Should UPnP be enabled in router?

By xpgeek
Aug 13, 2006
  1. I'm kind of new to home networking and have some questions about UPnP.

    I got a new Linksys BEFSR41 wired router two weeks ago, Firmware is up to date I knew enough to check that, and it came with UPnP disabled by default. Then about a week ago I was using file transfer on Windows Live Messenger, and the transfer was going slow, really really slow, and I searched around a bit and found the solution was to just enable UPnP in the router. Ok, that fixed it, transfer speeds back to normal.

    But, I been searching around some more, and reading the reason its off by default is all these security risks associated with it. And, I've seen a couple posts around of people saying their connection keeps "going up and down" with UPnP enabled, and I think thats happening to me too. Every once in a while, just a few times a day, I'll get the "a network cable is unplugged" message pop up (using Win XP Pro SP2), and its only there for a split second n then gone, and then a minute later Messenger will realize it happened too and sign out n back in, so the connection is dropping for just a second there I think.

    So I figure maybe I should disable UPnP again, but, I read that without it everything must be 'port forwarded', which confuses me cause I still don't understand it enough. Theres a second PC in the other room off this same router and also using Messenger, and from what I understand port forwarding can only go to one PC at a time and will just mess things up if both PC's try doing the same thing at once. So how do people set up port forwarding for the same program on more then once PC? I don't get it. And I read that port forwarding isn't all that secure either, 'a forwarded port is an open port' is what I've read.

    ...... Just did it again as I'm writing this, connection just dropped out for 1 second.

    Sorry if this post is confusing, but I'm confused. So which is it, should UPnP be on or off, and if I turn it off and use port forwarding for everything, is that secure, and if I set up port forwarding for Messenger to this PC, that means the other PC can't use Messenger at all? And how do I fix this connection just dropping off for one second every couple hours?

    I'm asking a lot here I know, but would appreciate the help.
  2. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    enable to setup your P2P program then disable it
    hacker gain control of machine through this function
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    UPnP is eevil and feel free to scream at MS for making their Messenger system so stupid :) If you are confident that your computers cannot become compromised by malicious software, then you can keep that UPnP turned on in the router.

    Updating the router firmware and maybe turning off some functions may improve stability.
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