What is Zero Configuration Network (Zeroconf)?
A null configuration network is an IP network that is configured without the use of manual configuration or configuration servers. This configuration enables someone without network knowledge to connect computers, printers and other network devices and obtain automatic network functions. Automatic functions include assigning IP addresses, translating between domain names and IP addresses, and finding services such as printing without using a directory service.
A zero configuration network is also known as a Zeroconf network or sometimes just Zeroconf.
A zero configuration network is typically used for home and small business setups where the security risk is low and it is difficult or impossible to set up a normal IP network. Common uses are for short-term meetings or small conferences. Therefore, the need for services such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Domain Name System (DNS) servers is eliminated, and the network settings of each computer must be set up manually.
Zeroconf is based on three technologies:
- Assigning network addresses for different devices
- Determine the computer host name
- Finding network services
Service discovery protocols automatically discover connected network services and devices. These protocols include:
- Service location log
- Universal description discovery and integration for web services
- Bluetooth Service Discovery Protocol
- Extensible resource descriptor sequence
Because Zeroconf networks use the multicast domain name service, they are more susceptible to SpoofingAttacks. The most important implementations of Zeroconf networks include Apple's Bonjour, Avahi, Windows CE 5.0, Jini and Zeroconf, a stand-alone package based on Simple IPv4LL.