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Re: Video conferencing

On Thursday 01 February 2007 15:05, Frank Pineau wrote:
> When I travel on business, I like to set up video chat to talk to my
> family at home.  The problem is, home is behind a NAT firewall (a PIX to
> be exact).  I have limited IP addresses and cannot spare one to
> statically assign to an endpoint inside my network for this purpose.
> Regardless, I'd like to be able to connect to any node in my network,
> depending on who I want to call.  I never know what I'm going to be
> behind, but it's usually also some sort of NAT firewall that I do not
> control.  I've tried ekiga (nee Gnome Meeting), and a few others with
> almost no luck.  I thought something like skype (which doesn't support
> video under linux) or an instant messenger that uses an intermediary
> server (Yahoo, ICQ, etc.) to get around the NAT issues but none of those
> support video either.  I've tried VPN to my PIX, but as I can't control
> where I'm coming from, I haven't been able to configure a reliable VPN
> client for linux.
Much depends on your router.  The NetGear that I bought recently does allow a 
service to be made available to more than one end-point box.  I believe that 
it's what is called a 'stateful inspection firewall'.  I've not tried it out, 
so I don't know whether the initialisation would have to be from the home 
box, though.  Without that, it would be necessary to change port-forwarding 
settings each time a new user was required - obviously not a good idea for 
your situation.

aMSN is quite good in serving video, but there is no voice chat yet - it's in 
the pipeline.  You see the other person, but have to type your messages.  
I've used it with a windows msn user at the other end, without any problems, 

> In short, when trying to video conference under linux, I'm successful
> around 5% of the time.  It's almost always easier to boot into Windows
> and do it from there.  What do you use for mobile video chat and how
> have you set it up?

I used to use GnomeMeeting with h.323 and that worked very well.  I think 
ekiga's move to sip, while good in the long run, introduces more 
complications.  Sadly, I don't have a friend using ekiga that I can test it 
with, but I believe the people do get very good results.

Things are far from perfect, but improving all the time.


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