I signed up to EchoLink today and installed EchoMac, a Mac version of the software. I have yet to play with this other than making calls to the *ECHOTEST* conference – a self-test facility like you get in Skype.
Getting the software to communicate was a bit of a fiddle, through no fault of the software or EchoLink. First off, the home router needs to be able to pass UDP ports 5198 and 5199 in both directions to the Mac. By default everything incoming is off other than a few rules that I have for the web servers. So I had to enable this. The Sky router I have can be a pain here because more often than not, pressing Apply to save firewall rules gives a ‘not found’ error and it seems to want several goes before it works. No idea why that should be, surely the script is either there or not, not there sometimes! Anyway, I got the rules in. Note on the Sky router you need to first define a Service for those UDP ports, then select that service for the firewall rule.
But it still did not connect. Over to the Mac firewall which was already switched on. Not sure I did this, maybe the latest software update sets it by default. Anyway, here I needed to select EchoMac and allow it to accept incoming connections.
And it still did not connect! ok, quit EchoMac and load it again then it worked fine. I guess the firewall needs the software to actually start in order to allow the connection.
So a fiddle, but not too bad really given the need for security. And Google is always a friend! Note it needs TCP port 5200 outgoing too but in my setup anything already here can connect however it wants going out so I did not need to add that. The information is here http://www.echolink.org/firewall_solutions.htm
Edit: Odd. Later on no matter what I do with the Mac firewall EchoMac will not connect to anyone. Turning the firewall off makes it work. Not sure how it worked and then didn’t as nothing else has changed. For now, to use EchoMac I need to switch the Mac firewall off then.
Edit 2: Ok something odd is going on. Tonight I could not connect regardless of if the Mac firewall is on or off. I checked for information on how to add firewall settings from the command line and specifically added UDP incoming and outgoing port 5198 and 5199 and outgoing TCP port 5200, turned the firewall off and on (apparently needed to make the rules work) and… nothing. Then after reloading EchoHam three times, and with the firewall off it worked. Turned the firewall on again, reloaded EchoHam… and it still works! Or did. Reloading again and now it fails to connect again regardless of the firewall setting. Time for etherfind…