Network authentication is basically authentication by the network to join and use a particular network. Wireless internet users need network authentication so that they are able to use a particular network. You know how you need a password whenever you are using someone’s (or even your own) network? You would need one of the few types of network authentication to be able to gain access to the network and to use it but there are other types of network authentication out there too. When someone talks about network authentication they are actually talking about gaining access. The device may be a smartphone, a laptop or even an iPod or such like. These types of network authentication work the same way for every device.
WLAN authentication mode has three types of network authentication methods. The first one is open network authentication. This, of all types network authentication, is probably the simplest one because there is no password and the device just needs to be made aware of the service-set identifier that is used on that particular network. Once this is done the device is able to gain access to the network. The reason that this is known as open authentication is because authentication is easy and your device needs nothing more than to just recognize the service-set identifier for the device to be able to gain access to it.
Shared authentication is another of the various types of network authentication and this can usually be found/seen in workplaces and offices. LAN implementations are employed in this case and only a few people are able to gain access to networks of this sort. A shared key is given to the two individuals or parties that are allowed to gain access. Think of these types of network authentication as you would of two people living together- both of them have the key to gain access to one apartment through the same door. Similarly the parties using the network in this case are aware of the key to the network. If the shared keys match then one can gain access to the network.
Extensible authentication protocol is mostly used in enterprises where the authentication server is queried for the EAP to be able to gain access to the network. These types of network authentication are common only in enterprises- not at homes or offices. Access can be gained once the EAP successfully utilizes the authentication server.
These are the three types of network authentication. As you can see, they all work differently while some of these are used in offices and workplaces, others are meant for domestic purposes but the main purpose is to control who can and cannot gain access to the network in order to be able to use it. The three types of network authentication modes mentioned above all work differently and they’re used at different places. While anyone can use the first of the three mentioned here, only a limited number of people can gain access to the second and third types of network authentication.