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Improving iChat Connection Reliability

TMO Quick Tip - Improving iChat Connection Reliability

by , 7:30 AM EST, February 14th, 2007

If iChat is giving you connection headaches, the problem may not be in iChat - it could be the server port iChat is using. In many cases, simply changing the port fixes all kinds of issues, and it's easy to do. Here's how:

  • Launch iChat. It's in your Applications folder, and probably also in your Dock.
  • Make sure your iChat status is set to Offline.
  • Choose iChat > Preferences.
  • Select Accounts.

  • iChat's default server port is 5190.
  • Click the Server Settings tab.
  • The default port is 5190. Change that to 443.
  • Close the Preferences window.

Port 443 tends to be more reliable.

Many people report that they have much better luck initiating an iChat connection, experience fewer random dropouts, and are able to start video chats far more reliably after changing to port 443.

[Thanks to Seth at Small Dog Electronics for reminding me about the alternate iChat server port.]


Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

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