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H.323 Version 8 Finalized by the ITU

March 16, 2022

H.323 version 8 was formally approved in March 2022. This update brought with it a modest number of new features, reflecting a continued evolution of the popular protocol. Building on the advancements introduced in H.323 version 7, this new version extends the protocol's capabilities in several key areas that enhance its usability and integration with modern communication technologies.

In brief, this new revision expands advertisement and routing of calls based on language, support for WebRTC’s Data Channels, improved media channel security methods, advertisement of nominal audio levels for a more consistent user experience, and the ability to signal a plurality of payload types over the same RTP port.

For more information, see the page H.323v8 Overview page.

Permalink: H.323 Version 8 Finalized by the ITU

Celebrating 20 Years

February 2, 2020

This month marks Packetizer’s 20th anniversary. It is hard to believe it has been that long since Packetizer first began publishing content on the Internet. With tens of thousands of visitors every month, it has been remarkable to see the site blossom and prove to be a valuable resource for people interested to learn more about VoIP and videoconferencing technologies.

Over the years, the site has grown to offer various software products and other informational content that is useful to both developers of protocols and to those desiring to secure information. We also added some fun stuff that’s utterly useless beyond entertainment, like an implementation of Sierpinski Triangle and Cambridge Obfuscator.

While we have seen amazing interest in tools like AES Crypt and had a lot of fun with other technologies along the way, the primary motivation for creating Packetizer was to educate developers and users in the area of collaborative technologies, and we remain focused on that. We value open standards and appreciate the fact that we have witnessed and been a part of a transition from legacy PSTN technology to IP-based technologies. That said, we are saddened by the fact that open standards are not embraced as much today as they were before.

Years ago, developers and consumers were interested in H.323 and SIP for voice and video communications. For a while, XMPP was hot for instant messaging and presence. As time progressed, though, we witnessed a regression in the industry to proprietary systems and protocols, with H.323 and SIP used only as bridging protocols between proprietary islands. In many ways, that’s disappointing.

Nonetheless, Packetizer has been and will remain a resource for packet-switched conversational protocols. Perhaps with time, people will begin to realize again the importance of industry standards and we can see a renewed interest in and growth of technologies that work with each other. We would still love to see something like H.325 become a reality.

Permalink: Celebrating 20 Years

Packetizer Now Supporting HTTPS

August 17, 2015

Perhaps long overdue, but Packetizer is making the migration to use HTTPS to secure all communications between you and our servers. While there really isn’t much in terms of confidential information shared via Packetizer, using HTTPS is nonetheless a way to help further protect your privacy.

The first move was to switch the primary web site ( to HTTPS. All URLs you might have on your sites, documentation, bookmarked, etc. will still work, as we redirect all HTTP queries to HTTPS. Even so, you might wish to update your links where it makes sense.

The next step, which we will be undertaking over the coming months, is the support of HTTPS on all of our subdomains and secondary domains. We are going to take advantage of the free certificates that will be made available via the Let’s Encrypt initiative. That’s an awesome move by the industry, just in case you have not heard about it.

If you find any broken links on the site due to the move from HTTP to HTTPS, or if you get any browser warnings, please let us know about it. Since we operate several domains running a limited number of servers, we do utilize Server Name Identification (SNI). Older browsers do not support that. However, if your browser is so old that it does not work today, you really need to just move to a new, secure browser.

Permalink: Packetizer Now Supporting HTTPS

IETF Publishes WebFinger Specification

September 27, 2013

WebFinger is a protocol that allows one to discover information about people or other entities on the Internet. It is possible, for example, to take one's email address (actually an "acct:" URI that looks like an email address) and discover information that that person wishes to share.

For example, a user might share an avatar, various means to contact them, or even their Bitcoin address to receive money.

The specification was published today by the IETF as RFC 7033, after several years of effort by a large number of interested people.

You can learn more about WebFinger here.

Permalink: IETF Publishes WebFinger Specification

Packetizer Makes an Open Source WebFinger Server Available

March 29, 2013

WebFinger is a new Internet protocol that allows people to find information about people and things on the Internet. For example, suppose you receive an email from somebody and would like to return a call to the person, but do not have the person in your contact list. If the person publishes his phone number via WebFinger, then your email client can quickly discover the phone number and provide it to you as a contact option. A person can publish nearly anything via WebFinger, including contact information, blog locations, social network identifiers, avatars, or nearly anything else.

Technically, one does not actually publish information within the WebFinger protocol itself. Rather, one publishes this information somewhere else on the Internet; WebFinger just points to that information. WebFinger essentially returns a set of links of a various types. Clients looking for particular information, such as a picture or phone number, would make additional queries to links listed in the WebFinger response. Since each link is labeled with a clearly identifiable link relation type, the client can quickly find exactly what information it is seeking.

WebFinger can simplify interaction with social networking sites, blogs, or other web sites wherein you might normally have an account and log in. When you visit a web site, you can simply provide your account identifier (e.g., your email address). The web site you are visiting can then query information about you, perhaps displaying the name and avatar you published via WebFinger. If the site allows you to post information about yourself, it might allow you to log into the site and WebFinger can help facilitate a seamless login experience using technologies like OpenID Connect.

Packetizer created an open source implementation of a WebFinger server that you are free to download and use on your web site. There are actually several WebFinger server and client implementations already available from various developers.

Permalink: Packetizer Makes an Open Source WebFinger Server Available

Introducing Pug, The Cloud File Archiver

January 4, 2013

Pug is automated backup software designed for use on Linux that allows one to copy files on a server to cloud storage, compressing and encrypting each file individually before uploading.

Unlike other backup solutions that require use of external physical storage and backing up the same data over and over again, Pug works incrementally. As new files are created or as files change, Pug pushes them into the cloud. Only new or changed files are backed up and every version (or as many versions as you specify) is maintained in the cloud, any one of which may be immediately accessed. Further, Pug is smart enough to recognize that two files are identical and only archives a single copy of a file in cloud storage, thus reducing storage costs.

Pug uses Amazon S3 for cloud storage, through the software is designed so that changes can easily be made to support other cloud storage services.

To learn more about Pug, visit the Pug home page!

Permalink: Introducing Pug, The Cloud File Archiver

Packetizer Enables DNSSEC

August 17, 2012

People are well aware of the fact that there are many security vulnerabilities on the Internet. Perhaps one of the biggest that has largely gone unaddressed is security for the Domain Name System (DNS) that is used on the Internet to, among other things, map names to IP addresses and to identify mail servers. Virtually every domain on the Internet today is insecure in this respect. An attacker in a position to respond to DNS queries and provide bogus replies can intercept confidential corporate email messages, direct people to phishing sites, etc.

The DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) were defined to address this serious vulnerability on the Internet. The extensions are documented in RFC 4033, RFC 4034, and RFC 4035. They have been around for years now, but only recently has the Internet community taken forward steps to enable DNSSEC.

A number of registrars now support DNSSEC, including Packetizer’s registrar. So, we decided to enable DNSSEC. At the moment, there are really very few domains that are protected with DNSSEC, but the number of sites is expected to increase significantly in the next year or two.

Interested in setting up DNSSEC on your own site? Here’s a brief “how to”.

Permalink: Packetizer Enables DNSSEC

Announcing Packetizer Open Community Specifications

October 16, 2011

Packetizer is pleased to announce the creation of a set of specifications referred to as the Packetizer Open Community Specifications (POCS). These specifications are intended to document new protocols or extensions to existing protocols that are created by the public at large.

The first specification published (POCS-1) is titled “Using OPTIONS to Query for Operational Status in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)” and is a document the authors tried to publish through the IETF. It failed to gain traction, not because equipment manufacturers are not implementing the procedures (they are, actually), but because trying to get consensus in the IETF is sometimes like herding a bunch of cats. Rather than expending significant effort trying to jump through hurdles, the authors decided to publish the specification so there is a permanent record, but outside the IETF.

The second document published (POCS-2) is titled “Transmission of a Session Capacity Estimate (SCE) to Prevent Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Server Overload” and represents a valid and proven approach to preventing overload of SIP entities, particularly devices like Session Border Controllers. In this case, the IETF opted to limit the scope of their work such that SBCs and similar devices could not benefit from the defined overload mechanism. Specifically, the scope of the work in the IETF was on stateless entities like stateless SIP proxies. In the real world, there are many SBCs and a better approach is needed.

Packetizer would like to extend an invitation to the Packetizer community to publish new and different specifications as POCS documents. The type of documents that would be accepted include anything that might be of interest to the Packetizer community, including extensions to existing communication protocols, new web protocols, protocols for cloud computing support, etc.

Permalink: Announcing Packetizer Open Community Specifications

Electronic Meetings to Progress AMS to Resume

September 30, 2010

Earlier this year, work on AMS, the ITU-T’s next-generation multimedia communication system, was conducted through electronic meetings held twice each month. As the SG16 meeting at the end of July 2010 approached, the meetings were suspended. It is now time to resume those meetings and a meeting schedule has been posted to the Packetizer Calendar page.

The electronic meetings are open to all who are interested in helping to progress the work on the revolutionary new multimedia system. Part of the time during the first meeting, to be held October 5, 2010, will be spent bringing participants up to speed on the work done so far, what work is currently being actively studied, and what needs to be done. Subsequent meetings will consider contributions submitted by participants as they are submitted.

If you have any questions or wish to engage, visit the H.325 Information Site for more information, including subscription information to the mailing list.

Permalink: Electronic Meetings to Progress AMS to Resume

Understanding and Troubleshooting Videoconferencing Networks - UW Course

August 31, 2010

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will offer its very popular course Understanding and Troubleshooting Videoconferencing Networks on November 2-3, 2010. The course will be held on the University campus in Madison, WI and will also be available via live videoconferencing.

By attending this course, you will master the H.323 standard and embedded protocols and then extend this understanding to SIP based and proprietary systems. Topics include:

• H.323 standard: components and functions • Call signal processing and audio/video data flow • QOS: options, implementation issues • How ITU H.323 relates to IETF SIP and MGCP/Megaco • Options for handling firewalls in the network • Addressing and directory services • Performance characteristics of various audio and video codecs • Network security and other advanced features • High definition videoconferencing options and content display • Troubleshooting and analysis tools and techniques • Understanding audio and video compression technology

Your course instructor, Gary Thom, is President of Delta Information Systems, a recognized expert in the field of videoconferencing, and the author of versions 1 & 2 of the H.323 standard.

Reserve your space today! Call toll-free 1-800-462-0876 Or online at

Permalink: Understanding and Troubleshooting Videoconferencing Networks - UW Course