenarios.

Most acceptible reasoning for connectivity issues behind ISA firewall should be, YM failing to forward the NTLM authentication credentials to ISA fiewall while trying to establish a connection. Once failed to establish a connection, user will be provided a chance to troubleshoot the issue, which does the trick!

All you need to do is to click the troubleshoot button and wait for the process to complete. If curious, click on the details button to see multiple connectivity checks performed by YM. As soon as the troubleshoot activity completed, rush to login again with your username and password

You should able to logon to yahoo services without troubles this time. Please note, you should try to logon immediately once after the troubleshooting process is completed. This means you cannot wait minutes after the troubleshoot activity is completed. Else you will once again have to go through the entire process of troubleshooting until you manage to logon.

Enjoy all new features offered by Yahoo Messenger from “work” now

Protect your Windows 7 with free firewall and antivirus software

The first rule is, NEVER NEVER NEVER visit websites which are known for malware and trojans. How do you identify these websites? From the IT geek’s prospects, these sites are commonly providing porn clips, cracks for software which the user want to use without paying for it.

However, knowing the dangers of visiting such sites, the users are tempted to pay visits, try so called free software periodically. Especially the people who are in IT (including myself). This article is mainly for the people who fall into this category and explains how to secure your Windows 7 installation (though not entirely) by using free firewalls and antivirus software.

AVAST, AVG etc provide decent free antivirus solutions (for home users…apparently you start using them at work as well) which are installed on Windows 7 32bit and 64bit editions without any troubles. I personally was impressed by AVAST and use the same at home where I have a dual booting system with Windows XP professional 32bit edition and Windows 7 RC 7100 64bit  (sigh, which is expiring pretty soon). The beauty is you download a single package for both operating systems and installation is pretty straight forward. Click on next next next and within few seconds the installation is over and you are protected from the nasty viruses (this is what AVAST claims)

Windows 7 has a pretty advanced firewall component compared to Windows XP professional (apparently I never tried Vista because of it’s notorious reputation). However, while going through the firewall, it made me terrified with the way it is structured and I waited until ZoneAlarm has released a Windows 7 compatible firewall.

The main issue I had with the built-in Windows 7 firewall was, it doesn’t have a front end interface which will allow the user to make decisions realtime, ie, a popup or warning window waiting for the user to decide whether to let a process or application execute or start. I was using ZoneAlarm firewall from quite a long time, possibly from those days when I started chatting over IRC and the Windows 98 exploits allowed “kids” to kick you out of the network by ping or flood, port scanning attacks.

So basically having a free firewall and free antivirus solution provides you hasslefree protection, unless deliberately intented by you. Free or paid, a firewall like ZoneAlarm is not for a person who doesn’t understand the complexity of  what a particular application does and if not configured properly, would cause troubles than enhancements.

A fine combination of ZoneAlarm free firewall+Avast free home edition should a normal computer user moderate level protection from present day threats. (I prefer the free editions because they are less heavy because of the stripped off features and let my system repond faster compared to full and paid editions)