View Full Version : Documentation Recommendation for Lessening BeginnerFrustration

Mark Lanctot
2005-12-07, 06:51
Actually with ZA and with other firewalls you
don't have to mess around with ports and you don't
have to use the Pro version either.

I'm no longer using ZA on my main PC because it
got too bloated and unstable, but I am using ZA
Pro on my laptop. However I have 5+ years of
experience with the free version.

Just enter the Squeezebox's IP address into the
"Trusted" zone if it has a fixed IP address or
your DHCP range as a range in the "Trusted" zone.

Then go to your applications list. SlimServer
should be there. If it's marked "deny" or "ask"
for the trusted zone, right-click and mark it
"allow". I don't think you need to give it access
to the Internet zone, unless you're streaming over
the Internet.

I can't recall whether ZA Free divides
applications up between trusted and Internet - ZA
Pro does. If ZA Free doesn't, just give
SlimServer full access.

I was going to say this info is probably in the
beginner's guide wiki:


but it's not! No mention of firewalls at all,
unless it's in a linked subpage. I'd like to
contribute, but I've never edited a wiki before.
Looks a little intimidating.

Lawrence wrote:
> I just received my SB3 today and successfully
installed it over the
> course of an hour or two. It should have taken me
only fifteen minutes,
> but I ran into a snag.
> Generally, I thought the set-up procedure was very
straightforward and
> easy, and Slim Devices is to be complimented on a
job well done.
> Unfortunately, it's the nature of these things that
even if you do 100
> things extremely well in making your product easy to
use, it only takes
> a single hitch to cause the user frustration.
> I'd like offer a couple suggestions for improving
the setup and/or user
> support documentation (printed and web) to address
the issue that cause
> me a problem--my firewall.
> I can only guess that with *everyone* (ok, almost
everyone) running a
> firewall these days that many more people are likely
to have an
> experience like mine.
> Throughout the SB3 (and SlimServer sofware) setup
process there is no
> mention whatsoever regarding firewalls, and
certainly no indication
> that they can potentially cause a problem for the
> Consequently, when my SB3 did not initally connect
to the SlimServer
> (surprising to me, after it successfully navigated
my 128-bit WEP setup
> flawlessly), I thought I made some kind of error and
went through the
> setup procedure again, double-checking my entries
and looking for
> something gone awry. Eventually, I went into the
> section and there I read that the likely cause was
my firewall.
> *** Suggestion #1: Put something in the "Connecting
to SlimServer"
> instructions section (page 8) that gives the user
some immediate
> suggestions as to what they should do if there is no
connection (e.g.,
> "you may need to perform the following on your
firewall" or even "go to
> the troubleshooting section for a likely fix" etc.)
The user should be
> told right there that a connection problem is not
unusual at all--in
> fact is to be expected--if they haven't configured
their firewall
> correctly.
> *** Better Suggestion #1: Make checking the firewall
an explicit setup
> step.
> After I understood the problem was likely my
ZoneAlarm firewall, I
> tried to figure out how to add the required "port
exceptions" to my
> firewall program. I couldn't. It was very
frustrating. Finally, I shut
> down ZoneAlarm and put on the Windows XP firewall. I
was impressed that
> the required exceptions somehow already were entered
into the Windows
> firewall...and ta-da! My SB3 finally worked!
> While I was very happy to finally get the SB3 to
work, my joy was
> tempered by my discomfort over having to use the
Windows built-in
> firewall, which I've been told is not a good
long-term firewall
> solution. So I really wanted to figure out how to
get my ZoneAlarm
> working with the SB3
> I eventually figured out that the capability to set
those "port
> exceptions" does not exist at all in the free
version of ZoneAlarm. I
> then upgraded to ZoneAlarm Pro, set the exceptions
required and
> everything worked fine.
> *** Suggestion #2: There are not very many major
third-party Windows
> (or Mac) firewalls out on the market (five? seven?).
I'd recommend
> strongly that there be instructions on the Slim
website (if not
> actually in the owner's guide) that provide
configuration instructions
> for helping the user set up their firewall to work
with the SB3. It
> would take someone knowledgeable a very modest
amount of time to create
> these instructions, yet would save users like myself
lots of time and
> frustration. I'd say it's an excellent return on
Slim Devices labor
> investment.
> Like I said, I was impressed with most of the setup
process and
> interface. I know a lot of time and effort went into
making it as
> smooth as it was. In the big picture, getting a
piece of technology
> this sophisticated (and cool!) to work in an hour or
two is not
> unreasonable. At the same time it's frustrating for
the user to realize
> that the additional time they spent figuring out how
to get the product
> to work could have been easily avoided with minimal
additional effort
> on the documentation side. In my case it would have
saved 45 minutes.
> Multiply that by the tens, hundreds, or thousands of
future novice SB3
> buyers and there is a great potential to help the
SB3 community with a
> few setup instruction tweaks.
> I hope these suggestions will ultimately help


Mark Lanctot

2005-12-07, 07:37
I was going to say this info is probably in the
beginner's guide wiki:


but it's not! No mention of firewalls at all,
unless it's in a linked subpage. I'd like to
contribute, but I've never edited a wiki before.
Looks a little intimidating.

There is a VERY short summary in the http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?BeginnersGuideToNetworks page. I didn't put any more in there because (a) my knowledge here is weak and (b) there is some stuff about this in the Owners Guide.

However there is certainly scope for expansion, so if you feel so inclined, please dive in. Don't be intimidated - just click "edit" at the bottom of the page, it is VERY simple.