Both viewing and broadcasting content with Ustream requires certain ports to be open. Although the specific steps for opening these ports are different between both operating systems and browser types, certain steps should be universal. In most cases, no changes will need to be made to your firewall in order to broadcast.
If changes do need to be made, make sure that your network administrator is aware of any changes that you propose. Changing your firewall settings deals directly with your network security, and can have consequences for your network far beyond broadcasting with Ustream. DO NOT make any changes to your network's firewall unless you are completely confident in what you are doing. If you have any doubts at all, contact your network administrator and have them handle the changes.
Computer ports vs. Network Ports
You can learn more about firewall ports here. Ports in your computer's firewall control whether or not a program can access or be accessed by your computer. Network ports exist on your network firewall, and have the same function- except that opening or closing ports on the network firewall controls access for ALL devices on that network.
Opening Network Ports
When opening ports on your network, the first thing you need to do is open your routers configuration page. This can be done by typing the IP address of your router into your browser. Your router IP address generally has a default based on brand of router you are using, but you can always find it by typing "ipconfig" in the command prompt window of your Windows machine. On a Mac machine, you can find your router address by opening your system preferences menu, going to your network icon, clicking on the advances settings button, and then choosing the TCP/IP tab. You will see your router's IP address in this window.
Once you have your router's IP address, type it into your browser. This will bring you to your router configuration page. You'll be asked for a username and password. The default values for these are usually "admin" and "admin", but you will need to consult the support center for the company that made your router for confirmation.
The exact steps going forward will depend on your brand of router. You will need to open the "port forwarding" section or the "Applications and gaming" section. You will then need to click "add new rule".
Please see our document on required open ports in order to use Ustream.
To open a port (or set of ports) in your Windows firewall, you will want to open your control panel and go to your Windows Firewall settings tab inside your Security tab. Choose Advanced Settings.
You will see the firewall window shows a list of rules in the left side. From the list, select Inbound Rules to display the inbound rules section. Then choose New Rule. This will open the New Inbound Rule Wizard. Choose a Port Rule to create, then choose TCP or UDP as the port type (see our firewall article for specific port type) Choose specific local ports, and type the number of the port you want open.
After this, you can choose to allow or block the specific port. For Ustream, choose allow. Then name your new port rule, and click "Finish".
Mac firewalls work a little differently, allowing access to specific applications. If you need to open specific ports on a Mac, you will want to do so through the Terminal. Otherwise, you can choose to allow specific applications access through your firewall through the System Preferences Menu. Go to System Preferences, and choose the Security and Privacy Tab.
From here, click on the Firewall Tab, and the Firewall options button. You will then be taken to a page that shows you the applications that are allowed access through your firewall, and can add new applications to the list by clicking on the plus icon.