What is RADIUS Server and How does RADIUS Authentication work?

By  //  March 25, 2022

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Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) is a client-to-server-based interface and platform that helps remote management servers connect with a central database to verify dial-in visitors and authorize their access to a particular system or service.

By using Cloud RADIUS, a corporation can store user profiles in a centralized database that all remote servers can access. It is more secure to have a common database since it allows a corporation to build up a policy that can be executed at a single network point that a single individual administrates. Furthermore, a central database makes it easier to measure usage to charge the network access or internet service provider and maintain network data.

In addition, this protocol is suitable for proxy configurations, in which the proxy accepts requests and connects to the server where the RADIUS role is active for authentication. Enhanced security management and the establishment of server administration policies are made possible due to this. It has become an industry standard, with a plethora of various organizations using network-based technologies.

How Does RADIUS Authentication Work?

Network access servers (NAS) on the local area network can be used by remote network users to connect to their networks via the RADIUS protocol. The NAS communicates with the authentication server to obtain information about the remote user’s identification, authorization, and settings.

The RADIUS clients are the network access systems (NAS) used to access a network, as opposed to other client-server applications, where the client is frequently an individual user. The authentication system is also the RADIUS server.

It is the RADIUS security protocol that is responsible for providing centralized authentication services to the servers that allow remote users to join the network. There are several different kinds of remote user access authentication servers, including:

■ Dial-in servers, which provide access to corporate or ISP networks via modem pools, are also known as dial-up servers.

■ The servers of a virtual private network (VPN) are those that handle requests from remote users to establish secure connections to a secure network.

■  Those who accept requests to connect to a network from wireless clients are known as wireless access points (or WAPs).

■ Access switches that are controlled and that employ the 802.1x authorized access protocol to regulate access to networks by users are called managed network access switches.

Whenever an end consumer establishes a connection to a distant connection, the NAS conducts a RADIUS interchange with the authorization server on the other end of the connection.

Any information that a remote user includes in their request to connect to a NAS, such as the remote user ID, password, and IP address. The NAS subsequently transmits a message for authentication to the Radsec server, which accepts the request.

RADIUS verifies by employing two different methods:

■ Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP):

CHAP authentication also referred to as a three-way handshake, is predicated on the use of an encoded shared secret between the client and the server. If you compare it to PAP authentication, CHAP verification is believed to be safer given the fact that it encrypts identification exchanges, and it can be programmed to perform repeated identification and authentication mid-session.

■ Password Authentication Protocol (PAP):

With the help of a RADIUS client, you can communicate with a RADIUS authentication server using the distant user’s ID and password. After verifying that the credentials are correct, the server authenticates the user, and the RADIUS user allows the distant user to establish a network connection.

It is possible now for the user to set up a RADIUS proxy client to forward RADIUS authentication requests to other Servers. When used in big or geographically dispersed networks, RADIUS intermediates make it possible to centralize authentication.

In addition to being included in many networking products, the RADIUS protocol is also integrated with directory service software for authorization and accounting. The RADIUS protocol, for example, is implemented in Microsoft’s Network Policy Server, which connects with the Microsoft Active Directory environment. RADIUS is also used for Wi-Fi authentication in the case of remote networks.

Please find out more about RADIUS servers and their applications to your business with the experts at FOXPASS!