Probe and Pray: Using UPnP for Home Network Measurements

TitleProbe and Pray: Using UPnP for Home Network Measurements
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDiCioccio L, Teixeira R, May M, Kreibich C
Other Numbers3359

Network measurement practitioners increasingly focus theirinterest on understanding and debugging home networks. The UniversalPlug and Play (UPnP) technology holds promise as a highly efficientway to collect and leverage measurement data and configuration settingsavailable from UPnP-enabled devices found in home networks. Unfortu-nately, UPnP proves less available and reliable than one would hope. Inthis paper, we explore the usability of UPnP as a means to measure andcharacterize home networks. We use data from 120,000 homes, collectedwith the HomeNet Profiler and Netalyzr troubleshooting suites. Our re-sults show that in the majority of homes we could not collect any UPnPdata at all, and when we could, the results were frequently inaccurate orsimply wrong. Whenever UPnP-supplied data proved accurate, however,we demonstrate that UPnP provides an array of useful measurementtechniques for inferring home network traffic and losses, for identifyinghome gateway models with configuration or implementation issues, andfor obtaining ground truth on access link capacity.


This work was partially supported by funding provided to ICSI through National Science Foundation grant CNS: 0905631 (“Invigorating Empirical Network Research via Mediated Trace Analysis”). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors or originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Bibliographic Notes

Proceedings of the 13th Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM 2012), pp. 96-105, Vienna, Austria

Abbreviated Authors

L. DiCioccio, R. Teixeira, M. May, and C. Kreibich

ICSI Research Group

Networking and Security

ICSI Publication Type

Article in conference proceedings