Overview On UPnP Network Protocol (Part 1)

3/25/2013 11:11:19 AM

The UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is a network protocol that enables devices with network connectivity in the family to recognize each other and access certain services of each service, regardless of the model of the device or any operating system that it runs. Being built based on the most popular platforms of the Internet, such as TCP/IP, HTTP, XML, devices with UPnP can automatically find each other in the network when the UPnP function is activated without requiring multiple configuration operations, which saves a lot of efforts from users. The most common applications of the UPnP are those for streaming media files (audios, videos) among devices in the network and sending control signals among them.

Technical overview

The UPnP network protocol functions as the peer-to-peer networks, the UPnP device has the equal right to send and receive control signals. It also means that you can sit on the third floor, placing your media server (for example, your PC & HDD Box) on the second floor and using the tablet to bring the movies stored on the media server to be displayed on the TV in the living room on the first floor, as long as all the three devices are connected to your home network system and you have installed applications that support UPnP. Moving data files using the UPnP also sometimes proves to be more convenient than Windows’ default file sharing feature. However, due to the huge amount of multimedia data, the solution of storing all these files in a place and using the UPnP’s ability to stream media for playback on other devices are still preferable.

The UPnP works on all platforms

The UPnP works on all platforms.

The UPnP works on all platforms such as Wi-Fi networks, dial-up, communications over powerline, and traditional Wireless Ethernet communication as long as there is a connection to transfer data between the devices.

The UPnP application can be built on any operating system platform in any language. And with more and more powerful hardware that is developed day by day, the hardware configuration requirements have long been out of discussion. In fact, if an operating system can achieve a certain number of users, surely someone will write a UPnP application for it. Most of home entertainment devices such as game consoles or new TVs have been equipped with integrated UPnP support by the manufacturer directly from the factory.

Based on the common ang most reliable platforms that form the Internet today as IP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, XML, stability and performance of the UPnP is undeniably good, but there are a lot of security issues.

Developed and aimed for entertainment applications such as watching movies, listening to music, obviously, search and control mechanisms of the UPnP can’t rely on some simple command code lines. The UPnP applications’ control interface is usually optimized to provide the most comfortable and convenient feelings for users.

Uniformity: it’s the same protocol as Wi-fi, Bluetooth network protocols, etc. The manufacturers who want to integrate the UPnP support function on their devices (TV, music players, etc.) will obey some sommon regulations. (We will be taking a deeper look into the standard system built by DLNA below).

Chanes for extending: the number of UPnP devices in the same network is only limited by the loading capability of the network devices. At the same time, in addition to some basic functions such as controling, streaming media, etc., programmers and manufacturers can develop additional functionalities (for example, changing, copying metadata in the multimedia library)


As mentioned in the article about the five security issues users often encounter, the UPnP function on the terminal devices (TV, PC, Laptop, etc.) in your home network is not related to that of network devices such as modems. To communicate and transfer data in the LAN nerwork - where devices can communicate directly with each other without going through any NAT intermediary step – we just need to make sure that the UPnP application is enabled on that device. The UPnP option on network devices is the function that helps users connect from a distance (for example, when traveling) to the home multimedia library using the UPnP protocol. And unfortunately, over the years, serious security errors have continuously appeared, making governments as well as large technology companies always recommend that users disable this option.

Governments as well as large technology companies always recommend that users disable this UPnP option.

Governments as well as large technology companies always recommend that users disable this UPnP option.



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