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is Web Conferencing a risk

By john.m1 ·
Hi, we have a 30 user lan (advanced server) all win2k / office xp desks. ISDN dial-up no seperate firewall. no VPN, no static IP's.

we wish to video conference some of our desktops to the outside world e.g. to specific customers at other companies.

if we use MS Net-Meeting, we have to connect using direct ip addresses? is this correct?

should we be looking for better software?

is there a security issue in handing out our IP addresses?

any help, tips or links would be welcome here.

(treat me as a newbie please, 1 syllable words and as few numbers as possible) ?-)

thanks in advance, JohnM1

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by -Q-240248 In reply to is Web Conferencing a ris ...

You can use netmeeting if you have public IP addresses. If you have public IP addresses I would be afraid, with the configuration you posted.

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by john.m1 In reply to

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by john.m1 In reply to is Web Conferencing a ris ...

thanks "_Q"
i'll leave the question open a little longer.

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by mshavrov In reply to is Web Conferencing a ris ...

First of all, Microsoft NeetMeeting by itself is pretty "dangerous" program. So, you should install and configure it very carefully. Check Microsoft WhitePapers or look though the Google for recomendations on safety with NM.

Second, it's not only for NeetMeeting. Do you have ISDN Dial-Up at each computer or it's performed at server. In any case you should consider installing Firewall software for all computers, which have direct Internet connection, and antivirus software for all computers. General statistics says, that if you connect Windows computer without firewall directly to Internet, it's enough 15 minutes to get this computer hacked, infected, or at least crashed.

There shouldn't be any particular problem with IP addresses, since with dial-up you are getting new IP address every time you connect. But if you have only one ISDN connection for 30 users, it may be not enough to do video conferencing. I believe that some not-so-expensive Internet options, like DSL or Cable are available mostly everywhere, so, may be you should consider an upgrade for your connectivity. In this case you may get broadband router for 50-100USD which will provide both, connection sharing and security firewalling.

Good luck,

Michael Shavrov
CCDP, CCNP, CCSP, MCSE W2K, Security+, Sun SCSA, ...

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by mshavrov In reply to

The problem with any video conferencing from one private LAN to another is in setting up call. If your user has direct Internet connection and public IP address, and he want to receive call, he should give his public IP address to person who should call him. In this case you don't need "third-part call setup server". But if you are behind firewall, you can not be called, since your whole company is hidden behind one public IP address. So, you should use some kind of "public conference server" (with H.323 protocol, for example), which will be used during call setup. In general it works same way as IP telephony.

What can I advice to use - try "video conferencing feature" of Instant Messaging packages, such as ICQ, Yahoo or Microsoft Messengers. Your users will be able to chat with a clients and when both sides will be ready, they can start "video session" and it should work through firewall.

Good luck.

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by john.m1 In reply to

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by john.m1 In reply to is Web Conferencing a ris ...

Thanks "mshavrov"

yes we hope to soon have 2mb broadband, cisco firewall and static IP's.

i wonder what the best approach to conference will be then?

we just need a user on our Lan to be able to contact a user on another companies Lan. i guess that they just want a visual (video) phone call really.


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by john.m1 In reply to is Web Conferencing a ris ...

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