Difference between UPnP and DLNA

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP®) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA®) are two sets of guidelines to ensure the compatibility and interoperability of your devices.  This article will help you understand more about the concept and differences of UPnP and DLNA. 



Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) allows devices that are connected to a network to easily discover and communicate with each other to enable network applications such as data sharing, video streaming or gaming.  Examples of UPnP-capable devices are web cameras, gaming consoles, routers, computers, VoIP, and mobile devices.  To know more about UPnP and how to configure it on your Linksys router (with classic UI), click here.  If you have a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router, click here.


Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) is an international collaboration of Consumer Electronics (CE), computing industry, and mobile device companies.  They developed a concept of wired and wireless interoperable networks for digital and media sharing.  DLNA is what allows you to share digital content such as photos, music, and videos from your mobile device to another device in and beyond your home.  It also makes it possible for you browse folders on your media server right from your TV screen and select photos and videos to watch or music to listen to.
DLNA-enabled products are designed to be affordable, easy to install, and can interoperate with each other without requiring complex or tedious setup and configuration for connection between devices.  
To know more about DLNA, click here.


DLNA is derived from UPnP specifically for the purpose of media interoperability.  The main difference between the two is the scope that they cover.  As mentioned above, UPnP is a set of protocols that allow different devices to discover each other and use the services that they can offer.  On the other hand, DLNA covers a broader scope since it includes media formats, management systems, and even content protection systems.
DLNA uses UPnP for interconnectivity so that the DLNA-certified devices such as Blu-ray Disc™ players, TVs, computers, smartphones, and tablets can find each other and communicate.  DLNA also uses UPnP to control different devices.  In general, all DLNA-capable devices are also UPnP-capable since the former is derived from the later. 

Listed below are some of UPnP and DLNA’s differences:

 • Relatively mature
 • Networking protocols
 • Supported by more devices 
 • General
 • Very young 
 • Device standard                 
 • With restrictions             
 • Specific

Connecting more devices

You can connect all your devices to your Wi-Fi to make full use of their DLNA and UPnP capabilities.  For instructions on how to do that, click on the links below:

Android™ smartphone
Xbox 360®

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