Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a set of networking protocols that permits networked devices such as game consoles, printers, Wi-Fi access points, computers, and routers to automatically discover each other and establish networking services for file sharing, streaming media, and other networked file-transfer services.

UPnP devices are network agnostic in so far as they will run on any network that supports IP addressing including Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more; there is no need for special drivers as a result of this design choice. Over 750 companies belong to the UPnP Forum, the organization that oversees adherence to UPnP standards, and thousands of consumer electronic devices ranging from media extenders to thermostats ship with UPnP capability.

For more reading on UPnP, including both the related security risks and how you can put it to work, check out the following How-To Geek articles: