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Welcome to our latest WiFi Ninjas Blog – this time we will be covering what is 802.1X & EAP!
802.1X is a Port Based Network Access Control, defining 3 roles: Supplicant (station, client device), Authenticator (AP or WLC) and Authentication Server (RADIUS).
Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) is the authentication framework supporting multiple methods such as PEAP, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS & more. It’s a datalink layer protocol, IP is not required. Additionally, Authenticator does not have to understand the authentication method.
RADIUS carries AAA information between Authentication and RADIUS Server.
Supplicant and Authenticator use EAPOL in wireless to exchange authentication data.
Authenticator and Authentication Server talk over RADIUS.
Both parts (EAPOL + RADIUS) form an authentication mechanism called 802.1X.
Let’s see step by step what happens in the 802.1X EAP process:
Open System Authentication:
802.1x EAP Authentication (below is based on EAP-TLS, but it will be similar for other EAP methods):
We have also made a diagram of the process so you can visualise the above a bit easier!
We hope that you found this blog helpful for you and always give us a shout if you need anything else!
Tons of love,
WiFi Ninjas x