Best RADIUS Server

Written by Ryan Squires on October 15, 2018

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Is there really much debate on what the best RADIUS server is? Most would probably say FreeRADIUS, and for good reason. FreeRADIUS has been around for a long time, with its development beginning in August of 1999 by Alan DeKok and Miquel van Smoorenburg. While these two figures were instrumental in getting FreeRADIUS off the ground, so to speak, its open source nature enabled many people to contribute to the code over time. This collaboration helped to make FreeRADIUS the world standard it is today.

Why Use RADIUS for Networking?

RADIUS is a core part of the networking world; its implementation helps manage IT networks. With the proliferation of WiFi in the modern era, this functionality has become increasingly important because networks are no longer mainly accessed via wired connections. Not that RADIUS can’t enable access to wired networks, but a side effect of a wired connection is security via proximity. Users have to plug in.

Now, anyone with a WiFi-enabled laptop can attempt to access the network whether they’re in a vehicle in the parking lot or the next room over. With a WiFi network secured by a properly implemented FreeRADIUS server, however, network users leverage their own unique set of credentials to gain access to the network. That means no more shared SSIDs and password combinations found on the whiteboard or word of mouth password exchanges. Plus, IT admins gain more control to know who is and who isn’t on the network.

As the computing world migrates towards the cloud, companies and their IT admins are searching for ways to implement the best RADIUS server via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model. That’s because admins have realized just how much time savings come from leaving on-prem implementations behind and leveraging a service to provide the functionality they seek.

What does RADIUS Integrate With?

For example, FreeRADIUS has an extremely flexible nature that includes a vast array of configuration options that make it daunting to work with. In addition, actually implementing FreeRADIUS includes integrating it with a directory service, WAPs (wireless access points), routers, switches, and ensuring that each endpoint is running the proper RADIUS protocol. It’s a lot of work, and many IT admins want to save time and money by offloading that work to a SaaS provider.

Can I Use RADIUS Without an On-Prem Server?

The good news is a solution now exists for IT admins who want to utilize RADIUS and not go through the hardships of setting it up. It’s called RADIUS-as-a-Service. and it is delivered completely from the cloud. As a result,  configuration, maintenance, and securing FreeRADIUS implementations are no longer tasks on an IT admin’s plate. It is delivered as a key component of JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® offering. Now, IT admins are simply responsible for managing user access to the network while the rest is taken care of by JumpCloud. Additionally, JumpCloud can authenticate users to virtually all of their IT resources, so IT organizations can eliminate all of their on-prem identity management hardware.

Simply load your users in the core cloud directory service and those users can be authenticated to all their IT resources with a single set of credentials via a concept delivered by JumpCloud called True Single Sign-On™. This ability allows users to log in to their web applications (Salesforce®, DocuSign™, etc.), legacy LDAP applications (MySQL™, Jira®, and more), cloud infrastructure, file servers on prem and off (e.g. NAS Devices, Samba, Box™, G Drive™), and many more. With all this integration in one console, JumpCloud can help you Make Work Happen™.

Learn More About JumpCloud

If you’re ready to secure your network with the best RADIUS server delivered from the cloud, sign up today for a JumpCloud account. It’s free and it allows you to manage up to 10 users with the full-featured version of our product. If you need additional information, feel free to consult the Knowledge Base, or drop us a line

Ryan Squires

Ryan Squires is a content writer at JumpCloud, a company dedicated to connecting users to the IT resources they need securely and efficiently. He has a degree in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.

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