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You may have already contacted us through our support form regarding trouble uploading or downloading your files. And maybe you’ve been asked to check out whether your firewall is interfering with our service. If you're thinking “My fire what? Really? What do I need to do?”, please continue reading!
So let’s dive into the workings of your firewall.
A firewall is a system that secures your computer or network, by checking all incoming and outgoing traffic. It's almost like the overprotective parent we’ve described in the article Antivirus and other blocking software. But actually the firewall is more than that, it takes it a step further. It’s like the bouncer at a fancy club, who gets to decide who’s coming in and who’s going out. The longer he has the think about who to let in, the longer the queue in front of the club. Logically, if he decides our shoes aren’t cool enough or perhaps we look a bit dodgy, he has the power to stop us from coming in. But like any human being, he can simply be mistaken. So let’s tell him it’s all good and loosen up the door policy.
You may be wondering, who uses a Firewall and why?
- Probably you if you’re on a company network. Now lucky you! You can ask your IT department or network administrator to check if there’s a firewall (or any other restrictions) blocking or throttling traffic to our service. These firewalls are great at protecting all of the computers in your office, but is probably not set to trust incoming and outgoing traffic from and to our domains. Walk over and say: “Pretty please, can you fix this while I make you a coffee and look over your shoulder trying to look like I totally understand what’s going on?" Phew, that was easy! Don’t we love our techies!
- However, in case you don’t have an IT department at hand, it’s worth checking out if your personal firewall is blocking our service. So let’s have a closer look, don’t worry, we’ll do it together!
A firewall can come in different shapes: as hardware appliance or installed as software on your computer.
- Your router. Remember that thingy that was once installed by the cable guy? Well, this tiny piece of hardware actually does more than you might expect: it transfers all traffic between your computer and the interwebs out there. It usually doesn't have many firewall capabilities, but in case you’re one of the lucky ones, it’s worth checking out whether it’s capable of packet filtering or if it’s somehow preventing a stable connection to our service. We only use the normal ports 80 and 443 to connect, and those should be open by default.
- Another firewall appliance can exist outside your computer, you can’t miss it really. Recognise this piece of hardware? Please check in it's settings whether our service is possibly marked as unsafe, or even just a little bit unsafe. Or if possible, simply work around it when you start a transfer. Is our service much quicker? Then you’ll know it’s your firewall causing you trouble, after which you can start fiddling with your settings.
- If the purpose is to protect a single computer, it’s most likely that you may have some software installed, like Little Snitch, Barracuda or McAfee. It can also be internet based. Some versions of modern operating systems (like Windows XP) have a built-in firewall that is turned on by default. You see, you might even be better protected than you thought you were.
To come back to the comparison of the bouncer judging all traffic at the door: could you, as the club owner, please tell your bouncer to let us in? And we'll promise, we won't misbehave.
As you may suspect, all these different types of firewalls can use different techniques. You probably have some control over the function and protection features of your firewall. Please make sure to dive into the settings and see if somehow our domains are blacklisted or if there are any other limitations. If you suspect this is happening, please make sure to whitelist the domains we use: *.wetransfer.com, *.we.tl, *.amazonaws.com and *.wetransfer.net.
Since we offer support on WeTransfer and its workings, we may not be able to assist you, but we'll definitely try if you'll contact us at email@example.com. The other way to go here is to contact whomever installed the firewall for you, they will surely know how to help!
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