UPnP. You probably heard about it or seen it lurking in your router settings, or while you fiddle around Windows‘ built-in firewall. So what the hell is it?
I myself didn’t bother to look up on it as it didn’t sound appealing to me compared to lamb curry. Not until I read about Port Map. Port Map is basically a Mac app that allows easy port forwarding WITHOUT accessing your router. Now now before you stop reading on thinking this is some shitty Mac praising post, don’t regret if I tell you how this will actually let you play C&C3 online without opening 80% of all available ports from 1 to 65535.
So I was thinking, What the f**k? How is it possible to port forward without actually setting it up in the router? Wouldn’t it be a (local) security issue? After a little googling, turns out that UPnP has been around long before I even graduated from high school.
UPnP is basically a technology that allows devices (such as your computer) to tell the router it needs to allow connection thru a certain port number so that it can communicate properly with the other internet client. Some of the most popular software I could think of that could utilize UPnP is Skype and uTorrent. For the past few years, I have been wondering why in the f**k uTorrent has an option to RANDOMIZE your port number each time it starts? Wouldn’t that mean you have to port forward all over again? Now I know. It’s UPnP that’s allows such voodoo to exist.
So how can you get this voodoo to work? First of all, you need to access your router (just this once to set it up). Every router setup differs so you may have to read your manual to find out how to enable UPnP. Some routers that are too old might not even have UPnP. Also, I notice that some Belkin routers do not have UPnP as well.
For the purpose of introducing UPnP, I’ll use screenshots from popular BitTorrent programs for example.
Notice there are options to allow these programs to utilise UPnP. And that’s it, enjoy UPnP.
Few things to note: If you have multiple routers on the same internet connection, make sure the ‘parent router’ forwards ALL ports to the next router. UPnP doesn’t communicate router to router unfortunately (at least this is the case for home routers, correct me if I’m wrong).
Also, I have the feeling that enabling UPnP might cause potential security dangers especially to Windows machines. Make sure you have anti-virus/spyware installed before you utilize UPnP.
Hope you enjoy this tech tip, because I have. For the first time since C&C3 launch I could finally play it online, just to get owned by someone who claims to be a noob.