How To Activate UPnP on Your Router

UPnP is a set of communication protocols that is usually included in most modern routers so that you can access functions such as opening ports dynamically and automatically when necessary, among others. You will need to open ports to play on the internet, but also in certain communication applications such as Skype, some file download programs such as BitTorrent or uTorrent or to configure a server. Therefore, we will tell you what it is, how it works and what this network architecture is for, which can save you a lot of time on the internet.

What is it

UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is made up of a series of standardized communication protocols to facilitate connectivity between different devices on your private network. One of its most important functions is that it allows a program to ask the router to open ports when it needs to communicate with a server.

In networks and routers, what is sought with this protocol is to connect devices automatically, almost immediately and without security restrictions. On your router, the UPnP option enabled allows a compatible device or app to perform different actions, such as obtaining the IP address of your router’s connection, adding or removing port mappings, and listing existing port mappings, among others. If you want to open ports for your online games or other needs without having to complicate things, it will save you a lot of time in its configuration, even if this means that you lose control over your network.

How does it work

UPnP makes it possible for network devices compatible with it to detect the presence of other devices, to communicate with each other and to generate more direct communication channels through the Internet.

When a device joins or creates a network, what UPnP does is:

  • Assigns you an IP address and announces your presence on the network
  • Describes its capabilities, services, and availability for the network
  • Share the names and capabilities of other devices
  • Establish control points so that it is possible to make requests to their services
  • Updates the status of your services if it is running
  • Provides a user interface to control and view its status

What is it for

One of the main functions that this set of protocols has in your router is to open ports automatically without having to touch the router configuration manually and for each program, something very practical in systems that use online games. since it works in a dynamic and autonomous way .

It is important that it is activated when using a video game network, since, although there are other ways to open ports, this is the most comfortable. As each device or application has its own specific settings , opening ports in this way is much easier and faster, without having to complicate yourself with something that you can automate.

When this option is enabled, the program or device requests the router on your private network to open one or more ports temporarily while it is running. When it is gone, they close automatically for added security. Thus, these are opened and closed automatically by order of the corresponding program or device.

Consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation use UPnP so that NAT can be opened and online services work properly. In these it is easier to configure a static IP with the ports of your services, however, in computers it is much more difficult to maintain this configuration manually .

Basically we can say that its main mission is to open ports without us having to do it manually, which would imply a specific configuration for each app or device that needs to connect to the internet, a task that is often laborious.

How To Activate UPnP on Your Router

In order to activate UPnP on your router, the first thing you have to do is access the configuration web interface . The steps to do it correctly are the following, always bearing in mind that it may change slightly depending on your router:

  • Type in the browser the URL of your default router (usually or )
  • Enter the username and password of your router
  • If you do not remember your password and you have not changed it, you will find it at the bottom of the router, where the initial internet access data usually appears
  • You will see a menu
  • Go to advanced menu
  • Browse through it until you find the UPnP internet settings
  • Mark UPnP for activation
  • Press Save or Apply

The operation of UPnP once activated is automatic, without your intervention. You just have to select this option as default in each of the devices or programs you use so that the router works and everything works without incident.

Check if it is activated

You may need to know if it is activated because you connect to a team of other people and you need it to be active, if other people use it, if you see that you have problems playing online or for any other reason, so it does not hurt to do the checks timely.

This set of protocols is activated by default in most routers, so the most common is that, if you have not done anything with it before or have decided to activate it, it is not active. Although if you want to know if it is working you must go to the router configuration in the Advanced section , following the steps that we have indicated above to activate it, and see if it is marked. If so and you want to disable it, you just have to click on the corresponding option.

Security advice

Taking into account that it is not advisable to have several ports open at the level of computer security and that not in this way you do not know which devices or apps request their opening, it is an option that has its risks. Therefore, those who want to have control of when and for what to open ports deactivate this option.

Having this communication protocol active has many advantages, especially if you are going to play video games or need to open ports frequently and want to facilitate the laborious task of having to do it manually, however, it is something that involves risks. For this reason, and even if you stop having it active, it is important that you exercise extreme caution with security measures such as the ones we are going to mention, bearing in mind that if you are not going to need it, it is best to disable it.

Some basic security tips if you have UPnP open are:

  • Keep the router firmware updated to avoid vulnerabilities.
  • Make sure you have the Wi-Fi network protected with WPA2 or WPA3.
  • Change the default name of your Wi-Fi network.
  • Use a strong password (with uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers), difficult to discover and update it frequently.
  • Change the default password of the router’s configuration web.
  • Check which devices are connected to the network.
  • Update and keep safe the equipment that connects to the internet.
  • If you have doubts or think it may have been attacked, reset the factory settings and change the password.
  • Deactivate it if you are no longer going to use it.
by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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