What is a UPnP Router?

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Written By:

Updated August 10, 2022

If you are looking into advanced wireless networking setups, you may wonder what is a UPnP router. The best routers, after all, tend to offer this feature. What is UPnP, why would you use it, and how do you access it? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • UPnP stands for Universal Plug and Play and it is a feature that automates certain port forwarding tasks to make connecting new mobile devices, personal computers, and gaming consoles easier.
  • To enable UPnP, head into your router settings page, which is accessed by entering the IP address into a web browser and then entering your admin password and network name.
  • There are some security issues associated with the UPnP feature, so use UPnP protocols sparingly.

What Does UPnP do on a Router?

It is important to note, first of all, that UPnP is a feature included with most modern routers, and there is no such thing as a UPnP router, per se. So what is UPnP? It stands for Universal Plug and Play and it is a number of software features that help to speed up the setup process when it comes to connecting new devices to your network. This, quite obviously, comes in extremely handy when you are learning how to set up a router for gaming, as UPnP will automatically integrate new gaming consoles and PCs via port forwarding.

Insider Tip

UPnP should be used sparingly and in concert with security-enhancement protocols.

How to Access UPnP on a Router

To enable UPnP on your router, your device will have to support the functionality. Check the instructions or perform a quick web search to find out. After that, head to the admin control panel or settings page of the router. There are a few ways to do this depending on your router, but in most cases, you should input the router’s public IP address into a web browser. Next, scour the settings for UPnP. Enable the feature, save your changes, and, if necessary, restart the router. All in all, the process here is not too dissimilar from learning how to set up a router as a bridge or changing the firewall settings.

Dangers of UPnP

With great convenience comes great security risk. Universal Plug and Play automates some high-level port forwarding processes, which allows for security breaches if your network comes into contact with a hacker who knows what they are doing. Hackers can use UPnP to deposit malware inside of your router itself and trojan viruses throughout devices connected to your network. If you’re interested in knowing how to scan your router for malware, we have a guide for that. Does this mean you should never use UPnP? Not necessarily, but you should use it sparingly, only when necessary. Some routers also include detailed UPnP settings that allow you to increase security while reaping some of the benefits.

F.A.Q.S

Where to find your model number?

A router’s model number is found on the exterior of the unit, typically on a sticker next to the static IP address, default password, and default network protocol name.


How to make my router more secure?

The convenience of UPnP does offer security risks. Luckily there are plenty of ways to increase network security. Delete guest networks, limit remote access, and keep an eye on your connected devices, networked devices, and Internet gateways to avoid a UPnP exploit.


What is port forwarding?

Port forwarding is the crux behind using the UPnP functionality. Port forwarding allows devices outside of your network access to your LAN or internal network.



STAT: The UPnP protocols were promoted by the UPnP Forum, a computer industry initiative to enable simple and robust connectivity to standalone devices and personal computers from many different vendors. (source)

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