Universal Plug and Play

What Does Universal Plug and Play Mean?

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is an Internet protocol set primarily for home networks permitting devices to access the network. These include PCs, printers, Internet gateways, Wi-Fi access points and mobile devices which connect automatically. This then allows them to share data, communications and entertainment media such as television, radio, music and other audio.


In December 2008, UPnP was established as a 73-part International Standard, ISO/IEC 29341.

Techopedia Explains Universal Plug and Play

When a UPnP device is plugged into a network, several actions occur automatically. The device configures itself acquiring a TCP/IP address and announcing its presence to other devices using a discovery protocol based on the Internet’s hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP).

Thirty UPnP-sponsoring companies, including Microsoft, are working to simplify home PC network plug-in devices and appliances.

Any operating system (OS) and programming language may be used to support UPnP products. UPnP continues to be actively researched and developed. In the fall of 2008, version 1.1 was amended to succeed version 1.0.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.