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Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP) is a protocol that works to provide protections for communication channels in a more fundamental Extensible Authorization Protocol (EAP) method. PEAP is a product of several top tech companies, and has been shipped with major operating systems such as Microsoft Windows XP.
Extensible Authentication Protocol is an authentication resource for wireless networks and point-to-point setups. As a general framework, this protocol is useful in many different variations. One of these is Extensible Authentication Protocol Transport Layer Security (EAP-TLS), a protocol that is popular for local area networks.
PEAP provides a transport layer security structure where it is needed within EAP. It uses a public-key encryption certificate for this purpose. Server-side public-key certificates authenticate servers. The use of dedicated keys is part of an elaborate security authentication model for these kinds of network traffic setups. PEAP also involves subtypes for specific security protocols WPA and WPA2.
In general, the use of Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol helps to address security inadequacies in some types of authentication frameworks and prevents different kinds of hacking that may cause problems in 802.11 network traffic. While the methods of all this are fairly inscrutable to the lay audience, the details are important to security professionals who want to make sure that authentication happens in an effective and efficient way.