How to fix audio phone calls on MSN Messenger 6.1

Question: I have MSN Messenger and I run Windows XP. When I try to make a voice phone call to someone else on their MSN Messenger, they can’t hear me although I can hear my voice through my speakers, and I can see MSN Messenger volume level moving. The computer is hearing me, but it’s not going out to the other person. Can you help? – D.F.

Answer: I sure can. Two potential solutions – an easy one, and a hard one. First, though, three questions:

  • Are you using a high speed Internet connection?
  • Do you have an Intel network card?
  • Do you use Windows Messenger 6.1?

If you said “yes” to all three, I have a solution for you.

  1. Click Start, then Control Panel, then Network Connections.
  2. Right-click on the Internet connection you use. If you have a desktop, it probably lists the name of your network card or will say LAN. Right-click on that and see which network card you are using.
  3. If it’s an Intel card, it will list its type under Connect Using: . Once you have verified that it’s an Intel branded network card, go into the Properties box and look for an entry that says QoS Packet Scheduler. Uncheck the box next to it.
  4. Restart your computer, and try an MSN session again. This time, your audio phone call will work, and the person at the other end on MSN Messenger on their computer will be able to hear you.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, maybe there’s another issue at work. Do you have a home network? If you have a box that connects to all the computers in the house to a high speed modem, then this could be the problem. This is called a router. Routers sometimes have a problem sending the audio out to the Internet. This is probably true if your router is older, say made before spring 2003. You will have to go into your router and see if there is a setting called UPnP. If so, turn it on.

If you don’t have this feature, you may have to update the firmware in the router to get it. The firmware is the software inside the router. It can be updated by going to the website of the maker of the router and seeing is there is firmware file that can be downloaded. Download it to your computer to a place where you can find it later.

This can then be installed by going into your router (tip: in your web browser, get in to your router by typing or or in the address field) and looking for a setting that will allow you to select the firmware and install it. In the Advanced or Administration area, there should be a setting called Update firmware in a Tools or Update or Router menu.

Before you do all this, you may have to “unzip” the router firmware file using a commercial program called AlphaZip or a freeware program called IZArc. You can also unzip it just by clicking on it if you have Windows XP or Windows ME.

After the firmware is installed, restart the router. Then go back into the router and turn UPnP on. If the firmware update does not add UPnP, your router may be too old. Maybe it’s time for a new one. Consider getting this Netgear router from [link removed], they are about $50-$80. I know for sure that SMC routers have UPnP onboard, you can get a SMC UpnP-enabled router at the preceding link.