How much does a RADIUS server cost? With network security becoming paramount to organizations, it’s a question that is on the mind of many an IT admin. As more IT organizations look to implement RADIUS infrastructure for their WiFi and VPN environments, there are several approaches and implementations to consider. Let’s explore the options.
Free RADIUS Implementations
Many organizations today leveraging on-prem RADIUS implementations use the open source FreeRADIUS server. The software is aptly named. For all intents and purposes, FreeRADIUS is free.
But, while the software itself doesn’t cost anything, IT organizations do need hardware or virtual servers to host the software on. Then, the most expensive costs are usually the personnel costs to install, configure, and manage the RADIUS infrastructure. Supporting the FreeRADIUS implementation can be painful and expensive on an on-going basis as well.
Paid RADIUS Servers
There are additional paid RADIUS servers that are available on the market. These options are offered at several different price points, both in subscription OpEx and upfront CapEx models. Their prices vary from $13 total per month to up to $750+ per server, plus additional servicing fees.
Of course, the majority of these options still require quite the undertaking and overhead costs to implement and maintain. Add that on top of the inherent price of RADIUS servers, and IT admins are met with quite the bill. Many of today’s growing organizations are limited in both their free time and budgets, making many paid RADIUS options more trouble than they may be worth.
RADIUS from the Cloud
Interestingly, though, many organizations are shifting away from running their own RADIUS on-prem infrastructure (FreeRADIUS or otherwise) and moving to a cloud RADIUS option where the infrastructure is completely managed. IT organizations can simply point their WiFi access points and their VPNs to authenticate from this RADIUS-as-a-Service platform. While there is a cost to the service, IT organizations save by subverting the implementation and ongoing management costs of a RADIUS server.