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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Hi,

I have a netgear router (DG814) which allows for UPnP. At the moment all UPnP is disabled on my PC's following the advice of Gibson GRC.Com site.

From what I understand, it allow programs to self configure port forwarding etc.

Could somone explain to me a bit more about it?
Does anyone use it?
If I was to start using it, what services I need to re-enable within XP.
What programs use it?
Finally is there still a security risk on using it, as mentioned on GRC.Com

Cheers,

GB
21 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Well, I'm using UPnP, and I find it very useful... as you correctly state, it allows software (e.g. communication apps and games) to open ports on your router, therefore enabling your software to work properly. There is a slight security risk involved, but there always is with opening ports. You have to weigh up the cons (marginal security risk) vs. the pros (allowing aforementioned software to work easily and properly)... I went with the pros. Smiley

Thomas
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Do you know what services I need to re-enable within Windows XP to allow for UPnP?

Do you have an examples of any programs or games that use it? If i happen to have any of them, then I could try it on my PC and I'd know it was correctly setup.

Cheers,

GB
csogilvie
Grafter
Posts: 5,852
Registered: 04-04-2007

UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

MSN Messenger 6+ uses uPNP I believe.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Yes MSN Messenger 6.1 uses it and indeed it was the only way I could make audio conversations work. I had forwarded ports until I was blue in the face to no effect, but UpnP just works like magic.

To enable it with Xp go tro the control panel and select add and remove windows components. You will find uPnP listed and can be enabled / disabled from there.
bobgidden
Grafter
Posts: 107
Registered: 30-07-2007

UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Quote
...until I was blue in the face ...


Then you'd disappear into your background :lol: (Sorry! couldn't resist it)

BobG
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

:roll: Thats a nice thought, since the background is the blue skies of the Ionain Sea and the canvas of the spray hood on the yacht I had chartered, then it would be very very nice to disapear back unto it. :lol:
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Hi,

I think I've got it to work, as MSN Messager is reporting that it's connected via UPnP. However my router is not giving any indications as to what ports etc that it has opened.

Does this mean it's pot luck as to which programs use it and the other's I'll need to setup port forwarding rules for?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Yes, I'm afraid so.

Thomas
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

What about the security aspect of UPnP? I've heard lots of good and bad things about it.
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

When first released UPnP was identified as
a huge security risk, basically it exposed your pc to
Denial of Service attacks and a dedicated hacker could
basically control your pc or network as if at 'keyboard' level.
Microsoft have since released upgrade patches to close
the gaps , if your OS is up to date with upgrades, then the
risk is small as with anything else on the net.
However others eg. GRC consider the risk greater.
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

My machine is upto date with all patches, I make sure it is.

I was hoping that UPnP might make it easier to play games on-line, since my router has a limited number of port forwarding slots. However since it's next to impossible for me to know if a program uses UPnP (apart from messenger) . Maybe I should just shut it down and wait till someone either writes a program or provides a list of programs that can and do use it.

It's just frustrating, as various games I have mean I'm forced to place the PC in a DMZ to play the games but I always make sure my software firewall is running.

If anyone has any info on how I can find out what programs use it, I would be grateful.

Cheers,

GB
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

According to Windows itself, Universal Plus and Play Device Host has no dependencies, but does depend on SSDP Discovery Service. Both of these services are set to manual start on my system. MSN Messenger works fine with these settings.
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

SmithClan,

If you select Options and then connection within Messenger, it will indicate whether you are using UPnP to connect.

However my issue is what programs and games use it and the security risks as a result of using it.
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UPnP - Is it worth using? Seeking info and advice.

Sorry I do not understand. I am currently connected to MSN Messenger. I have just checked UPNP Service and it is "stopped". I am also able to engage in voice conversations with these settings. Incidentally, I have not altered these settings, I presume they are defaults or have been stopped by Windows Update.