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(Universal Plug aNd Play) A family of protocols that enables data transfer between computers, mobile devices and A/V equipment. Introduced in 1999 by the UPnP Forum (www.upnp.org), UPnP provides automatic discovery of devices in an IP network (see SSDP). It is widely used to stream music to playback devices (see DLNA).

Supporting quality of service, which prioritizes transmission (see QoS), UPnP is also used in security camera, lighting, heating and air conditioning applications.

Automatic IP Assignment
UPnP can assign an IP address to a device if it does not already have one and no DHCP server is available in the network to assign one (see DHCP and IP address).

UPnP vs. Zeroconf
UPnP is similar to Zeroconf, a zero configuration technology implemented in Apple's Bonjour software and by others. UPnP and Zeroconf both provide service discovery and IP assignment but use different protocols (see Zeroconf and link-local address).

Port Forwarding (Port Mapping)
UPnP has been used to open ports in a router to let a party from the outside world contact a user inside the network. For example, opening ports for voice and video calling facilitates two-way communications no matter which side initiates the call. See TCP/IP port.

UPnP Is Not PnP
Although related in concept because they both provide automatic configuration of devices, UPnP is not the same as PnP (see Plug and Play).
References in periodicals archive ?
OIC will form a new UPnP Work Group to maintain the UPnP specifications, and certification tools within the overall OIC organization.
Arcam s iOS app, called SongBook, also manages UPnP streaming for eight other Arcam components that incorporate the company s network streaming music player.
In the meantime, he advised computer users to quickly use a free tool released by Rapid7 to identify vulnerable gear, then disable the UPnP functionality in that equipment.
Corresponding to the aforementioned mechanisms, the proposed software design of the P2P-to-UPnP proxy gateway architecture consists of four functional components on the home gateway platform, including UPnP device architecture, a P2P client peer, a UPnP downloading manager, and a UPnP AV media server, as detailed in Section 3.
An engineer at Sun stated that the UPnP approach to low-level networking (assigning IP addresses) is fine since Jini does not address that layer.
Hewlett-Packard also found it was using HTTP as a method of machines talking to each other and so it was an easy step to adopt UPnP.
Formed in October 1999, UPnP Forum is an industry initiative of more than 950 leading companies in computing, printing and networking; consumer electronics; home appliances, automation, control and security; and mobile products.