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What is RADIUS Server
RADIUS was created by Livingston Enterprises to handle dial-in authentication.Then its usage broadened into wireless authentication and VPN authentication. RADIUS is the most popular of all the access control, authentication, and auditing (AAA) servers, including TACACS,TACACS+, and DIAMETER. An RAS must be able to authenticate a user, authorize the authenticated user to perform specified functions, and log (account for) the actions of users for the duration of the connection.
When users dial into a network, RADIUS is used to authenticate usernames and passwords. A RADIUS server can either work alone or in a distributed environment (known as distributed RADIUS) where RADIUS servers are configured in a tiered (hierarchical) structure.
In a distributed RADIUS environment, a RADIUS server forwards the authentication request to an enterprise RADIUS server using a protocol called proxy RADIUS.The enterprise RADIUS server handles verification of user credentials and responds back to the service provider’s RADIUS server.
One of the reasons that RADIUS is so popular is that it supports a number of protocols including:
- Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
- Password Authentication Protocol (PAP)
- Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP)
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