iTunes and XP SP2 Firewalls


Q: My computer is behind a NetGear WGR614 wireless router. I am running Windows XP (Service Pack 2) and have the latest versions of iTunes and the iPod software. I have looked online for instructions on how to let iTunes through the firewall of the router (and the Windows Firewall), but so far have been unsuccessful.

– Carson Monroe

A: Carson, iTunes uses two ports for music sharing: TCP port 3689 and UDP port 5353. On a Mac, you only need to worry about the TCP port, but on Windows, you need to make sure both are open on your firewall. (You’ll have to check the instructions for your router for specific information on opening ports.)

Since you’re running Windows SP2, another thing you’ll need to do is add iTunes to the “Exceptions” list in the built-in Windows firewall. Usually, if you launch iTunes, Windows should ask you if you want to block or allow the program’s network access. If not, or if you mistakenly have blocked it, open the Windows Firewall (Start > Control Panels > Windows Firewall) and make sure Don’t Allow Exceptions is not checked on the General tab. Then click the Exceptions tab and see if iTunes is listed. If not, click Add Program to add it.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more.