Enable UPnP on Your Wireless Router

Many users aren’t familiar with the details and specificities of the Wi-Fi settings. However, there’s a lot about what’s under the hood of your Wi-Fi that you can change and make better if you know what you’re doing and what kind of service you need.

One of such features is called UPnP. It stands for Universal Plug and Play. It’s used to allow different devices such as computers, printers, mobile devices to discover each other within a network and to form functional network services.

How to Activate It On a Router?

The first thing you’ll need to do is to go into the settings of your router. In order to do this, you’ll need to know what the router IP address is. That can be obtained from the user manual or it can be found on your computer and in a variety of different ways.

Once you know the IP address copy it to the address bar of your browser. With that, you’ll be able to enter the configuration settings of a router if you know the admin name and the password. For the most part, they are set to default, and the admin’s name is admin while the password is “password’.

This will open the basic router settings page. Click on the advanced tab and then click on the advanced setup. Open the UPnP page and wait for it to load.

Click on the “turn UPnP on” checkbox.

Advertisement and Duration Periods

The next thing to do is to set up the advertisement and duration periods. The advertisement period refers to how long the router will broadcast the UPnP information. When a duration is set to a short period, the network traffic will be increased, but it sends updated device status to other devices.

On the other hand, a longer advertisement period decreases network traffic in exchange for slightly outdated device status.

The duration is the time in which the advertisement goes live in hops. Hops are steps that the devices need to take in order to get from one router to another. The hop value needs to be increased if the devices aren’t updating as they should.

Click “Apply” and “Refresh” for the changes to take place.

What do you need to Consider?

The first thing to have in mind is that UPnP is disabled by default. If you want to use this feature, you’ll need to be aware of it and enable it on purpose. Some routers don’t allow you to do this at all, but Spectrum routers do.  Some routers also have firmware that doesn’t allow you to enable UPnP, but that can be solved by updating the router.

It’s also important to make sure that the router is updated. If it’s not, you may not be able to change the setting so that UPnP is enabled. Once the router is updated and you change the setting there are two ways to find out did the change work. One is to check through the log apps and the other is to simply notice that the devices are being connected.

In some cases, the internet connection may start to fail when you enable UPnP. That means that the UPnP support you’re using isn’t high-end enough to support new devices or at least not a lot of devices at the same time.

Why You Should Enable UPnP?

The main reason to enable UPnP is to be able to discover all the devices in your network. It will allow you to automatically connect all the devices that are in your network. Having a UPnP enabled means that the devices will connect with each other seamlessly. It’s a beneficial service that more users should know about.

From the point of view of the user, it’s the simplest thing in the world. You bring home a new device and it becomes connected to every other device you’re using right away. All the work needed to recognize the device and the IP addresses is done behind the scenes. It’s also an easier option for those who don’t know much about complicated internet settings.

Keeping Security in Mind?

It’s also important to have in mind that internet safety and privacy are important concerns and especially so when UPNP is enabled.  It’s a protocol that’s made to automatically open a portal into a firewall and connect the device. There are some risks involved.  Twenty and more years ago this was considered to be a security problem and it was recommended not to do it.

However, technology has changed a lot in that time, and firewalls are less important now. Routers manufacturers didn’t pay attention to UPnP security since the feature was disabled by default and most users didn’t know what t is. Now when more users activate it and the population, in general, is more knowledgeable about IT matters, routers have fixed such problem. Using UPnP is more convenient and safer than it has ever been.

Enabling UPnP on your router will allow you to connect different dives into a wireless network easily and without having to know too much about the process. You’ll need to know the IP address and the option can be easily enabled on the router settings page.

Mario C. Morrissey
Mario C. Morrissey
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