The purpose of an authentication service is to establish the identity of a client authoritatively. In an insecure environment, identity may be established with a simple username, or bypassed altogether. In a secure environment, the client not only presents an identity (such as a username) but also provides authenticating information to prove that the identity provided is genuine.
With the use of a dedicated authentication server or service, an administrator can establish a single nexus for authentication, rather than establishing authentication individually for each network service to be provided. A VPN, print server, and web host, for instance, can all . . .
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