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Is my firewall responsible for problems with Second Life?


Ayana Auer
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Firewalls and internet security software have caused problems with Second Life for many Residents. It's important to realize that these programs are designed to block network traffic! As a result, if you have a firewall set up, and you're having network issues with Second Life, you should spend a few minutes configuring your firewall setup, even if nothing has changed.

Hardware firewalls, such as routers, are typically configured to block data coming from specific network "ports" (except commonly used ones like web pages and instant messengers); this includes most network ports Second Life uses.

Internet Security software also blocks network traffic; however, these programs can cause a great deal of trouble if not configured correctly. The most popular versions of internet security software contain additional features (Internet Worm Protection on Norton Personal Firewall/Norton Internet Security, Intrusion Detection Service for McAfee Personal Firewall, and SmartDefense on ZoneAlarm) that analyze internet programs and their network traffic. Based on an undetermined set of factors, including the patterns of network data, the internet security program may decide to block even a trusted program. These programs may also block a trusted program if its executable changes (which happens every time a new version of the Second Life software is released). Depending on how this internet security software is configured, it may continue to list Second Life as a "trusted program" while blocking it due to these features.

If your login to Second Life fails at Verifying Protocol Version, or cannot find the server, or if you disconnect from Second Life automatically every few minutes, a firewall is often the cause.

How you configure your home network and secure your computers is, of course, your own decision. However, Linden Lab cannot provide support for configurations where a firewall or internet security software is interfering with Second Life's network access. These setups need to be configured properly for Second Life.

 

  • In addition, it may be helpful to know we use the Amazon S3 service for downloads of the Second Life viewer.
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