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I'm reading about 802.1X, mainly on Wikipedia, but can't quite get it. So here is a very basic question:

What is meant, when they say that 802.1X is "port-based"?

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A "port", the place where the network wire physically plugs into the switch. –  Chris S May 4 '12 at 18:12
    
So it's all about physical wired ports. 802.11i (wpa2) uses 802.1X as it's access control mechanism. In that context 802.1x is suddenly not port-based at all, or what? That is what made me question my initial understanding. –  Tom Atkinson May 4 '12 at 18:41
    
See Jeff's comment to Lucas' answer. That solves it. –  Tom Atkinson May 4 '12 at 18:53
    
There was no WiFi when the standard was written... so yeah, WiFi changed things a bit. –  Chris S May 4 '12 at 19:20

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well as the standard says:

"Port-based network access control makes use of the physical access characteristics of IEEE 802 LAN infrastructures in order to provide a means of authenticating and authorizing devices attached to a LAN port that has point-to-point connection characteristics, and of preventing access to that port in cases which the authentication and authorization fails. A port in this context is a single point of attachment to the LAN infrastructure."

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... though that attachment may be a virtual port such as over a wifi connection. It doesn't have to be a direct hardware port. –  Jeff Ferland May 4 '12 at 18:38

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