Clicking the Settings button in the Internet Connection Properties dialog box opens the Advanced Settings dialog box where services currently running are displayed. As shown in the image below, Windows Messenger is active and the TCP and UDP ports currently open are displayed.
The ports were opened automatically using the UPnP protocol. After a period of inactivity, these ports should automatically be closed and should disappear from the services list. Highlighting and clicking Delete will remove them from the list of available ports immediately.
The Add button may, for some residential gateways, allow you to specify ports using the Windows XP graphical user interface.
D-Link's Web configuration interface allows me full control to make the configuration changes to open specific TCP or UDP ports for other types of media transfer or applications such as file transfer capabilities in Windows (as it requires specific ports to be opened).
Firmware for Existing Internet Gateway Devices
I'm really excited about the great experience I've had with the first crop of UPnP-enabled residential home gateways and can't wait for the technology to be available more widely in new devices and in firmware upgrades for existing devices.
D-Link has released UPnP firmware for the DI-714 (version 5.02 or higher) and advises users of other routers to regularly check D-Link Tech Support for updated information related to when and if UPnP support will be available for models other than the DI-804 and the DI-714.
Linksys includes UPnP firmware on their new BEFSR41W wireless-ready residential gateway, and I'm pleased to report great success using Windows Messenger voice and video with this new equipment. Linksys has also released UPnP firmware for their BEFSR41/11/31U and BEFW11S4 routers, which is available for download. Linksys currently has UPnP firmware in beta for their BEFSR81 and router.
I'm hoping that all the vendors who have promised UPnP support are able to release their new hardware as well as firmware upgrades to existing devices in the very near future. And I'm also hoping that vendors who have thus far not committed to UPnP enabling their hardware will quickly realize the need to join the UPnP party because this technology that enables NAT traversal and transparently passes SIP is a real must have. The number of residential home networking users with two or more computers behind a residential home gateway is growing exponentially and when the next generation of Direct Play-enabled games arrives, the requirement for UPnP/NAT traversal gateway devices will explode.
Barb Bowman enjoys sharing her own experiences and insights into today's leading edge technologies. She is a product development manager for AT&T Broadband Internet Services, but her views here are strictly personal.