Apps, Mobile & SMS

How To Use Spotify & Sonos From Behind A Firewall

Spotify-logoBy Eliot Van Buskirk of

Apparently, the Symantec Norton 360 security software can block Spotify from working, even if you don’t monkey around with the default settings. In case this happens to you, we figured we’d put together a tutorial on how to solve the problem.

I have been using Spotify since around two years before everyone else in America had access (sometimes it’s nice to be press), and I have never experience the following problem, until this week:


Apparently, Symantic Norton 360 now thinks Spotify constitutes a security breach.

Update: the same thing is also happening with my Sonos (image below). I think Norton/Symantec updated their default security settings with something weird, because I changed nothing on this computer or network.

Another Update: A Symantec spokeswoman responds, “I’ve checked with our Norton 360 team and confirmed that the product should not be blocking Spotify. They have tested it and Spotify appears to be working fine on our machines. According to the team, what you may be seeing is a generic Spotify error message indicating your computer is (temporarily) having trouble accessing the Spotify server. To check to see if it is related to Norton 360, you could try right-clicking the tray icon and clicking ‘Disable Smart Firewall’ to see if that helps.”

However, in my case at least, Norton 360 was in fact blocking Spotify (see screenshots below).

I have no idea whether this is happening on a widespread scale at this point — it’s possible that my Spotify did something to upset Norton 360, but it could also have been part of the latest virus definitions sent out to all users of the program. I have asked both Norton/Symantec and Spotify about this, and hope to know more soon. I re-entered my password, but to no avail — the problem is that Norton 360 from Symantec is blocking Spotify, which unlike most other streaming services, runs as a native application on your computer, which saves Spotify money on streaming costs, because you’re always helping to stream to other people, and can also help your music play faster.

One disadvantage of that approach: Sometimes, your security software can put the clampdown on it, as Norton 360 appears to be doing automatically, because I never tweaked this setting from the default.

Here’s what to do if your Symantec Norton 360 software, or any other security software, is blocking Spotify (or any other program for that matter) from reaching the internet and the delicious jams contained thereon:


1. Open your security software

This is a Windows tutorial, and Windows security software typically shows up as a little icon at the lower right of your screen, on the taskbar:


2. Find the Firewall settings

Firewalls selectively block programs from inside and outside your computer. To the stuff they are trying to block, they are like a wall of fire, thus the name. You can ensconce any program in protective gear, so that it can get through that firewall. In my security software, Symantec Norton 360, first I hit the Settings menu to bring up this screen:

Then I simply click Firewall to open up those settings:

And then, I click the Program Rules tab, because that’s what we’re after here. Your software might be a little different, but in general, it will likely work a lot like this. Regardless of how you get there, you will eventually see something like this — a big list of programs with rules settings next to them:

3. Unblock Spotify

Yay, you made it to the right place under the hood of your security software. Now you just have to scroll down until you see Spotify, probably with the word “Block” somewhere nearby, like so:


You know what to do, right? Switch “Block” to “Allow, then click “Apply” to put your change into effect:


Boom! Just like that, you should be able to access our collaborative Valentine’s Day playlist.

Note: Norton 360 is doing the same to my Sonos:


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