For a while, I've been using Windows Live Messenger to video chat with my family while on the road for work. It's been great for the kids AND me; keeps us all sane. Until recently, my home desktop was connected to the internet via an ethernet cable connection to a DSL modem. No firewall in the modem, though I've always used ZoneAlarm Pro on the computer.
I've recently set up a new modem/wireless router to eliminate the DSL wire running across the room. Now, my desktop connects wirelessly to a 2Wire router. I'm NOT really running a home network. My desktop and laptop both use the wireless internet, but they aren't networked to each other.
You can see where this is going. Since changing to the router, Live Messenger video chat no longer works well. Video is freezing, audio hardly exists. It's so bad it's pointless to try and use. The regular internet works great however, with faster speeds than before.
So... I assume this has something to do with the firewall built into the 2Wire router. I've tried turning off firewall protection for the desktop (DMZplus mode, whatever that means) and when I use hotel wifi on the laptop, video chat works well again.
So... how necessary is this router firewall? If I just leave it in DMZ mode but continue to run ZoneAlarm Pro on my desktop, are there any massive security risks with this? More to the point, is this setup any different or more dangerous than my old configuration of using the wired modem (with no firewall) and ZoneAlarm Pro?
Thanks for any input...