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Should I Disable Universal Plug n Play (UPnP) ?

Posted on 2004-10-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Should I always Disable Universal Plug n Play for Windows XP Pro Sp2?

Please take a quick look at this article:  http://pages.prodigy.net/aplus_omega/editorial.htm

So should I always disable UPnP:  Yes?  No?   Please share your insight as to why or why not?
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Question by:pdoriley
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    Expert Comment

    by:sunray_2003
    AFAIK , plug and play service should be running so that windows can recognise the hardware that is being plugged in , recognise it and make it work

    MS says that stopping or disabling the service would render in system  instability.

    But if there are known threats like that described in the article it would be better to disable them though you need to see officially what MS has to say about this. They do have patches and protective fixes for this but keep in mind if there is a hacker around and your system is not well protected , you are going to get hit..

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    Accepted Solution

    by:
    Hi pdoriley,

    That depends on if you need it, I like this explanation at Blackviper.com:
    http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/service411.htm#Universal_Plug_and_Play_Device_Host

    Universal Plug and Play Device Host
    Used in conjunction with SSDP Discovery Service, it detects and configures UPnP devices on your home network. For security reasons and for the fact that I doubt that you have any of these devices, disable this service. If any EXTERNAL device does not function because of this service being disabled, place it back in to automatic. MSN Messenger uses this service in conjunction with supported UPnP devices, to provide support for networks behind a NAT firewall or router. Also, if you are experiencing difficulty connecting to multiplayer games that use DirectX(7,8,9), place this service to automatic and ensure you download all security updates. Furthermore, if you use Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing * and wish to make use of the "allow others to modify this connection" feature, enable UPnP. Take note: UPnP is NOT PnP. UPnP is for connectivity on networks via TCP/IP to devices, such as scanners or printers. Your sound card is PnP. Do NOT disable Plug and Play service.

    Greetings,

    LucF
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    LVL 49

    Expert Comment

    by:sunray_2003
    One more article that can shed light : http://www.updatexp.com/upnp_security.html
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    Author Comment

    by:pdoriley
    pdoriley, this article may be helpful... (lol):

     http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/crawford_02july22.mspx
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    Author Comment

    by:pdoriley
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    Author Comment

    by:pdoriley
    The official UPnP security patch for Windows XP:

    http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=D17CBEB5-7478-4147-B4BA-E6CF686A352B


    Details Instructions on How to Disable Universal Plug and Play Device Host

    AND

    SSDP Discovery Service in Windows XP:

    http://www.tweakxp.com/tweak782.aspx
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    Author Comment

    by:pdoriley
    And finally, check out this UnPlug n' Pray" utility !!!  

    http://grc.com/unpnp/unpnp.htm

    Website loaded with additional info:
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    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    by:Luc Franken
    pdoriley,

    I'm glad I could help, but...
    What could I have done for a better grade? I like to improve my ways of answering questions all the time. A "C" grade is the worst possible, and you might want to take a look at the grading guidelines: http:help.jsp#hi73
    The comment I gave you seemed to be pretty good advice to me. I could have given you all kind of security issues around UPnP, but the service itself isn't dangerous at all.

    LucF
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