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Protocol for providing authenticated and authorised Upnp-like service discovery over the Internet

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198943D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-18
Document File: 5 page(s) / 116K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


This publication describes a method and protocol to provide secure, authenticated and authorised discovery and communication of services between devices such as computers, phones and games consoles. It achieves this by using a centralised broker where users can login, create and join groups and request access to other devices' services. The aim is to recreate Upnp-like beahviour over a wide area network with additional security layers.

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Protocol for providing authenticated and authorised Upnp-like service discovery over the Internet

Universal plug and play (Upnp) is a zero configuration protocol for local networks

where devices register when they connect and announce that they are running

services. The services can be arbitrarily named and the announcement also contains an ip and port for clients to connect through. Clients listen for announcements and when a service is announced that they want, they connect. Upnp provides no specification as to how a client should interact with the server, merely a mechanism for the client to connect to the server without having to know

where it is

       , by instead listening for the name of a service it is interested in. (The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) provides a layer on top of Upnp to standardise how media servers, players and other associated devices should interact. It is widely used in devices and products such as Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBox 360, Windows Media Center etc to stream content from one device to another and play it through a TV, monitor or speakers.

    Upnp is limited to a local network and in the current environment where smartphones and fast internet access are increasingly common, this is a limiting factor. It is possible to remotely connect via a VPN to the local network but this means that the owner of the local network who is quite possibly entirely non-technical must setup a VPN server. It also requires extra setup and configuration on each client that would remotely connect and means that two remote clients, for example two phones where one is providing a service to the other, must both share content via the local network's router rather directly to each other.

    Other products such as IBM WebSphere Service Registry and Repository are not entirely applicable to this situation because the end machines providing the services could be anything, eg laptops which may be turned off regularly or phones

which go out of an area with signal

                       , so their availability cannot be guaranteed. It is also not necessary to store any details about the service other than its name and the IP and port that should be used. The available interactions and their specification are dependent on the service and both the client and server already know about this.

    The solution we give is designed to be like Upnp in that it is as lightweight as possible whilst working as seamlessly as possible for the user. However,


Upnp works over a LAN and a private group of devices is automatically inherited as the group of devices connected on that LAN, such a private group of devices is not readily obtainable over the internet. Therefore, our solution provides a central repository of users who belong to groups where each user can have multiple devices. A private group of devices is the constructed from a group by taking all of its users and all of their currently connected devices. This design allows users and their devices to simult...