4 Best Free Linux Network Authentication Servers

Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) is a networking protocol that offers centralized connection authentication, authorization, and accounting management for various types of network access. RADIUS is mature technology having been developed almost twenty years ago.

Traditionally, this type of server was typically deployed by organizations that operate large banks of modems. However, the technology underpins secure network access for network appliances, wireless and virtual private network (VPN) connections. Internet service providers use RADIUS attributes in Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable connections to ensure that users are connected to the correct services, reject connections for expired accounts, IP allocation, and to carry out accounting functionality. Nevertheless, these network authentication servers can be used on any network that needs a centralized authentication and/or accounting service.

Whilst there is not a huge number of open source network authentication servers available for Linux, the competition is still strong, with a number of mature, highly proficient, and feature-laden servers.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 4 network authentication servers. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for educational institutions, internet service providers, and other commercial organizations. We give our strongest recommendation to FreeRADIUS.

Best Free and Open Source Network Authentication Servers

Let’s explore the 4 network authentication servers at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Network Authentication Servers
FreeRADIUSHigh-performance and highly configurable RADIUS server
RadiusRemote user authentication and accounting and accompanying utilities
OpenRADIUSRADIUS server which can use external data sources for anything
BSDRadiusTargeted for use in Voice over IP (VoIP) applications
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

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