Extensible Authentication Protocol

What Does Extensible Authentication Protocol Mean?

Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) is a point-to-point (P2P) wireless and local area network (LAN) data communication framework providing a variety of authentication mechanisms.


EAP is used to authenticate simple dialup and LAN connections. Its major scope is wireless network communication such as access points used to authenticate client-wireless/LAN network systems.

Techopedia Explains Extensible Authentication Protocol

EAP wireless and EAP LAN system framework both use a simple request and grant mechanism. For example, a client requests a wireless network connection through the transceiver (a station receiving and transferring data). The transceiver then obtains client information and sends it to the authentication server for further processing. Next, the authenticator requests client identification from the transceiver. Upon receiving the request, the transceiver sends the client a message requesting identification. After verifying that the client can connect and communicate with the server, the client’s identification is sent to the server.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

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.