Here's Why You Should Disable UPnP on Your WiFi Router
Modern internet technology is a boon for everyone. From letting you connect with loved ones to streaming the latest Netflix series, there is no end to the benefits it offers. Unfortunately, it also comes with certain limitations, one of them being UPnP, short for Universal Plug and Play. The UPnP is also a internet technology marvel. However, tech experts recommend that you disable UPnP feature on your WiFi router. Let us find out why.
First, let us understand what UPnP is.
What is UPnP?
UPnP (Universal Plug-And-Play) is a networking protocol that describes the communication method that a device uses for communicating with another device on a network. This protocol helps one device discover another on the same network. Confused? Let's take an example.
For instance, let's say you have a printer. In the past, you would have to manually search for the right network to help other devices access it. With UPnP, this happens automatically.
With UPnP, after connecting, computers can easily send commands to the printer to print document data. It is where the term “plug and play” comes into being. You plug in the device and start using it without any hiccups. No need to go through the entire setup and configuration settings. It is what makes UPnP a good networking protocol for the average internet user.
But, despite all this, there is a reason why you should disable this feature.
Is UPnP a Security Risk?
UPnP has been under scrutiny from the tech community due to its security vulnerabilities. Tech experts recommend that you disable it on the WiFi router. Now, if you have a Netgear WiFi router, then you can do this by going to the routerlogin web page. Doing this reduces the risk of damage or exposure to the WiFi router and internet connection by hackers.
There have been many UPnP vulnerabilities since its introduction back in 2008. For example, the CallStranger UPnP vulnerability lets hackers bypass network security and execute data theft.
Now, let us understand what makes UPnP a major security risk for your router and internet connection.
Why is UPnP a Security Risk?
UPnP opens the WiFi router ports and authorized port-forwarding connections. It assumes that every connection to your WiFi router is trustworthy. It goes without saying that this is an open security risk for the router as well as the internet connection.
The majority of internet routers can block a malicious connection, but a WiFi router with UPnP enabled will not be able to do so. It is one reason why activating the UPnP feature on your WiFi router is a major security risk.
The second reason that makes UPnP a security risk is an ease with which a malware can exploit this feature and infect your WiFi router. Now, a device accessing the internet through the infected WiFi router will also become infected. Moreover, UPnP has also been the favorite target of many hackers who execute DDoS attacks.
So, even if you happen to own the latest Netgear WiFi router model, the first thing to do is disable UPnP by accessing the routerlogin.net admin panel.
Now, it is time you understand why disabling UPnP is a good idea.
Should I Disable UPnP?
Given below are two issues that arise due to the UPnP vulnerability.
1. Programming Error
Hackers can exploit the UPnP code. This allows them to inject harmful and malicious code into the WiFi router through packet injections.
2. Unintended Exposure
The main goal of UPnP is to help devices be discoverable by other devices on the same connection. But, there are some UPnP control interfaces that might get exposed to public internet connections. This allows hackers to find and target private devices.
Considering the scenarios above, it is a wise decision to disable the UPnP feature on your WiFi router. Do you own a Netgear WiFi router? If the answer is yes, then you need to follow the netgear router troubleshooting guidelines to disable this function. Even if you have a router that is updated to the latest firmware version, having UPnP active puts it at risk.
Worried about your WiFi router's security? Does it have the UPnP feature? It is time to disable UPnP. It is a networking technology advancement, but it puts the router and internet connection at risk of exposure to unauthorized access.