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What is a Remote Authentication Dial in Service?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Remote authentication dial in services are an example of a client-server architecture that involves the utilization of software with a specific set of protocols included in the package. The function of the remote authentication dial in server is to allow remote servers to communicate with a central or “home” server and verify the identify of the remote users who are attempting to gain access. Essentially, this makes the remote authentication dial in service one of the more common approaches to maintaining server security.

Sometimes referred to as RADIUS or remote authentication dial-in user services, this protocol makes it possible to create and house an inventory of authorized user profiles in a database that resides on the home server. Whenever an attempt to gain access to the central server takes place, the software will compare data on file against the credentials that are being used to initiate the access. If the software is able to identify the credentials as being current and active, then the connection is allowed and the user is free to access any files or databases on the server that are covered in the user permissions. Should the software be unable to verify the credentials as valid, access is denied and the communication is ended.

Generally, a remote authentication dial in service will allow the user to make three attempts to access using the same or similar credentials. That is, the user may enter the user name three times while trying different passwords. However, once three attempts have been made, the user file is usually locked from further use until a system administrator intervenes. This security feature helps to ensure that even if an unauthorized individual is able to obtain a valid user name, he or she will still be unable to log in unless the correct password is entered.

In a world where identity theft has become more common, the function of a remote authentication dial in service has become increasingly necessary. Along with remote access to main databases and servers by employees, many service-based corporations also make use of a remote authentication dial in service for customer access. The protocols that are inherent to the remote authentication dial in service help to ensure that customers at remote locations are able to access their account information securely and with complete confidence that their proprietary information will not be compromised.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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