A Standard Approach to User Authentication for IEEE 802.11 Wireless Network Access

Published: July 11, 2003 | Updated: July 06, 2004


The wireless network standards you adopt within your company should address the specific security requirements of wireless network access and should allow for the continued use and natural extension of much of the existing user authentication infrastructure. Microsoft has been instrumental in the development of Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP), a draft standard for a common approach to wireless-network user authentication.

This paper provides background on the efforts of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to address secure wireless access and compares PEAP with other standards-based and proprietary schemes. The paper also makes a case for using standards-based protocols and describes why PEAP is the best common authentication method for wireless network access.

Included in This Document

  • Introduction

  • Guidelines for Choosing an 802.1X Authentication Scheme

  • Authentication Schemes Available for 802.1X-Compliant Networks

  • PEAP Advantages

  • Summary

  • Related Links

Related Links


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Updated: Jul 6, 2004