Network Access Server

What Does Network Access Server Mean?

A network access server (NAS) is a type of server that provides in-house or remotely connected users with a broader external network and/or the Internet. It centrally manages and gives connected users the ability to receive a suite of network-enabled services, while serving as the single point of access or gateway to network resources.

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NAS is also known as remote access server (RAS) or media access gateway.

Techopedia Explains Network Access Server

Internet service providers (ISP) use NAS to provide Internet access to their remote users. NAS works by enabling simultaneous connections between multiple remote users through a dialup connection, wired/wireless medium or multiple supported analog/digital connectivity interfaces. Upon successful user authentication, Internet access is granted.

NAS also maintains user sessions, network resource management, load balancing and other network management/optimization processes. In an enterprise setting, NAS serves as a provisioning server for specialized network-enabled services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Fax over Internet Protocol (FoIP) and Web conferencing.

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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.