UPnP is a network protocol that allows applications and devices to open and close ports automatically to communicate with one another.

Should UPnP be enabled?

UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is a service that enables devices on the same local network to discover each other and connect automatically using conventional networking protocols (such as TCP / IP, HTTP, and DHCP). UPnP devices include printers, gaming systems, WiFi devices, routers, smartphones, and smart TVs.

This service minimizes the complexity of networking devices by automatically forwarding router ports to new devices, eliminating the need for manual forwarding. However, this convenience could pose serious security problems.

The UPnP service becomes harmful when it makes connections with malware-infected devices. Such connections enable DDoS attacks.

The fundamental issue is that UPnP does not require authentication or authorization for most devices, presuming that the devices attempting to connect to it are trustworthy and originate from your local network. 

This implies hackers can find vulnerabilities in your network. For example, they could discover your router on the Internet and then claim to be an Xbox. They will issue a UPnP request to your router, automatically opening the port.

What does UPnP do for gaming?

An example of why someone might want to take the risk with UPnP is gaming. UPnP greatly simplifies the gaming experience. Instead of manually determining your port number for each device or online game, the UPnP utility will do it for you. In the most straightforward terms, UPnP automatic port forwarding, allowing your devices to reach the ports they need to. However, placing your network in danger of cyberattacks is never a good decision, no matter how easy it is.

Does UPnP improve speed?

As previously said, the advantage of using UPnP is that it creates a clear connection between two devices or servers. The bothersome part is that it does not significantly improve your internet speed or resolve bandwidth issues, regardless of whether you utilize a wireless or connected connection.

UPnP is similar to the automatic pairing of two internet-connected devices. It would help if you used UPnP to connect with any server or device. However, UPnP has no real-time effect on latency, internet speed, or bandwidth. To summarize, UPnP will not improve the speed of your internet connection.

​​Is it OK to disable UPnP?

You should turn off UPnP to preserve your security. Having UPnP enabled puts your network and the devices linked to it at risk, potentially opening the door to hackers.

Leaving UPnP enabled exposes you to internet attacks. UPnP can be convenient, but it is not worth the danger. If you still desire to open ports on your router, you can do it manually separately rather than depending on UPnP as a long-term solution.

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