Free Cloud RADIUS

Written by Brenna Lee on June 25, 2021

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As more IT infrastructure components shift to the cloud, more IT admins are searching for a free cloud RADIUS solution. Historically, IT admins have had to implement their own RADIUS infrastructure, which is often time consuming, frustrating, and expensive. Initially, a popular way to do this was via FreeRADIUS, an open-source solution that requires fairly intensive manual management. Now, cutting-edge cloud-based RADIUS platforms are replacing the need for IT teams to run and manage their own RADIUS infrastructure.

What is RADIUS?

Before diving into what this free Cloud RADIUS platform can do and how it works, it’s important to step back and understand the value of RADIUS infrastructure. RADIUS started as an authentication, authorization, and accounting platform for dial-up networks. As such, this status was responsible for the apt acronym: the Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service protocol. 

Over time, RADIUS became a mainstay for IT organizations and network operations teams to connect users to their network infrastructure, such as VPNs, switches, routers, etc. Unlike standard WiFi authentication, which uses shared SSID phrases as login credentials, RADIUS relies on using unique credentials for authentication. By doing so, RADIUS creates a more secure wireless network overall, as it only lets in identities that are trusted by the network, rather than any device with the correct passphrase. 

RADIUS has become increasingly important for organizations to have set up as remote work has become the norm for many employees and the use of VPNs has skyrocketed. Not only that, but having RADIUS set up and ready to go as employees transition back into the office environment is a great practice for secure WiFi authentication.

What is FreeRADIUS?

By increasing network security so effectively, RADIUS quickly became a go-to for IT teams after it was introduced. One of the most popular traditional RADIUS instances is FreeRADIUS. FreeRADIUS is an open-source implementation of RADIUS which is leveraged from on-prem servers.

While FreeRADIUS might be free to use, that doesn’t mean it comes without cost. As an open-source solution, FreeRADIUS requires keen technical skills on the part of the IT admin implementing it. There is no preconfigured FreeRADIUS GUI. Without advanced networking knowledge, IT admins are unable to properly and fully configure and maintain their FreeRADIUS instance in line with their organization’s needs. Over time, these hurdles create a time-sucking blackhole for IT admins and network engineers, who already have enough on their plates as is.


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Free Cloud RADIUS 

In light of the difficulties inherent in implementing FreeRADIUS and using on-prem infrastructure, the question arises — is there a better, online RADIUS solution? A cloud-based RADIUS implementation would alleviate the need for intensive setup and continuous management of FreeRADIUS. An additional benefit of Cloud RADIUS is the lack of on-prem hardware, which reduces costs and time spent on maintenance drastically.

Of course, having a third party host your organization’s RADIUS solution can sound expensive. However, there is a solution on the market that offers cloud-based RADIUS, hosted remotely for convenience with significant cost reductions compared to the alternatives, free or otherwise. This service is JumpCloud’s Cloud RADIUS that allows for no-setup network control without the need for self-managed servers (wherever they may live). IT teams simply point their WiFi access points and VPNs to this cloud RADIUS service and they are up and running.

To try JumpCloud’s Cloud RADIUS solution for free, simply sign up for a trial of JumpCloud’s open directory platform. Your trial not only gives you access to Cloud RADIUS, but to the full functionality of the platform which includes Cloud LDAP, MDM, SSO, MFA, and much more.

Brenna Lee

Brenna is a Content Writer at JumpCloud that loves learning about and immersing herself in new technologies. Outside of the [remote] office, she loves traveling and exploring the outdoors!

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