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What is UPNP – Is It Secure?


Do you recall the large-scale Mirai attack last year? It was directed at the IP based cameras and exploited router configuration settings that most of the consumers never change. However, the main reason was Universal Plug and Play or UPnP – a setting that is enabled by default on millions of routers globally.

What is UPnP?

UPnP serves as an incredibly convenient way of allowing gadgets to find other devices on your network and modify your router to allow for device access beyond the web. It presents extreme convenience as it lets users quickly set up new devices. However, it brings many vulnerabilities, along with the comfort it offers.

What is Port forwarding

Your internet-enabled devices such as your router use the Local Area Network (LAN) to communicate with each other. However, to communicate with web servers outside of the LAN, you need to go to the Wide Area Network (WAN). For that purpose, you need to port forward your devices. Do check our port forwarding guide.

Port Forwarding allows you to access any device or server from any location across the globe, create dedicated servers, and run several types of services.

What Is Upnp Used For?

UPnP stands for Universal Plug and Play. With it, an application can automatically forward any port on your router, thereby saving you the hassle of forwarding the ports manually, making your life more comfortable in the process.

Here are the primary uses of UPnP:

Online Gaming

You can easily port forward a variety of online games on PlayStation or Xbox and even stream them.

Remote Surveillance

UPnP lets you configure the home cameras remotely when you are not home.

Internet Of Things

UPnP can be used for the automation of the Internet of things devices such as smart bulbs, smart TVs, fridges, smart locks, and multiple other kinds of intelligent machines.

Is UPnP Safe?

The convenience element makes it easier for hackers since any virus, Trojan horse, or another malicious program that infects your computer can use UPnP like the legit programs. UPnP can allow a malicious program to altogether bypass the firewall

Does this make UPnP dangerous? It is. Because UPnP considers all local programs to be trustworthy, thereby allowing them to forward ports. If you don’t use applications that need port forwarding, for instance, peer-to-peer applications or game servers, and VoIP programs, you should disable your UPnP altogether. Users who are unable to do so because of frequent and heavy use of these applications should consider whether or not they are willing to give up some of their security.

It is possible to forward ports without UPnP, it’s just a bit harder!

How to stay protected online

You must defend yourself considering the highly vulnerable online world. For better protection against UPnP router vulnerabilities, you can try the following:

1- Enable UPnP User Profile

This setting ensures the authentication and authorization for UPnP devices and all applications. However, this feature is not provided by most devices.

2- Disable UPnP

As a second option, you can disable UPnP. If UPnP support is enabled in your router, you can disable it through the web interface. You can check out your router’s manual to learn more.

3- Use A VPN

Using a reliable VPN service is your best bet at securing your information, which could be at risk due to the UPnP vulnerabilities. A VPN encrypts all your data by assigning a different IP than the one you initially have. You can protect yourself with UPnP with a VPN directly with a single touch or click.

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What is UPnP PS3

UPnP can help you change the NAT type from Strict NAT to Open NAT on the PS3, PS4, or Xbox console.

Wrapping Up

If you want to keep using UPnP without facing any of the negative repercussions that it can cause, you need to invest in a VPN and begin safeguarding yourself at all times.


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