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RADIUS server or wpa authentication

Posted on 2006-07-07
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Last Modified: 2008-02-20
hi i would be greatful if someone could highlight the pros and cons of radius server v wpa authentication
does radius have any overheads like wpa?
thanks
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Question by:exdos
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jasonr0025 earned 2000 total points
ID: 17063278
Radius is descriptive of a database that authentacates wireless users by username/password.  
WEP and WPA are methods of providing wireless security using keys common between AP and client.  WPA is a step up from WEP in which it rotates keys with data frames instead of using the same key-making it a little tougher to gather entire key/
WPA encrypts this key with TKIP or AES: AES bieng the better but less supported and more likely to drop packets.  
In general using a radius server allows you to authenticate the user, not just the key.  If the wrong person gains your wpa key and tries to access the wireless network- they would still need to verify with radius to use the connection.  Without radius they just need the key to gain wireless access.  Using radius allows you to control several aspects of your wireless network-login times, restrictions.
Radius should add little to no  overhead to existing network usage and bandwidth as well as server overhead, but well worth the security to businesses.
WPA2 mixed (both tkip and aes) using radius is probobly the best way to go-with a few patches from microsoft for your wireless adapter and you should be good.
If you want to run radius and are running server 2003 you are good. If you need a open source check out www.freeradius.org(awsome)
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by:exdos
ID: 17098954
well thanks for the infomation, it has made my understanding more clearer now
so using a raduis server just adds another level of security to the wireless setup.
I think i will stick to wpa for the time being.
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