FreeRADIUS vs Windows® NPS

As IT admins weigh their options for RADIUS servers, they will inevitably come across two mainstays of the industry: FreeRADIUS and Windows® Network Policy Server (NPS). When comparing FreeRADIUS vs. Windows NPS, which RADIUS option is best? We will dive into each of these RADIUS implementations to reach a verdict, although the final answer may not be what you would expect.

The use of RADIUS for IT infrastructure is becoming more popular than ever. It seemed that, a few years ago, IT admins and DevOps engineers were moving away from RADIUS use altogether. But, as WiFi security and VPN administration become more and more critical, the RADIUS protocol has experienced a renaissance of sorts.

FreeRADIUS vs. Windows NPS

So with that in mind, it makes sense that IT admins and DevOps engineers are seeking out RADIUS server solutions, such as FreeRADIUS and Windows NPS. When it comes to their functionality, both options are relatively similar, although there are some key differences.


FreeRADIUS has been a mainstay in the IT community for a number of decades. The open-source RADIUS server implementation is arguably the most popular RADIUS solution on the market today. As an open-source tool, FreeRADIUS is, for all intents and purposes, free. Looking past the pocketbook, however, FreeRADIUS does have it’s own costs.

First and foremost, FreeRADIUS requires server hardware to operate. Servers are obviously not free, and they also require physical office space if hosted on-prem. The other major drawback of a FreeRADIUS implementation is the fact that it needs to be properly installed, configured, and managed. Such tasks take precious time out of an IT admin’s day and necessitate intensive technical knowledge.

Windows NPS

Microsoft® Windows NPS is also a popular RADIUS tool. Offered as a part of Windows Server, it seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft solutions. This is especially true in regards to its Windows Server feature counterpart, the domain controller, Active Directory® (AD). By using NPS in conjunction with AD, it is considerably easier to manage and implement an entirely Windows-based network.

Of course, in the modern era of IT, the (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Zach DeMeyer. Read the original post at:

Zach DeMeyer

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a writer and researcher for JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, making music, and soccer.

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