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Services Utility: Universal Plug and Play Device Host Service

Display Name (?): Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Short Name (?): upnphost
Executable (?): svchost.exe
Library (?): upnphost.dll
Depends On (?): SSDPSRV, HTTP
Supports (?): Castle Service
Description (?): Provides support to host Universal Plug and Play devices.
OS (?): XP Home/Professional, Vista Home/Business, Server 2003, Vista Server
Startup (?):

Explanation (?):

The universal plug and play device host (upnphost.dll through svchost.exe) service allows a Windows computer to act as a control point to universal plug and play devices. This service requires that the SSDP Discovery Service be active in order to detect UPnP devices. The simple explanation for UPnP is that it allows a computer to detect the presence of other networked devices and configure itself to communicate with the other device properly. It does this through actions that is a trigger to perform a function, devices that acts as a group type of UPnP devices, events that are status updates, services that provide functionality to control points and subscriptions that state the relationship between a control point and a service.

If you are still confused then this simply means that UPnP can be used to help your computer detect networked devices. Such as if you plug in a networked scanner to your computer then your computer could detect it like it would any USB scanner. It's a cute concept, but in reality it's a severe security risk because a network should be considered a different delivery medium then a secured USB connection. Because of this I would suggest that you disable this service to protect your computer from potential threats. If you disable this service then UPnP will not work so be aware that if you have any UPnP devices that they may need to be manually configured if this service is disabled, but as far as I know only a few Microsoft products use it, and they work perfectly fine without this service too. It should be noted that universal plug and play can and should be removed in add / remove components in the add / remove menu. It should also be noted that Internet Connection Sharing uses this service to communicate between a shared computer and a sharing computer, and without this service ICS may not work. MSN Messenger is also known to use UPnP, even when UPnP services have been disabled. And you can disable UPnP entirely by changing the registry value UPnPMode in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\DirectPlayNATHelp\DPNHUPnP to the DWORD of 2.

Please visit /tools/services/ for the complete Services utility.