Complete Communications Engineering

Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) over Wireless (EAPoW) is a wireless network port authentication protocol used in IEEE 802.11 Standard to deliver session WEP keys to wireless netwrok users. Using EAP over LAN (EAPoL)message and frame structure, EAPoW authenticates the users after the 802.11 association request and uses the EAPOL-Key packet to securly deliver the WEP key.

EAPoW Architecture

The same three main components are defined in EAP, EAPoL Protocol and EAPoW to accomplish the authentication conversation:

  1. Supplicant (Port Authentication Entity (PAE) seeking access to netwrok resources)
  2. Authenticator (PAE that controls network access)
  3. Authentication Server (a RADIUS/AAA server)

The following figure shows how these LAN components are connected in a wired environment.

EAPoW Architecture

A sample of a typical EAPoW exchange is shown in the following figure.

Sample 802.11 / EAPoW Exchange